Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Creating categories step-by-step

Update: This post was written before Blogger upgraded from the old classic Blogger template to the New Blogger xml template (see old Blogger classic template or New Blogger xml template?, and we had to depend on work-arounds to implement categories, and this method involves manual work each time a new post is published. New Blogger introduced Labels (same as categories) which is automatic, and with New Blogger xml template, it is better to use Label list to add a list of Labels (categories) in the sidebar.

In earlier posts:
Blogger categories: A simple method
Blogger categories: Simple method
methods to create categories was described. However, a reader has indicated a step-by-step description is needed, so here it is:

1. Create a account (see Introduction to Even if you already have an existing account, creat another one specially for setting up the categories. For the user name, I would suggest using part of the blog's url or title. For example, the user name I selected for doing the categories for this blog is bloggertricks.

2. If you are using FireFox (highly recommended), install the extension with the "My" and "Tag this" buttons (see screen shot below:

Click the "Install extension now" button and follow the instruction. This will install 2 buttons into the toolbar.

3. Click the "My del.icious" button. Confirm that you are logged in. If not, then log in.

4. Surf to the main page (index page) of your blog. At the PREVIOUS POSTS section of the sidebar, click on the very first post. This will take you to the individual post page (permalink) of that post, and the PREVIOUS POSTS will then display the next 10 previous posts. Click the "Tag this" button. A pop-up will open with the url, a description, and boxes for you to enter notes and tags. Enter one-word tags for the category you want that post to be in. If the category is more than 1 word, join them with a hyphen or underscore. For example, for my post entitled "Hiding the navbar", since the post is specific to Blogger, I will tag it with "Blogger-specific" (minus the quotes). You can enter more than 1 tag for each post, the tags just have to be separated by a space. Click [save] when you are done.

5. At the PREVIOUS POSTS section in the sidebar, click the next post, which will take you to the individual post page of that post. Click the "Tag this" button again, and tag that post

6. Repeat for the subsequent post until you have tagged all the posts.

Now, you will have to decide which of the methods you want to use - the Easy Method, or the Simple Method. For an example of the Easy Method, surf over to Natural Remedies to see what it is like. The categories created for this blog Blogger Tips and Tricks is an example of the Simple Method. For the Easy Method, go to step 7. If you want the Simple Method, go to step 9.

Easy Method

7. Click the "My" button. At the top right-hand corner of the My homepage, click HELP, then under BLOG INTEGRATION, click TAG ROLLS. Adjust the settings until the appearance of the tag roll you see in the PREVIEW on the right is what you want. I suggest you change the TITLE to Categories or something suitable. For a fuller description of the settings adjustment, refer to the post Blogger categories: Easy method.

8. If the appearance of the categories (tag roll) in the preview window on the right is what is desired, click on the code box at the bottom of the page to highlight it, right-click and copy (or ctrl+C). Preferably in another tab or window, sign into Dashboard, select the blog, click the TEMPLATE tab to open the template editor and paste the codes into your template in a suitable place. If you don't know where to paste it, refer to Blogger template tutorial: Adding content via the template. Preview, and if satisfied, save and republish. Done.

Simple Method

9. Click the "My" button. This will take you to the "homepage" of your account. On the top right corner, you will see the tags you have created.10. Click on one of the tag (for example, BASIC). This will take you the the page that contains all the links to the posts that was tagged with the category BASIC. Highlight the url in the address bar of that page, right-click and copy. In this example, the url will be

11. Decide on a suitable place where you want the categories displayed (refer to Blogger template tutorial: Adding content via the template). This will normally be in the sidebar. Open a new window (or tab) and sign into Dashboard, select the blog, click the TEMPLATE tab, and in a suitable place in the template, enter the following code:

<a href="X">A</a><br />
<a href="Y">B</a><br />
<a href="Z">C</a><br />

where X is the url you copied from step 10, and A is the text of the tag, in this example, BASIC.

12. In the previous window, go back to the My homepage, click on the next tag. In the above example, it will be BLOGGER-SPECIFIC. At that page containing all the links to the posts that are tagged with that category, again copy the url, replace Y with the url, and B with the second category. In the above example, the codes will become

<a href="">basic</a>
<a href="Y">B</a>
<a href="Z">C</a>

(Y and B have been left as it is in the above example as putting in the real url will make the code extend beyond the gray box, but I hope you get the idea)

13. Repeat step 12 for the third category

14. If there are more categories, just add more hyperlinks and repeat the steps.

15. When all the categories hyperlinks are done, preview, and if satisfied, save and republish. Done.

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  1. Thank you for these excellent instructions. I followed them to add categories to my blog, with one exception: I suggest tagging the oldest articles first, so that the most recent articles are listed at the top of the page. A post on blog categories that cites your article describes how exactly I did this.

