TentBlogger’s SEO Categories Plugin for WordPress

Make your categories better for your readers and the search engines!

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

Remember how we’ve already discussed choosing the right permalinks for your WordPress blog? Well, to take it one step further you’re going to want to check out this WordPress Plugin that I’ve released that’ll make sure all of your permalinks are truly effective and SEO-friendly (not to mention prettier)!

*Drum Roll Please*

I’m pleased to announce the release of TentBlogger’s SEO Categories Plugin for WordPress!

What is this you say? It’s quite simple actually:

SEO Categories optimizes your permalink structure at the category level to make them as functional (and pretty) as possible for both your users and the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) that index your content! tweet

Practically this plugin removes the word category from your permalink structure turning this:

[cc]/category/my-cool-category-name/[/cc]

to this:

[cc]/my-cool-category-name/[/cc]

Why is this important? Here’s why:

Pretty and Functional Permalinks Increase SEO, Reader Engagement, and More!

Currently WordPress requires that you have the word category in your link when you jump into a specific category on your blog. This increases the length of the actual link which is completely unnecessary!

I go in depth on how to Choose the Right Permalinks for your WordPress Blog here, which you’ll definitely want to read!

Getting rid of this requirement helps in the following ways:

  • Better permalinks for SEO (Search Engines, Indexing your blog posts). You don’t need “category” every single time!
  • More pretty category structure for your users helps them engage with your content better which can directly result in increased readership.
  • Since it’s also more pretty it’s more easily memorable for your readers.
  • Better information architecture of your blog which I believe plays a significant role in your overall user experience.

A few things of note with this WordPress Plugin:

  • It’s super light and fast.
  • Doesn’t require any setup! Works “Out of the Box”!
  • Doesn’t interfere with any of your other plugins. Plays quite nicely!
  • Works with your existing sub-categories!
  • Recirects old category permalinks to the new ones via a 301 redirect so you don’t lose any existing SEO.

There is literally no reason for you NOT to use this plugin. I use it for every single blog that I use and wouldn’t run a new blog with out.

So go get it right now at the WordPress Plugin Repository: TentBlogger’s SEO Categories Plugin for WordPress!

Of course, I must give a big “Hat Tip” to my fellow partner in crime, @MoreTom, who’s helping me serve you guys with amazing WordPress Plugins!

Finally, make sure to check out all the other WordPress-related stuff (WordPress Themes, WordPress Plugins) that I’m releasing here.

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

  • Heath

    John, thanks again for another fabulous wordpress resource!

    • John Saddington

      sure thing heath!

      • Chris

        John, will this improve the permalinks even if I have them set as this(custom)…./%postname%/ ? I have mine set like you do in your “Choosing the Right Permalinks For your wordpress blog” piece

        BTW…what plugin do you use for the social slider that follows me down the post? or is that custom? Also, does that come with your Standard Theme?

        Thanks John

        • http://tommcfarlin.com Tom McFarlin

          Hey Chris,

          This plugin should work with any variety of permalink structure that are defined – even custom configurations.

          • Chris

            Thanks Tom,

            Do you know if the social slider on the right of the blog is custom or is that a plugin? I love it

            • http://tommcfarlin.com Tom McFarlin

              We built that into Standard Theme itself.

              John added the Stumble Upon option himself, but the other three are out-of-the-box.

              • http://john.do John Saddington

                true dat.

            • Matt Fraser

              Chris (and others who may not be using the Standard Theme),

              You can get a third party plugin with similar functionality here:

              http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/digg-digg/

              • Matt Fraser

                This is of course in regards to the social slider plugin.

  • Adam

    Cool. Will be adding this plugin to the blog today.

    • John Saddington

      sweet!

  • Phillip Gibb

    very awesome – this addresses something I dislike on one my blog
    separates internal organization of categories from external representation

    • John Saddington

      i agree.!

  • http://www.bensayin.com Ben

    Sweetness!

  • http://www.abrahamchronicles.com Dustin

    WIN!

  • ThatGuyKC

    Another boom-sauce plugin from tentblogger? Done.

  • http://seejamieblog.com See Jamie blog

    Got it! Love it! Thanks! :)

  • http://geekrev.com/about herbhalstead

    Just installed it – flawless – I love that it fixes existing links

    • John Saddington

      i like that it does too..!

  • http://reflectivemusings.com Jonathan Griffiths

    Mr. Saddington, you are a genius, a gentleman and a scholar. Just installed, works perfectly as advertised. Thank you!!

