How do I show WordPress categories as Tags?

Tagging is defined by the rel="tag" property of the tag in HTML.  From the Technorati Developer’s Wiki:

RelTag is one of several MicroFormats. By adding rel="tag" to a hyperlink, a page indicates that the destination of that hyperlink is an author-designated “tag” (or keyword/subject) of the current page. Note that a tag may just refer to a major portion of the current page (i.e. a blog post). e.g. by placing this link on a page,

<a href="; rel="tag">tech</a>

the author indicates that the page has the tag “tech”.

The linked page SHOULD exist, and it is the linked page, rather than the link text that defines the tag.

Tagging, so-called, is a human-implemented tool that helps search engines (and other people) classify information on a page or feed and intelligently organize their relationships.  

On your computer, or in your email program, if you use folders to categorize data, you are, in a way, tagging them into a nomenclature you can rely on later to extract information.

A natural tag we put on blog items is the category we decide they should be in.

But, the native install of WordPress doesn’t format your category links with the rel="tag" property.  We have to help things along…

To update your WordPress install so that all categories in the posts are displayed as tags, you need to edit the file /wp-includes/template-functions-category.php.  Simply use your text/HTML editor to find-and-replace the following strings:

find:'<a href="'

replace it with: '<a rel="tag" href="'


  • Making a mistake in your code here may break your blog.  Backup this file before you edit it, just in case!
  • Although this hack will survive between themes, when you upgrade to a new WordPress version, this hack may be lost.  Bookmark this page, or add it to so you remember.
  • I recommend you do NOT add the rel=”tag” specification to your generic “whole site” category listing–this is overkill and will falsely tell the search-engines and spiders that visit your site that every page on your site is tagged with all the same things.  That destroys relevance of tags…
    it would be like having all contestants in a race finish at the exact millisecond and then trying to declare a winner.


I used Simplecode to help with the code-formatting on this page



2 thoughts on “How do I show WordPress categories as Tags?

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