Support » Fixing WordPress » handling categories : WP Question

  • Resolved venator48



    I’m using a large number of categories. My blog’s coverage of issues and news events is commonly ongoing, and by labelling posts with multiple categories, I am indexing them, and making my past posting searchable, and discussion threads linkable with one url.

    WP has a category number limit.

    Recently, the number of categories I use created a MySQL 127 Error.

    I changed the limit from 100 to 5000, and that produced a MySQL Error 13. The Comments DB is out of order.

    I am hoping to hire someone with greater skills than my own to modify my Theme to feature a link to a separate category page, and I wish to keep a large limit on category number.


    Can anyone tell me if there is any intrinsic reason related to WordPress’s design and programming which definitely precludes having categories numbering above 1000?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
  • Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    I can think of no good reason for anybody to use more than 100 categories. If you need to index posts in a more specific way, you really should be using tags instead. Try Ultimate Tag Warrior. Then you can tag your posts with as many keywords and tags as you like, and have them all searchable/indexed/etc. You can link posts by tags and you can have URLs of the form for unifying posts by those tags and so forth.

    Generally, categories should be very broad ranges of topics. Tags have no such limitation.

    Categories are visible to readers, who can thus find indexed posts by subject. What good are invisible tags to readers?

    Every plug-in does not work with every theme. As a matter of fact, I think I once tried running Ultimate Tag Warrior, hoping to increase visibility of my postings to web searches, and I think I found that one did work with the Theme I use.

    I can think of no good reason for an arbitrary limit on the number of categories. And my own opinion is that users of a program are always likely to want to use it in ways not necessarily originally forseen by its developers. Flexibility is a virtue in applications.

    Um. Tags are invisible?!?

    There is a category list in the middle column of my blog. A reader clicks on one, and, voila! he gets the category of posts. There are no tags sitting there to click on.

    I have discussed this same problem with you several months ago. Your take was that I ought to modify my theme myself, not go looking to get the program changed.

    Unfortunately, not everyone is an IT professional with years of relevant experience and expertise. And I like the Theme I’m using well enough the way it is.

    I am trying to hire somebody to do some modifications for me. I tried once previously to find a consultant for WP work without success, i.e. I had fixed the problem myself over a few days, before I succeeded in finding a consultant.

    tags are much better for what you are trying to do, and there are lots of ways of making them more “visible”, even with the theme you are using. i can’t imagine anyone being able to find what they are looking for if they have to sift through a list of more than 100 categories. i doubt your readers would enjoy that either.

    I found this article which was my intro to tagging:

    Tags, you note, are one word. One word descriptions with no white space will frequently not do.

    My category list is too long, and occupies too much column space right now. But it is in alphabetical order, abd the person who wants to find that post about the “Tibetan Mastiff” can find it. If I can find a consultant to help me move the whole category list on to a second page, there will be no problem.

    Tags are not the answer in my case.

    I have almost 1500 postings written since last October, indexed by category. I’m not really planning to re-edit all of them, or abandon all of them.

    I believe you’re wrong. I use multi-word tags frequently. (and UTW will convert cats to tags).

    But I also realize you’re not interested in debating it.

    Have you tried the WP Pro’s Mailing List?

    I should rephrase my first sentence.

    “I disagree” sounds less inflamatory than what I wrote. Apologies.

    Can anyone refer me to an example blog which has visible tags, usable as an index to past postings?

    If UTW can convert categories to tags, that would answer one very key objection. It’s been a long time, but I think I remember trying it, and finding it was not compatible with the Theme I use. I can try that again.

    I just filled out a subscribe request to that list an hour or two ago. I also sent off a test message. No email has arrived. (Was it bagged by my server’s anti-spam? seems unlikely, but you never know. Is that list down?)

    I’m reasonably certain the list is up. I recall another message from it within the last few days (I think).

    As for an example: well, you could use my blog I suppose. (click my name over there on the left). Below each post I have a list of tags.
    Click a tag and you get a list of other articles with the same tag.

    (and I just realized my tags are space separated instead of comma separated. doh. I was messing with my theme the other day and forgot to address that. IF they were comma sep’d, the multi-word tags would be a lot more obvious!)