    • John Saddington

      ah, enjoy it!

  • http://www.andyallen.com Andy Allen

    You’re a rockstar! Thanks John!

  • http://blogussion.com Derek Jensen

    Brilliant! Just downloaded and activated.

  • http://www.malaysiaworkathome.com/ Roseli A. Bakar

    Another briliant plugin. Thanks John.

  • David Norman

    Beautiful! Well done bro!

  • http://www.timgraves.info Tim Graves

    I love it, works perfectly!

    Looking forward to the rest of this series =D

  • Marni

    Again…sweet! Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is awesome! I am telling my husband about it so he can use this for his blog! :)

    • John Saddington

      ah, how nice of you!

  • td

    Nice! For some reason I feel like I should say WordPress here, so…Wordpress

  • http://noblegiant.com Jordan Andree

    this is the jam

  • http://www.mutantminds.com Mutant Minds

    Thanks for getting back to “”work”” Tom. Now we have another great plugin thanks to your iterative development!

    Wow! Now my blog will be even prettier.

    • http://tommcfarlin.com Tom McFarlin

      Thanks dude ;)!

  • Rachel- Des Moines Wedding Savvy

    Thanks for the plug-in, I’m excited to use it:)

    Your website has been a FABULOUS resource for me. I just started making money through advertising and you have helped with all the Q’s I have. I downloaded your advert contract and it’s the basis for what I give my clients. Your blog is everything I need in one place.

    Plus, I saw you are a Jesus follower, I am too:) Thanks again!!

    • John Saddington

      thanks for joining this small blog on the internet! we’ve just gotten started!

  • http://www.windhoverhouse.com Sam

    The plugin works just as it should, but when I add a new category, I get two error messages pertaining to the plugin. Has anyone else had this problem?

    • http://tommcfarlin.com Tom McFarlin

      Hey Sam,

      I was able to recreate this. We’ll see bout getting it patched as soon as possible.

      Once it’s done, the update will show up automatically in the WordPress dashboard.

      Until then, the workaround for adding a category would be to disable the plugin, add the category, then activate it again.

      Thanks for the heads up – appreciate it!
      Tom

      • http://www.windhoverhouse.com Sam

        Thanks, Tom. I used your workaround the first time. The second time I just refreshed the page, which removed the error messages and added the category.

        I look forward to the update.

        • http://tommcfarlin.com Tom McFarlin

          Sam,

          I just checked in the update. Your WordPress dashboard should show the new version within the next half hour or so.

          • http://www.windhoverhouse.com Sam

            Tom,
            I just installed the update and it works perfectly. Thanks for addressing that issue so promptly!

            • John Saddington

              tom’s a good guy, that one…..

  • http://www.beautifulcanvas.org Dave ©

    Out of curiosity, how is it different from “WP No Category Base” plugin?

    • John Saddington

      great question dave. essentially it does similar things except ours is:

      - superior in terms of code
      - updated as it relates to better seo practices
      - long term plans are to add some neat features at the post level and more… you won’t want to miss out on versions 2++.
      - is newer… the last time that plugin was updated was in june of last year…!
      - backed by the tenblogger brand of awesomeness (if that even exists)
      - is built with more love than your grandmother’s cookies.

      :)

      • http://www.beautifulcanvas.org Dave ©

        My grandmother doesn’t make cookies but she does make some seriously saweet fudge!

        Thanks. I installed your version and uninstalled WP No Category Base. You’ve earned my trust!

        • John Saddington

          dude, that’s what i like to hear! you’ll like the opt-in at the post-level.

  • Sean Sabourin

    Once again, you did it! Thanks!

    • John Saddington

      sure thing bro!

  • Giorgos Androulidakis

    Brilliant! Thank you!
    How about a similar SEO tags plugin? Would make an equally useful counterpart for the permalinks structure.

    • John Saddington

      this is interesting since i don’t use tags… and there’s reason. i’ll explore this.

      • Giorgos Androulidakis

        Looking forward for you to elaborate on that!

  • Giorgos Androulidakis

    Just an afterthought: Another option would be to simply integrate the SEO tags functionality into the SEO categories plugin.

    • http://tommcfarlin.com Tom McFarlin

      Good thought, Giorgos. We’re going to plan on something like this soon.

  • http://www.beautyisdiverse.com Beauty Is Diverse

    I’m going to install this plugin today.

  • http://www.davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    After I switched my permalink structure, all the other internal links on my blog were disabled. Is there a quick way to switch the original links to the new permalink?