  2. Thank you. Perhaps now I will found out of it.

  3. Thanks for the help. It is greatly appreciated.

  4. This is the best explanation I've seen so far, but I have one question. I already use to share links with friends and to keep my own bookmarks of interesting pages, but if I install one for my site journal, even with some random or unusual name, will it mean that any random visitor to can see it? My journal is a chronicle of personal issues in my life and is only shared with a handful of friends, so I'm not really keen on having strangers read it. I really really want to be able to add entry tags/categories, and so far this is the only way I'm aware of, short of reverting to LiveJournal. Help?

  5. "will it mean that any random visitor to can see it?"

    Possible but not likely if you don't tell the world about it.

  6. hi,

    try out for categories in blogger.

  7. I experimented last night using the del.ici.ous tags. They worked fine, but when it came to identifying the various posts, they all had the same title: the name of my blog.

    That is not much help. As my blog is a news blog, visitors and I will be browsing to look for specific posts on various subjects.

    How can I get del.ici.ous to tag the actual post title?

  8. Enable "Show Title Field".

  9. This was extremely helpful, as was your post on changing the width of the content and sidebar. Thank you!!

  10. Lots of good help here! Would using keyword and description meta tags be of help on my Blogger blog? If so, where in my template should I place them>

  11. keywords and description metatags should be placed between the <head> and </head> tags

  12. Will this work if I have more than one blog and want to create Categories for all of them?

  13. Yes. If you check the Categories for Blogger Help (Blogger for Dummies) you will find that some of the tagged posts are posts from this blog "Blogger Tips and Tricks".

  14. Thanks for the instructions! I'm really glad you did the step-by-step version. My only problem is that my categories are not in a neat list format, rather they're all crowded together like one paragraph. Any way to remedy this?

  15. Emily, can you give a link to your blog?

  16. I hope you catch this comment as it's some time since the original post - I have been using del.ici.ous but then stumbled on a simple piece of coding that uses 'bloggers' own search facility, the person who wrote it has an interactive form so you can say which categories you want to use, it then generates the code to cut and paste into your side column - then you just have to make sure you use the word you've chosen for the category in your post - of course it also picks up the word in any other posts you made as well so you need to give some thought to the categories you use
    the site is here:

  17. Anonymous10/11/2006

    Thanks for the info.

  18. Great info, thanks!
    I am stuck on one thing.
    My categoried are side by side.

    I want them to be vertical
    3. etc
    any ideas?

  19. Hi seanmeanch,

    Are you sure you have included a <br /> tag after each link?

    Peter (Blog*Star 2006 and 2007)
    Dummies Guide to Google Blogger
    "online book" in progress

  20. Hi Peter!

    I think my brain went on vacation. I'd like to change my archived entries from a DATE view to a CATEGORY view on my main blog. I have it set up on another blog, but I can't remember how I did it. Maybe it came with the template.

    Is there a setting that will let me switch archiving methods?

    Thanks so much!

  21. Hi Incurable Imsomniac,

    I am afraid I don't see anything wrong with your archives. Maybe you already got it sorted out yourself.

    Peter (Blog*Star)
    Blogger for Dummies

  22. I want to list my archive BY CATEGORY. They are currently listed BY DATE.

  23. Hi Incurable Imsomniac,

    If you want an archive, you add an archive which will list your post according to dates plus titles for the current months. If you want a list of categories, you add a Label (category or tag) List which will then list all the labels (categories) that you have added to your posts. I just don't see your problem.

    Peter (Blog*Star)
    Generating Revenue from your Website

  24. Hi Incurable Insomniac,

    Maybe this post will throw some light: Link List, what it is and how to make use of it.

    Peter (Blog*Star)
    Earning Online

  25. Hi - This is the most detailed explanation that I have come across - Thank you for that.

    As you can tell by the date of my blog, I am pretty new to this...

    Before searching for tips - I simply used the below HTML to create category tabs (this is one category).

    This instruction puts the post under the Budgeting category.

    I cant seem to figure out how to link more than one post to each category.

    Any advice??

  26. Hi, I did the simple method... it did create a link to the site as per the category... but this is not what i want. I want what I saw on your right bar.. "Labels (Categories)" I want the articles to still show in my blogger site and also to reflect the number of articles next to the category title. How can I do it? I am using the classic template and FTP the blog to my own server. Please advise. Thanks!