    I also have a goofy “Tags” page with some experimentation. Of that, the bottom “cloud” is generated by UTW as well.

    Ok, those tags work fine, with the exception of the problem that therte is no way for readers to get at tags which are not sitting at the bottom of a recent post on the blog front page.


    I was looking in PHPmyAdmin. The Comments DB is shown as running.

    I tried what looked like one repair approach yesterday without result. I also told Yahoo to repair the databases a few times. Also without effect.

    Those screw-up Comments are kicking out a continual stream of Trackback emails to me.

    Ok, those tags work fine, with the exception of the problem that therte is no way for readers to get at tags which are not sitting at the bottom of a recent post on the blog front page.

    Doh. I just hunted down your blog and had a look at how you’re currently doing it. So if I managed to talk you into UTW, I’d first have to figure out how to do that big long column of tags on your main page, right?

    Now you’ve stumped me. There’s a kabillion ways to list ’em with UTW, but I don’t think that’s one of ’em.

    I’ll back off while I ponder that.

    My alternative is just to put CATEGORIES as a link on the main blog page, and stick the list on a second page.

    If I could resolve the limit issue, even I might possibly be able to code that with respect to the main page. I just have no idea how many other WP files are involved in Categories, and would need modification.

    Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    Now you’ve stumped me. There’s a kabillion ways to list ’em with UTW, but I don’t think that’s one of ’em.

    It actually has a format very similar to that one, called “htmllist”. A simple one to do this would be:
    <?php UTW_ShowWeightedTagSetAlphabetical("htmllist", $limit); ?>

    would be awfully close to what he wants.

    Still, the count in parenths is missing. But, UTW can do Custom Formats easily enough. So this would work:
    global $utw;
    $format = array (
    "default"=>"<li>%taglink%</li> (%tagcount%)",
    "none"=>"<li>" . get_option('utw_no_tag_text') . "</li>"
    echo $utw->FormatTags($utw->GetWeightedTags("tag", "asc", $limit), $format);

    UTW is powerful. Read the help that comes with it, it’s got a lot of functionality in there.

    BTW: In both of those examples, $limit should be replaced with the number of tags you want to show on the page, as a maximum. It can be arbitrarily large. Leave it out and the default is 150. Set it to zero and it doesn’t implement a limit at all, going for as many tags as you actually have.

    Anyway, the short version is that there is absolutely no reason he couldn’t do this with Tags. It would be simpler to adminster as well, it wouldn’t overload the system with all these categories, and yes, he could even keep the existing categories by converting them to tags. The modifications would be minor, at best. The change in behavior for new posts would be trivial, since you can just type in Tags or select them from the tag list on the posting page. Multi-word is not a problem as well.

    Now, this all begs the question of why you’d want such a huge list of categories/tags on the page. I closed the page before it finished loading that gigantic list. But then I’m not here to judge. To each his own. 🙂

    I will try to get the category list onto its own page. But I’m going to need to hire a consultant to advise me on this. So far, those haven’t been easy to get. The professionals list did not subscribe me yesterday.

    Anyway… some information:

    I now believe that the DB errors were not necessarily related to the over-limit number of categories. I think mySQL is just not all that reliable.

    I finally gave up on trying to fix it, and just restored my Sunday DB backup, then re-entered the next couple of days postings (which I saved elsewhere) before hitting the Restore Request.

    I could not find any way to repair a DB in phpMYADMIN that worked. (I bought a $25 book, so next time I may have a chance.)

    In general, if you get SQL 127 Errors, I’d advise trying to load something to get the DB to cycle. That method once resolved the problem. If that fails, better just do a restore, and avoid wasting time on it.

    BTW, it was the last SQL Error which brought to my attention something very, very important which I had overlooked. My host is Yahoo. Yahoo does lots of automatic backups all the time. I had been going right along thinking I was all backed up, until that previous Error. Then I discovered a Yahoo backup is not the same as a DB backup. I was not backed up at all, at all.

    Now I do those DB backups weekly without fail.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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