    Thanks!

    • http://www.randykinnick.com Randy Kinnick

      Yeah…I had the same problem. I have gone back and manually changed them for a few pages.

    • http://tommcfarlin.com Tom McFarlin

      Which version of the plugin are you running?

      The earliest version had a bug that would be prevent this but the latest resolved this issue.

      Let me know!

      • http://www.randykinnick.com Randy Kinnick

        Version 1.3

        BTW…the social widget has started showing tweets double-spaced again. I had gone in a changed the css to fix this before, now it’s back to where it was. I haven’t checked the code yet to see if it changed somehow. I made the change before based on input from another tentblogger here.

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          we’ll take a look randy.

          • http://www.randykinnick.com Randy Kinnick

            I changed the code again…somehow it had disappeared. I may have upgraded (can’t remember). It’s okay now. As far as the change of the previous post urls, let me know. Appreciate all your awesomeness, guys.

      • http://www.davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

        Tom, all my past links within my site are still not working. Whenever I changed the permalink structure they all went bad. I have the newest update of this plugin. Any ideas on how to fix this?

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          are you using permalinks structures?

          • http://www.davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

            Yes, I implemented the custom structure you recommended: /%postname%/

            All my old links are getting the Error – 404 message.

            • http://john.do John Saddington

              can you give me an example? do you have any other plugins running?

              • http://www.davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

                Click any links on this page and you’ll see the error message: http://www.davidsantistevan.com/best-of-the-blog-2010/

                The plugins I have running are: Askimet, All in One SEO Pack, Better Adjacent Post Links, Drop Caps, FD Feedburner plugin, Google Analytics for WordPress, Gravatar Signup Encouragement, nrelate related content, sexy bookmarks, tentblogger seo categories, tentblogger social widget, thank me later, wordpress.com stats, wordpress importer, wp-table reloaded, wp super cache, & wptouch

                Thanks for helping me out with this. I’m no expert :)

                • http://john.do John Saddington

                  that’s really weird becuase it’s working fine for me.

                  http://cl.ly/3Z1Q072I062c3v2h1R1R

                  i think you have some cacheing….. yes. wp super cache…. clean that out and then reset those write rules in the options!

                  • http://www.davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

                    Did you check the links in that post?

                    I deleted the wp super cache plugin and i’m stilling getting the error.

  • http://www.steveperky.com Steve Perky

    Thanks, John and Tom, this is great!!!

    • http://tommcfarlin.com Tom McFarlin

      :) Thanks Steve

  • Dave Anthold

    I just installed the plug-in & that is a sick (in a good way) plugin – love it. Thanks.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sure thing dave!

  • http://jarederickson.com Jared Erickson

    @Tom makes my heart melt

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      you make me smile.

    • http://tommcfarlin.com Tom McFarlin

      You’re both tubular to me.

  • http://jpc101.com James

    Thanks John! This is gonna become one of my ‘must install’ plugins!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sweet! thanks man! feel free to tell others and blog about it!

  • http://www.davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    I think we ran out of space in that comment stream. I do have the most recent version of wordpress. Can I email you the admin info?

  • Serge

    First let me say thanks for this great piece! :)

    A question, if I’m not too late: how would affect tha rankings if it affects it at all? I mean, if one category ranks with 2 and I install the plugin would be a problem for G guy?

    Cause I know Google (G guy) is pretty sensitive to changes.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      it should help you see an increase over time.

      • Serge

        That I’ve figured by myself already. :P I was more worried about the actual PR. But thanks, I think I got it.

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          cool. let me know how it goes!

  • GRP Roofing

    Hi, I installed the plugin but found that it was interfering with my rss feed for my categories. Is there anyway to correct this?

    Thanks
    Ryan

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      hmm. are you using a plugin for the feed categories?

  • http://gbrenna.com Graham

    I love this!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      ;) thanks bro!

  • http://www.adamlehman.us Adam Lehman

    Thank you sir! I’ll be using this on my newest blog venture.

    (You don’t know this, but you’re my blogging coach. I’m determined to blog my way out of my day job.)

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      that’s what i did… and it worked. ;)

  • nathan

    Hi john, I just happen to accidentally saw your plug-in and got attracted to it. As a new blogger, I am very much interested in getting my blog SEO friendly.

    I dropped by to say thanks for this nice and useful plug-in!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sure thing nathan! consider subscribing and sticking with us here! we’re a growing community of bloggers just like you!