  27. Hi kjfix,

    I am afraid I have bad news for you. This blog uses the Minima 3 column New Blogger template and while I have intention to use New Blogger custom domain, I am avoiding self-hosting like it is bird flu. One of the reasons is like yours, if I self=host, I cannot use New Blogger templates. I will be forced to use the old classic Blogger template, and with that, Label List is not available for you together with a lot of features of New Blogger.

    Peter Blog*Star
    The easiest way to earn something for your blogging efforts

  28. Hi Tropper,

    I am afraid I don't understand your problem. One more thing, if you want to know how to display stuff like <a>, etc., refer to how to display special characters

    If you want your problem solved, you will have to rephrase your question.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Dummies Guide to Google Blogger
    "online book" in progress. Use the CONTENT at the top of the main column

  29. hey peter,
    your blog is great. i often come to visit ur many information for newbie blogger.

    But aren't u missing something? in catogories it it ok i made categories
    but u dint mention to put different post into same categories.

    as example..first tag basis which is 1 post but then second tag blogger-specific..there are 8 to add those 8 post in blogger-specific tag??

    can u explain that briefly??

  30. Hi KRH,

    This is an outdated post which was published before Blogger Beta (now New Blogger) was introduced. Now Blogger generate the labels (=categories) automatically. Just add it at the bottom of the post editor window.

    You can label a post with more than 1 labels, just separate each label with commas. Also you can add the same label for more than one posts. For example see posts with "template" label.

    If still not clear, ask me to explain in a post.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Blogger Dough
    (Blogging helped my put 2 sons through college on my pension and if not for blogging, I would have been in financial difficulties. We want to help you do the same)

  31. hi peter chen,
    i was so busy with ur blog that i forgot blogspot has

    thx man for ur reply both here & my blog.i responded about ur question in my blog..

    Have a great day.......

  32. Hi...

    Thank you so much for you instructions. They are truly informative.

    I was able to set up and tagged my two posts. I was also able to get the categories on my page. But, I can't link the two together. When I click on my categories, it goes to website rather than my sorted posts.

    Can you help me?

  33. Hi The Trinh's Family,

    I am sorry I should add an update to this old post. This was published before Blogger Beta (now out of beta) was released and all the bloggers were crying out for categories which Blogger then didn't have. This post is for a work around using and is an easy method to implement. Its advantage is that you can include any sites, including any of your other blogs, even blogs which don't belong to you. In my case, this blog as well as Blogger for Dummies, and if I have the time, Dummies Guide to Google Blogger plus Dummies Guide to Google Blogger can be included. No other system, including Blogger's own, can do this. Disadvantages are, as you noticed, it first go to the and when you click on any link there, you will be brought back to your blog, and in my case, to my other blogs as well. To me, that is no big disadvantage and I just don't understand why bloggers make such a fuss over this. I wouldn't bother my head about it. The other big disadvantage is that it is manual and you will have to do some work each time you publish a new post. If you don't want the hassle, refer to
    Making labels do what you want

    Peter Blog*Star
    Blogger FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions_
    (Blogger FAQ in progress. More will be added as I have the time)

  34. Hello Sir,
    I am trying to do that but not able to do. Please if you can help me.

    my gmail id :

    With Thanks & Regards
    Mayank Jaitly

  35. Thank you so much!!
    This was exactly what I wanted!

  36. I might have spoke too soon.
    I like the look of my categories on my blogspot page:, but i'm confused. When I click on the category links on your page, they take me to the blogger url address.
    But when I click on the category links on my page, they take me to the website where someone will have to look at my bookmarks to see my previous posts.

    How can I have someone click on my links without them having to go to that website?

  37. Hi Toni,

    This is an old post and there are now easier way to do categories. I have added an update to this post right at the top of the post.

  38. this blog is very useful, thanks a lot, i will stay tuned

  39. Please note that this is an old post, pre-New Blogger with its xml template (LAYOUT) which now have Labels. However, it still works and if you like it, by all means use it.

  40. Visit

  41. Making side bar in our blog is so helpful to give content to other people.We can show that how much post we had been make n this blog.Int this way by adding category bar we can know people that what category in this our blog and tell people about our idea.
    Freelance PHP Programmer

  42. Thanr for this wonderful post. This tips will be very useful to create categories in my blog.

  43. hi, how to make a category to my blog....?

  44. This is an old post and I have posted an update right at the top of the post. Blogger now offers Labels (same as Categories) which automatically create the categories for you including the tabs if you want that to be automated for you as well. Practically plug and play.

  45. YL please note that this post is an old post and have been supperceded by Blogger's label which take away all the hard work.


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