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How to take away global tags and categories in WordPress

Today deserves two posts. What I learned yesterday by applying CSS to my theme was an eye-opener. With very few tricks even the most dull of the WordPress templates can be turned into something fully personal and unique. I also learned one more thing. You don’t have to display the global tags and categories under, over or near your post, you can simply hide them.

How did I learn this?

It all started with a discussion in the forum: “Tags” and “Posted in” are no longer hidden (for ChaoticSoul template). Apparently that particular theme until now did not display global tags and categories, a feature that when clicked brings up all posts on wordpress.com with the same tag or category (Read my post on local/global tags and categories), and now the users were outraged or at at any rate very annoyed at this unwanted and sudden new feature. So the dicussion went on and on, how to turn this off or at least make it less obvious. In the course of this discussion I learned that setting my CSS may make these tags invisible. I tried it, and it works, as you can see here now. I may put them back in again later; in that case, these screenshots will have to do: 

Wordpress Contempt without CSS

Wordpress Contempt without CSS

Wordpress Contempt with CSS

Wordpress Contempt with CSS

How to delete global tags and categories or “post metadata”?

In Design > Edit CSS, below the stylesheet text box, click the link that says Add this to the “…” theme’s CSS stylesheet.

How to edit your CSS stylesheet

How to edit your CSS stylesheet

Then search trhough the code and locate something that looks like this or similar:

.postmetadata {
(some code)
}

Copy the code, starting with . and ending with }, go back to the stylesheet text box and paste it at the bottom of the text box, change it into this:

.postmetadata {
display:none;
}

Click Preview. The tags should now be gone. Mind you, this is just a preview. If you want this change to really happen you need to buy the CSS Upgrade before you can actually save the stylesheet.

I should mention that the exact phrase you need to look for depends on the CSS of your theme. In “Regulus”, for instance, it is

#content .info {
(some code)
}

More examples of which code to look for can be found here: onecoolsite: Hiding tags and categories in posts

Pros and Cons

This is just one example of what CSS can do, but don’t buy the CSS Upgrade just for this, and here’s why: I’m kind of undecided on these tags and categories. I see the issue that your readers are maybe lured away from your site; on the other hand if you are able to set unique tags and categories, then only YOUR posts will appear on the wordpress.com list. I have been able to do that on my other, mainly academic blog, since there aren’t (yet) that many (if any) blogs on my particular subject. What I also like to think is that if my readers are taken away from me, so are other readers taken away towards me, so this goes both ways.

One drawback is that, depending on the theme, all post information is also gone, both on the posts page or listing of posts, and on the post itself, like “posted by”, “date posted” and “number of comments”, let alone the “edit post” link. The date is still there on the posts page, but not on the post itself. The “Edit this Post” function is till there, in your admin bar at the top of your screen, but I’ve kind of grown accustomed to click the one next to the post. I will miss those features, and sooner or later I think I will put the global tags and categories back in again.

Anyway, I really enjoy playing with CSS now.

Related links:

WordPress: About the CSS Upgrade

WordPress: Theme Updates – Tags and Categories for All

one cool site: Hiding tags and categories in posts

WordPress CSS versus TypePad CSS

Local and global tags and categories in WordPress

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