  • http://hopefaithprayer.com/ Rex Rouis

    Great Blog and information, thanks! I want to take your advice and switch from W3TC to WP Super Cache, but WPSC requires that I use custom permalinks. I would also love to take your advice and change from the ugly permalink structure to your recommended /%postname%/ structure BUT I am very concerned (afraid) to lose 3 years of posts, pages, many internal links, and GREAT Google rankings.

    I changed to /%postname%/ using the Permalink setting in WordPress (3.1.2) on another blog and the internal links worked afterward and Google worked but once I edited a page and re-saved it I lost the connection and it went 404 on me. Will your plugin ‘save’ me? And will Google move to the new permalinks over time, or are the old ones always going to be around?

    Also, if I buy Standard Theme can I somehow mimic how my site is laid out and structured? I guess that’s it. Thanks, Rex

  • http://workingforwonka.com kathy

    I’ve just recently gotten back on the horse with my blog, (my blog likes going for short trots around the web) and in the back of my mind was an old post you wrote about categories. I woke up this morning thinking, gotta remember what John said about category structure.

    One quick tentblogger search later I have mutliple videos, great instruction and insight…and now THIS!! Can’t wait to try it.

    My categories will be neatly pruned, useful and using beautiful permalinks by the end of the day.

    thanks as always for being right there where I needed you! (now would you mind feeding the aforementioned horse?)

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      ;) hah! glad you’re back in the saddle!

      • http://hopefaithprayer.com/ Rex Rouis

        Thanks for your response, sorry for the following clarifications:

        1. If I don’t want category naming in my permalinks, how does the plugin help me?
        2. If I edit a page and re-save it, will I lose the old links and redirect (mine were lost using WordPress permalink setting).
        3. Will Google eventually migrate over to search for the new permalinks, or will the old ones always need the 301 redirect?
        4. If you deactivate the plugin do they all go back to ‘ugly’ default?

        Woo hoo, I passed a 1,000 hits in a day today (1,109)! Not much for others but it’s huge for me. And thank you for getting my novice hands off W3TC!

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          1. it gets rid of the word “category”
          2. if you use this plugin it should be fine. if you change permalinks you will need to redirect them to the new permalink.
          3. google will crawl your site and see the updates.
          4. yes.

          congrats!

  • http://www.rickwsmith.com Rick Smith

    Woahhh.. For the first time I checked out google webmaster tools, and it says I have like 424 links that are “not found.” From what I can tell when I enabled the plug in and messed up most of my old links because they had a different structure to them.

    Am I missing something? Is there a way to fix this…?

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      yes. there is. i’ll work with you this week.

  • Matt Fraser

    John,

    What about using Category Structures for SEO Siloing?

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      what about it?

      • Matt Fraser

        Is it something that you yourself use? If so how doe you go about deciding how to structure your categories? (Yes I did read your post on Categories and Tags, perhaps I missed something) That being said, I’m going to download and install your plugin but if you choose categories to file your posts under and but use /%postname%/ will it matter what categories you choose? Curious what your experience/thoughts are? Call me stupid but I assume that your plugin will simply remove the word category from WP but will keep your categorie names…correct?

  • http://milliverstravels.com Milliver’s Travels

    Interesting. I didn’t know about this.

    My permalinks don’t say “category” but they do display the archive date, like this:

    /2010/07/espresso-the-art-of-the-perfect-breve

    I don’t mind all that much but if there’s a way to remove the date maybe I should? Will this plugin do that? And does it work on .org WordPress sites or only .com?

    Thanks! ~ Milli

  • http://ziolowyzakatek.blogspot.com/ Atria

    Hello John,

    First of all, I just dig into your blog and I try to apply your suggestions to my new WordPress site (it will be a continuation of my blogger blog). Thanks!

    I’ve managed to change permalinks structure with no harm to my blog, installed and activated the plug-in but then, nothing happened, as if the plug-in did’t work.

    Any ideas why?

    Thanks!

    Atria

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      atria,

      not sure what you mean. there’s nothing that you really need to do…?

  • http://noahsdad.com Rick Smith

    When I go to your site and click on posts it looks like the plug in works fine. Your categories aren’t showing.

    However, I do still see the dates. Did you go into your wordpress settings and change the permalinks to %postname% and click “save?”

    When I first started following Johns suggestions I’d sometimes forget to hit save…but that’s just me.

    Welcome to the site. There is no place online with information about blogging I trust more then tentblogger!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      thanks rick!

  • http://ziolowyzakatek.com.pl/ Atria

    Thanks for reply!

