How to Organize Web Content with Categories in Joomla

As sites get bigger, organizing them becomes more important. For that purpose, the Joomla content management system (CMS) uses categories. It may be helpful to think of your Joomla site as a desk, a category as a file folder in that desk, and an article as an individual piece of paper.

Make every effort to fit your articles into categories. Your site may be fine with a few uncategorized articles for a while, but when it starts to grow, masses of uncategorized articles become very difficult for you to keep track of.

Organizing your site into categories is good practice not only from the back-end perspective, but also from the front-end perspective. By organizing your site into categories, you make your site more user-friendly. By making the site more user-friendly, you may generate more return visits to your website, which makes setting up categories a worthwhile endeavor.

Set up Joomla categories

Suppose that you have a client named SuperDuperMegaCo that has three product lines: ice cream, sandwiches, and ships. People who navigate to the company’s website to read about ocean liners probably aren’t going to be interested in ice cream or sandwiches, so it makes sense to divide the web pages on this site into three categories, one for each of the three products:

SuperDuperMegaCo
|
|____ Ice Cream
|
|____ Sandwiches
|
|____ Ships

That way, site visitors can access pages that summarize each section.

Nest more categories in Joomla

A nested category is just a fancy name for category within a category. Using the SuperDuperMegaCo example, you could divide the Ice Cream category into a number of nested categories: Bars, Cartons, and Cones. You could also divide the Sandwiches section into three nested categories: Subs, Wraps, and Triple Deckers. Finally, you could divide the Ships section into three nested categories: Oil Tankers, Cruise Ships, and Aircraft Carriers.

With older versions of Joomla, there was a limit on how many nest categories a site could utilize. Site administrators were limited to a mere 2 levels of organization. With Joomla 1.6’s nested category method of site organization, there’s no limit to the number of categories that you can implement on a site. With such flexible options at your disposal, you have no excuse for being disorganized!

Lay out the site

Next, you plan the organizational layout of the site.

In the example scenario, you would wind up with this category and nested category organization:

SuperDuperMegaCo
|
|____ Ice Cream
}   |
|   |___ Bars
}   |
|   |___ Cartons
}   |
|   |___ Cones
|
|____ Sandwiches
}   |
|   |___ Subs
}   |
|   |___ Wraps
}   |
|   |___ Triple Deckers
|
|____ Ships
   |
   |___ Oil Tankers
   |
   |___ Cruise Ships
   |
   |___ Aircraft Carriers

In addition, the client may want a few uncategorized pages on the site, such as its privacy policy.

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