Geek Friday (Sort of): Merging Categories the Easy Way in WordPress Using Term Management Tools

This is a review of a pretty simple tool, but if you’ve had your blog around for a while, you’ve probably gone far astray from the categories you’ve originally imagined for it.  If so, merging categories can be quite messy, and you have to do each post one by one if you use no plugins.

Needless to say, there should be a programmatic way to do such a thing, right?  Fortunately, there is!  Term Management Tools will help you merge categories, tags and even custom taxonomy terms.

Once installed, I didn’t see a way to get it to work, however.  So, I went back to the plugin page and looked under the Installation tab and found the instructions.  Normally, I would have figured the how to use would have been on the Description tab.  At any rate, this might save someone from scratching their head too much.

You can either install it automatically from the WordPress admin, or do it manually:

  1. Unzip the "term-management-tools" archive and put the folder into your plugins folder (/wp-content/plugins/).
  2. Activate the plugin from the Plugins menu.

Go to WP-Admin -> Posts -> Categories and reorganize away.

However, it still wasn’t obvious that you have to select Bulk actions in order to do the merge.  Once I figured that out, it was easy!

I’ve already started using it on the blog, and I’ve gotten it to tidy up a few categories.  This is much easier than trying to do a SQL command, and less dangerous!  It’s also far less tedious than doing it manually.  It works on 3.5, BTW, even though it says “up to 3.4.2”.

I would recommend this to any WP blogger that needs to tidy up their terms, whether it be categories or tags.  Once everything’s reorganized, you should disable it, though, as you only need it while reorganizing and too many active plugins slow things down.