    There is a little mess with my site: I’ve linked to my blog on blogger, but here is my site on WP: http://ziolowyzakatek.com.pl/ (still under construction, so I don’t want people to see it;))

    Wnen you click on post link, you can see permalinks structure: categories/post. It didn’t changed after activate a plug in.

    Thanks!

    ps. the site is just .. well, I don’t like this word.. but it is awesome.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      i see… is it still activated?

  • http://itsiti.com ITsiti

    Great! Great! Great! Thanks man!!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sure thing. :)

  • http://ziolowyzakatek.com.pl/ Atria

    Hello,

    Yes, it is activated. I’ve desactivated it and activated again,but nothing happened, link structure still is “category/post”. But don’t worry it is a little thing, nothing crucial, right?:)

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      no, it won’t affect anything… but that’s really odd. i’ll look into it.

  • bob33

    404 File not found in wordpress plugin

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      running a fix. thanks! sorry bout that.

    • http://8bit.io Tom McFarlin

      Fixed – pushed an update to the other plugins, too.

      • http://john.do John Saddington

        thanks tom.

  • robin

    Love the idea of the plugin, but I have a client on a windows server (with the almost pretty permalinks) and the plugin seems to strip the index.php from the meta tags in the posts (which kills the links). If I deactivate the plugin, it’s OK. Will use it for other sites, though.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      hmm. that’ s interesting. what blog?

      • robin

        It’s a website for an ecologist. The plugin has been removed, though (it was not just in the posts–the WP category list was also not working–I could fix that by hand, but it wasn’t a good long-term solution).

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          very good!

  • rika agustini

    Hi, i had this plug in on my blog, and i found a lot of 404 error marked as repaired? but i am still seeing repair all, do i have to click on repair all? or its already automatically repaired? i am a bit confused. also why is so many error on my blog? is there any way i can make it right or minimize it? i just changed my theme, and seem have a lot of trouble lately,

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      hm. have it go through the scanning process again.

  • Lachlan

    What happens if there is a page that is already the same name as a category, ie domain.com/random/ and a category called ‘random’? Which takes preference?

    Thanks :)

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      depends on your settings, but whichever is published first takes the cake.

  • http://adammason.com Adam Mason

    Will this remove “collections” from the ProPhoto theme as well? That’d be cool.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      perhaps. i haven’t tried it there.

  • http://deluxejournal.com otobong

    Its a wonderful plugin. Thanks bro

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sure thing otobong.

  • Chenoa

    First of all, excellent plugin — but here’s my question. I have a static homepage and my blog as an inside page. I want to remove the word ‘category’, but I still want to have the name of the blog before the category name.

    For Example:
    1. http://www.company.com/ceoblog/category/insights
    2. Needs to become —-> http://www.company.com/ceoblog/insights
    3. But when using this plugin, it becomes http://www.company.com/insights

    Is there a way to keep the blog name but still remove the word category?

    Thank you.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      got your email. responded.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      there are a few plugins that’ll allow this as well. you could edit the code of mine as well.

  • http://gravatar.com/kiridal Kiriakos

    I have my permalinks like this /%category%/%postname%/ .
    Will this plugin sill be useful for me ?

  • http://arrenda-pt.com Arrendar casa

    Does anyone know if this plugin is compatible with Classipress from Appthemes?

  • http://magisblogger.com R. Anthony Solis

    Any plans to update this plugin? Really like the idea of relying on Standard’s SEO and this SEO Categories plugin – keeps the site lite and nimble.

    Thanks,
    Anthony

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      are you having trouble with it? is it not working?

      • http://magisblogger.com R. Anthony Solis

        Oh no it seems to be working fine, I’m not a plugin developer but an old programmer from the Assembly, C+ days… I thought it was common practice to make sure the code worked with the latest WP and if it does, to update it in the WP Plugin repository.

        John – really enjoying the “freshness” of your blog and your work.

        - rAS

  • http://blogsuccessjournal.com Dan Baritchi

    Hey John! Great plugin! Is there a way for it to support Custom Post Types as well? i.e. to remove “/custom-type-category/” from the URL?

    Thanks!

    • http://john.do/ John Saddington

      this wasn’t planned for right now. i don’t have time to update it but perhaps in the future.

  • http://sasa-kovacevic.dk/ Sasa Kovacevic

    Great tip John. I am writing an article about your plugin and you right now. Thanks man!

  • http://www.cefozyt.com Vijendra Dhanotiya

    i love it