By default, WordPress includes a default category for its posts. This default category, Uncategorized, is used as a fallback category, created to help the webmaster order their content. However, ‘Uncategorized’ is a bit of an eye-sore and is best replaced by something more relevant to the brand and website. While the Uncategorized category cannot be removed, it can be manipulated.

In the following post, we discuss the Uncategorized category and show you a few ways that you can work with the default category for your website.

  1. Renaming the existing Uncategorized default category (good for a new site)
  2. Creating a new default category (good for an existing, live site)

What is the Uncategorized Category

Whenever a new WordPress installation is set up, the WordPress core files include, by default, a few features. One such feature for the Posts post type is a category by the name of Uncategorized.

Categories like Tags fall into the group of Taxonomies, words or terms used to structure or group concepts. In the case of a WordPress blog or website, taxonomies are used to better classify the posts published on the site.While Tags does not come with a default taxonomy, the Category taxonomy does: Uncategorized.

By default, whenever a new blog post is published, it’ll automatically get assigned as Uncategorized. While this can be a pain for some, it’s actually got a related purpose and good intention, and exists as a fallback for when content publishers forget to classify their articles.

Why you should avoid using the Uncategorized taxonomy

In today’s day and age, content marketing is a vital element to include in the marketing mix, with blogging or content articles being a key player in the game. Content creation and publishing, such as articles on a blog, for example, is essentially the process of creating and sharing knowledge, insight and expertise with an audience that is eager to learn and interested in the same or similar topics.

Seeing ‘Uncategorized’ scattered through some or all blog posts can have a few repercussions:

  • It could be confusing for your reader. They may be uncertain as to which forms of content your website releases,
  • It indicates a badly structured site. With no logical order to your content the overall user experience of your site may lose some points in the eyes of your site visitors,
  • It may make your brand look careless or negligent,
  • It makes searching for similar or related content difficult for your reader.

For taxonomies, it is quite easy to delete a category or tag once they are set up, however, this can’t be done with the default category set up by WordPress. In fact, the default category cannot be removed it all. Instead, a few workarounds exist to solve this.

How to Remove the Uncategorized Category from WordPress

If you’re looking to remove the Uncategorized category and use something that is on-brand, relevant to your content and helpful for your readers, follow the tutorials below.

There are a few options to replace the Uncategorized category. You could:

  • Either rename the default category to a more relevant and appropriate term, or you could
  • Create a new default category (good for an existing, live site)

If you have already started creating and publishing content and would like to rename the default category of Uncategorized to something new, you might want to consider setting up redirects as to not lose traction in your URLs. All of this will be explained a little later in this post.

Option 1: Rename the Uncategorized category

Although you cannot delete the default category of Uncategorized you can rename it. If you have just created your website and have not started publishing post content, this is a great solution to implement before you deploy your site.

To rename the category, visit the WordPress dashboard and navigate to Posts > Categories. Here you will see the Uncategorized category. Hover over the category name and you will see a few menu options pop-up. Click Edit.

This will bring you to a new screen.

Here you can enter the new name of a category that is relevant for your blog or website. If you would still like to create a fallback category of sorts, I suggest renaming this to something like News for example.

Be sure to rename the slug as well to ensure that your URLs generate correctly. When complete, click Update.

As mentioned above, this is a great solution if your website is still in development. If your website is live, and you have renamed the Uncategorized category, we suggest setting up redirect/s to preserve the URLs that may have been changed to avoid returning 404 errors.

There are two options for this:

  1. You could use a plugin such as Simple 301 Redirects. If you need assistance in installing a plugin.
  2. Alternately, if you don’t want to use a plugin, you can set up 301 redirects manually. This requires adding code to the .htaccess file in your server. Remember to make a backup of your site before editing source code files!

Option 2: Create a new default category

Another option for solving the Uncategorized category is to create a new default category. To do so, navigate to Posts > Categories and enter the new name for the default category in the left-hand side column.

Enter the relevant name for your default category, scroll down and click Add New Category. Once added, you’ll see the new category listed on the right-hand side of the category display.

Next, navigate to Settings > Writing. Here, under Writing Settings, navigate to Default Post Category and select the default category from the drop-down list.

When complete, click Save, and now your new default category will be saved. In the future, if you publish a post and forget to select its category, the default category will be assigned.
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