One Simple Solution
to improving your WordPress archive pages
How to customise WordPress archive pages
The Category Editor plugin in the quickest and easiest way to customise the description of WordPress category and tag pages. It adds a short-code enbled WYSIWYG editor to the description area and also adds an additional content area below the listings.
It also allows for archive images and suing shortcodes to build graphical navigation menues of archives.
You can also set OG:Image values to help with Facebook sharing.
How do you customise the category or tag pages in WordPress and WooCommerce? It’s a question often asked. The standard archive pages can be pretty boring, not great for user experience and have poor SEO. But it’s not difficult to add the ability to fill up your archive pages with bright, colourful and interesting information that will boost your SEO and user experience.
By default this plugin supports:
- WordPress category and tag archive pages
- Woocommerce product category and product tag archive pages
Category Editor 4 and 5 brings a short-code enabled visual editor to the top description in the archive admin page. It also adds a new bottom description area for supplemental information. This means you can add images, videos, text and lots more enhancements to your WordPress category page.
It is one of the most effective plugins for WordPress that I have developed to help with search engine optimisation.
Why do I need Category Editor on my website?
The one thing that I notice in talking with the mobile indexing folks is that when the ecommerce category pages don’t have any other content at all other than links to the products then it’s really hard for us to rank those pages.
Jon Mueller, Google Trends Team 32:35
It’s hard for Google to figure out what an archive page is about unless there is some text there to work on. Apart from helping with search engines a nice rich content archive page helps you to brand your web site. That leads to a better visitor experience.
Having a great looking archive page encourages your visitors to stay longer and look around more.
Whether it is a blog list or a product list it is always useful to add supporting information to the archive.
Adding an editor to the WordPress category and tag description
The Category Editor plugin has been on the WordPress repository for a number of years now and has almost 50,000 downloads in its various versions. The free version of Category Editor can be downloaded through your plugin section and offers category description with editor.
The WYSIWYG editor means adding content easy and will allow shortcodes to work in the description area. It also works with Woocommerce product categories and tags.
The pro version of Category Editor adds extra functions to make your category listing pages a well designed and search engine optimised landing page in its own right.
The plugin provides the same functions as the free version for formatting the top description area and it also offers:
- An extra description area to allow you to an extra bottom content or description area. This allows you to add a lot more unique content to the listing page without forcing your visitors to scroll through lots of information before reaching your listings.
- Category SEO fields such as SEO title, SEO keywords and SEO description.
- There is also the option to set og:image for Facebook sharing
- You can set category and tag images.
- Shortcodes makes building a graphic menu quick and easy
There are 2 versions of Category Editor available for download, they both do exactly the same but one needs code to be added manually. This is available for themes that do not use the standard WordPress and Woocommerce hooks.
Making the category description area shortcode enabled
You can see Category Editor in action at Wildlife News in the Astronomy product category section.
You can also read a great write up of the free version over at WPMUDEV blog.
Shortcode feature of Category Editor Pro.
Since 5.4 and 4.6 you have the option to use shortcodes to call categories and tags for WordPress blogs together with the image. This makes it easy to display graphical menu navigation or feature particular categories or tags. In the free version, there is only the ability to call WordPress category images.
OG:image support for WordPress and Woocommerce categories and tags
Category Editor Pro now provides support for og:image to allow you to set an image to be used when your category or tag is shared to social media. You can now upload and image or choose one from your library to set as og:image.
For Facebook sharing, it is recommended that you set an image that is 1200px by 630px.
You can set the open graph image for WordPress categories and tags and also Woocommerce categories and tags.
Documentation for Category Editor:
Using image navigation shortcodes
Discover how to get the most out of the category and tag images and producing graphic based menu navigation for WordPress.
Non standard WordPress and Woocommerce themes
If the bottom description does not show or shows in the worng place you need Categroy Editor v4 and follow these instructions.
Using Category Editor with Custom Taxonomies
This is still experimental and you will need Category Editor Alpha and follow these instructions. Please note that Cetegory Editor Alpha is unsupported.
See other support for Category Editor.
Change log for Category Editor Pro:
== Changelog ==
* Woocommerce product tag image menu shortcode now working.
= 5.5.2 =
* Bugfix – stop adding empty og:image tags in some circumstances.
= 5.5.1 =
* Bugfix for sites without Woocommerce installed.
= 5.5 =
*New feature – og:image support for categories and tags for WordPress and Woocomerce.
= 5.4.3 =
* Bugfix on parent category image shortcode. Changed code to only show direct child categories of parents – previous it would also show child of child.
= 5.4.2 –
* cleaned up php tags causing problems with adding whitespace to rss feeds
= 5.4.1 =
* bug fixed – opening div outside buffer causing styling conflicts
= 5.4 =
* Added new feature. New shortcodes to display category and tag image thumbnails as a graphical navigation option.
= 5.3.2 =
* Updated to deal with changes to div ids in the latest version of WordPress to hide the old description box and also to deal with new get screen calls.
= 5.3.1 =
* added oembed filter to the top description to allow for auto embedding
* add low priority for bottom description firing to try an add the description after any pagination etc. Note this is theme dependent and depends on how themes add pagination etc.
= 5.3 =
* fixed issue of seo meta description not returning value in the editor screen
= 5.2 =
* add filter to check for 1st page display of WordPress category and tag listings.
* added stripslashes to meta tags and seo to tackle escaping slashes.
= 5.1 =
* added check for main loop as the bottom description was being called in sidebar with some recent posts widgets and plugins.
= 5.0 =
* tidied up some code
* used css to hide old meta boxes in place of jquery to reduce potential conflicts
* auto loaded bottom description in WordPress and woocommerce for ease of use.