Categories provide a way for articles to be grouped by a common criterion. Wikis have unique challenges involved in navigating through thousands of articles. Categories are an economical way to add support for browsing.
When an article is added to a category, a link to the category is shown at the bottom of the article. Clicking on that link brings the user to the category's page which lists all other articles in the same category.
In general, we want to keep categories clean and structured to act as the best possible navigational tool for users to browse the Wiki.
Categories can be separated into two main types: those that define a topic.
When dealing with a topic category, as long as the article is related to that topic there is a strong case for the article to include that category.
When dealing with a set category, it is important to only include the category on an article that is-a member of the set.
When to add a category[edit source]
- When you can help out with removing items from Special:UncategorizedPages, Special:UncategorizedTemplates, Special:UncategorizedFiles, or Special:UncategorizedCategories.
- To define a subcategory by adding the more general category to the subcategory's page.
- In templates where inclusion of the template would indicate that the category should also be included. However, categories added to templates must generally use Template:mainonly around the category link to ensure that user sandboxes do not get added to the category by including the template.
When not to add a category[edit source]
- When the category is added implicitly by including a template. Many templates include the categories so that they are not forgotten and to save time. For example, Template:Infobox Item automatically adds Category:Items to any page that includes the template.
- When the category is a user-facing category (one meant for navigation by non-editors) and the article should not be seen by normal readers of the Wiki. The most common occurrences of this are users' sandbox pages. If building a sandbox page, ensure you do not include the categories meant for the final article.
- When the motivation is solely to provide a link to the category.
Occasionally a category will need to be linked in the text rather than appended to the end of the article. Like files, category links use the format
[[:Category:Name of category]]