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Managing Categories

by Ben
So you’ve been a chief editor on a hub for a while, and you’ve decided that, with so many articles, maybe it’s time to look at the categories, sort of tidy them up, make them all neat.

Then you take a look and tabs...


So many categories…

With all of that, and a good number of options up the top, what is a person to do?

Well firstly, thanks to the sort option, you’ll now only need to do this once. After a full sweep through your categories, you can just check it occasionally and update any new categories.

So where do we start first?

So first, what are types, levels and divisions?

Firstly, types:
Types define where things are displayed in the side bar of the page.

Sydney sits on a level separate to NSW and to Northern Beaches, so are displayed separately, with their own colours

Everything has a Type of 1 to start, and the higher the Type number, the further up the page. So, to look at the image again

- Type one, type 2, type c lines

So it’s really clear why adding some types can be good, even just moving three or four important categories to the top by making them type 5.

What then is a level?

Okay, say I’ve clicked through on the category of Sydney (which, to note, is in level 5), we see something that you might not have seen. Instead of the regular hub side scrawl we have an entirely different list!

Everything displayed in orange here is anything on a different LEVEL. Categories on different levels can be combined, for example if I click on the Daytime page it takes me to a new page Sydney - Daytime.

This shows all activities that have both the Sydney category AND the daytime category.

And here’s where things get really exciting.

Say we come to an individual page, such as the Nicholson Museum.

At the top of the article, there are a nice selection of categories, and maybe we’ve already checked out the Nicholson, so we click on ‘History’.

BAM! Sydney History

The search will automatically narrow to explorita.com.au/sydney/history. So we see here, we can set, say, all locations as level 5, and then people browsing categories can be directed towards things that fit within the level 5 set.

Okay, but what about our last one, divisions?

Divisions are only relevant if you have levels, so if you don’t want to put levels in, you can safely ignore this and move to the next part.

Okay, so back to the Nicholson. Nicholson has two tags on the same level. Both New South Wales and Sydney are level 5s (locations for Explorita). So how does it know to always combine with Sydney? That’s because Sydney is on Division 2, that gives it priority in being combined.

Okay, that’s all great Ben, and I’m glad we can do all of this, but HOW do I actually make these changes to make it all fancy?

Cool, so let’s come back to our first page, the category editing page.

The Change to button is your best friend for editing types, levels and divisions. Set the change number, and then click on any number after a category to change the value.

So if you’re assigning a lot of things to level 5, just set your value to 5, and run through clicking on everything you want to change

(Extra tip, you can hold down control so clicking on it opens the link in a new tab, so it doesn’t take you away from the page you are editing each time).

What about combining categories?

Say you’ve got two very similar categories, say cafe and cafes, walking and walks. If you change the name of the one you don’t want to the name of the one you want on the editing page, then, like magic, it is absorbed in to the correct one, and all uses in an article get changed.

But what if you think people will still sometimes tag #indoors over #indoor? Well, we’ve got you covered here. By adding things to a conversion, they will then automagically changed.

But what about if you think someone searching might still want to be able to search indoors? Well, anything in the replacements category will also lead searches to your chosen preferred category.

This is my favourite set of tools for tidying categories up, and making that work stick, so they stay tidier in the future.

Additional feature: Categories can have a parent ID, which makes it a subcategory of another category. This currently makes it appear at the top of possible combine categories, but will instead narrow the search rather than combining.

Parent IDs (and so grouping categories together) is something we will be working to bulk up a bit in the future.
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