The ISA-Bus

One blog to bind them all.

What I’m really missing in WordPress

One feature I’m really missing in WordPress is the ability to give an introduction or description to categories and tags. Yes, I can add a short description, and some themes will display it as a tooltip on the link. What I would like is a sort of “about” page, either a page or post that is displayed on top of the post list, or a “sticky” function within a given category or tag, so that one post will always be on top of the list.

This is hardly relevant for a traditional blog, the way it was concieved thirteen years ago, as evident from names like LiveJournal. But more and more people are using blogging software (especially, I think, WordPress) for more or less standard websites that provide information on a certain subjedt or simply display images. That WordPress automatically provides a search function, and automatically indexes your posts through tags and categories, is a great advantage. One of the things that annoyed me more and more about my old games site was that whenever I added a page, I had to manually update half a dozen or so lists.

To use categories and tags well is something that has to be learned and that I’m still learning. Here, on my first blog, the categories are complete crap and I’ll probably have to make completely new ones at some point. But for my art blog, I found a system that gave me no problems even at nearly three hundred posts.

I try to keep the number of categories low, to avoid confusing endless lists, and file nearly all posts under just one category. Since every post presents one item, this is relatively easy: Most categories just define what the item is, a painting, a poem, a sculpture. These categories need no explanation.

The details go into the tags. I try not to go overboard here either, and usually restrict myself to artist, the motif if it is a standard, and the sitter if it is a portrait. Recently I’ve added decades, so that you can look up approximately contemporary pieces, and sometimes I add other special tags, but sparingly.

Some of these tags do need an explanation, and most would deserve an introduction. In any post that introduces a new motif (most Western art from 1500 to 1800 is execution of standard motifs) I give a short description, but of course this post will eventually be buried at the bottom of the list. It would be nice to be able to put the description on top of the list, or make that first post a sticky.

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