Customise Category Archive Pages
Boost and brand your category and tag pages
The Category Editor Pro plugin for WordPress and Woocommerce is the easiest way to manage and design your archive pages. A well-developed archive page boosts visitor retention and experience. That in turn boosts your search results.
What this plugin does:
- adds a TinyMCE editor to your category and tag description area in the editor screen
- makes the description area shortcode enabled so you can run your favourite shortcodes in the description
- adds a second text area below the listings so you can add more background information containing long-tail keywords and phrases
- adds a OG:Image option for your category and tag pages to improve social sharing
- adds a category and tag image option to help build graphical menus
- adds shortcodes to build graphical navigation of category and tag pages using the image option
This plugin pretty much does everything you need to help develop compelling archive pages that encourage your web visitors to stay and browse.
Archive types that Category Editor Pro works with
Out of the box, this plugin works with WordPress category and tag archive pages and Woocommerce product category and product tag archive pages.
There is a hack you can do to get this to work with other custom taxonomies which is explained here. This may be an option in the future for this plugin if it is possible to do.
Why use the plugin?
Category Editor gives you a lot of power to style and customise your archive pages without needing to know any coding. You may need to do some CSS to get the text areas to work with your theme but there is no real coding needed.
You should ensure that your theme calls the taxonomy-description or term-description field for this plugin to work. If your theme does not call the field then you will need to set up a child theme to call the function.
In the same way, you need to ensure that your theme uses good WordPress standards in the way that it calls the loop. The loop needs to be called correctly for the bottom description text area to show.
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
Adding text content to the archive pages helps the search engine better understand what the page is about. If you rely purely on the list of posts or products to do the job then the search engines may have difficulty deciding what your page is about.
Making your archive pages interesting and attractive also helps to encourage your web visitor to stay longer and explore more. The longer the visitor stays and gets a good experience the better for your page in the search engines.
In addition, by designing your page you can take your site branding out across the archive pages too. This helps to embed your site and brand identity into your web visitors mind.
This plugin does more than just add a WYSIWYG editor to the category description box though.
Improved archive page sharing
Getting people to share your posts is essential to help build an audience. But when someone shares a category or tag archive page you don’t know what image will be posted to Facebook or the social network.
Category Editor Pro adds a OG:Image upload option. This means you can provide an image that perfectly represents the archive. A great picture can really boost the response rate when a page is shared. Now you can help boost your page shares with an informative and click-worthy image.
Improved archive navigation
By default category and tag page navigation in WordPress is as a list. If you wanted to make a graphical menu you would have to upload images and then link images to each category or tag page. No more, not with Category Editor Pro.
Now you have the option to upload an archive picture for each category and tag. Then whenever you want to display a navigation menu with images you simply use a shortcode and include the archive id number to display the image, link and title.
It makes building custom menus with images fast and easy. For instance, you could put together a featured categories menu and display it using the shortcode anywhere that runs shortcode. Or if you wanted to promote a new archive then you could call it and its image using a shortcode and archive id.
The Category Editor Pro plugin has been around for many years and is now used on hundreds of sites. The limited free version at WordPress is being used on thousands of sites with good reviews.
Difference between 2 versions of plugin
Category Editor Pro comes in 2 versions. Version 4 and version 5.
If your web theme uses standard WordPress loops and calls then version 5 is the version for you. It simply plugs and plays. No coding needs to be done.
If your web theme does not use WordPress standards for the loop then version 4 is for you and you will need to add some code to a child theme to call the bottom description area.
If you need to use version 4 but don’t know how to code I can install the code for you provided it is fairly straight forward as a theme. For really complex themes I may need to charge for this service. Fortunately, I’ve never yet had to as it’s been fairly straightforward to see how the theme works.
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 wrong place you need Category Editor v4 and follow these instructions.
See other support for Category Editor.