When you start adding subcategories to your site, you’ll probably be disappointed
by how they appear in the Categories list, the category-browsing links that appear
in the sidebar alongside your posts. The standard list of categories is a flat, onedimensional
list in alphabetical order. You can’t see the relationships between parent
categories and subcategories
NOTE The Categories list shows only the categories you currently use. So if you create a new category but
don’t assign it to a post, you won’t see it in the Categories list.
Fortunately, it’s easy to change the standard list of categories into a tree of categories,
by borrowing a theme-altering trick you’ll explore in more detail in the next
chapter. Technically, the Categories list is known as a widget. Like all widgets, it can
be moved, removed, and reconfigured. Here’s how:
1. On the dashboard, choose AppearanceÆWidgets.
The Widgets page shows you all the individual ingredients that WordPress puts
into the sidebar on your site.
2. In the Main Sidebar box, find the Categories widget.
This is the widget that creates the list of categories that appears next to your
3. Click the down-pointing arrow on the right side of the widget.
This expands the Categories widget, so you can see its settings.
4. Turn on the checkbox in the “Show hierarchy” settings and then click Save.
Now return to your site and admire the result (Figure 4-20, right).
NOTE No matter what setting you tweak, WordPress always orders categories alphabetically. If you want
to put a specific category on top, you need to put in some extra work and create a menu (page 218).