Changing the default WordPress Uncategorised to a name that makes more sense for the user and helps for SEO

Unfortunately changing the default WordPress Uncategorised to a name that makes more sense for the user and helps for SEO isn’t as common as I thought, in this article I go briefly over why it should be changed, and then show you how to change it. Also if you just don’t like reading scroll to the bottom where you can watch a video on how to do it.

When I set up a WordPress site. There are some things that I do routinely that make sense to me, and also help the site usability and SEO. Unfortunately not everybody see’s what I see, and just leave the site with the default settings.

One common usability problem I see is the default Blog Category. Most people leave the default category as uncategorised, but they usually forget to add a category to what they write, and their standard blog posts end up being grouped in an uncategorised category. Urgh! Not only does it present passing by users with a little bit of confusion, but in the sites permalink (url) it looks ugly and un-organised.

I don’t understand. If users take the time to setup their permalink structure for good SEO with %category%/%postname% and they go further and start writing good content, then why don’t they select a category or create a category list as they plan out their site.

As an example when people install a fresh copy of WordPress a default post with a comment is created under a default category of uncategorised. Part of my routine of cleaning up a fresh install is to delete this post(Hello World) (which also deletes the comment) and empty the trash, so it frees up wasted database (db) tables. I also delete any other default pages, and then get to work restructuring, and securing the site for my next project.

Instead of writing about all the routinely things I do to a fresh install, (its not the reason of this article) I will now go over how to change the default uncategorised to something different.

Time Needed: 5minutes
Skills: Basic User
Tools: A working copy of a self hosted WordPress install
User Access: Administrator or a user with a capability level of 7 or above.
Assumptions: You have a working install and are logged in and looking at the dashboard of WordPress.

So here we are looking at the dashboard and wondering how to change the default WordPress Uncategorised to a name that makes more sense for the user and helps for SEO.

There are actually two ways to change this (plus a third step if you use the publish by email setting), and all three are very quick to do.

The first way to change the uncategorized is to go to the settings>> Writing and change the default category to one that you’ve pre-created under blog>> categories. Select Save changes,  also in this section, see the Post via e-mail, you also need to select a default category, and then we are good to go.

The second way or alternative step, assumes you haven’t thought through a default category, and can’t simply select one from your list. Immediately what you need to do is make sure their are no posts using this default category, once either you have recategorised these posts or deleted them you can simply rename the category from the categories page. And WordPress will recognised the changed name, as the default category, and use this for any blog post where you have no sub-category to group them too.

Simply we are done.

Now you can be confident that every time you forget to add a post to a category that you at least have changed your default category to make perfect sense to the person reading your content.

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Chris La Nauze