3. Tagging and categorisation

In Magnolia CMS, authors can organise content and make it findable by using tagging and categorisation. This chapter explains the differences between these two methods, shows their advantages and gives practical tips on how to use them effectively.

Differences and definitions

Tagging refers to the assignment of keywords (tags) to content. Tags are generally simple, freely chosen words or phrases that describe content and are assigned to it. In Magnolia CMS, an author can add any number of tags to a content item, which offers a high degree of flexibility in content categorisation.

Categorisation, on the other hand, arranges content into a predefined structure of categories. These are often organised hierarchically, whereby each category can have specific subcategories. This helps to systematically organise content according to a fixed scheme.

Advantages and best practices



  • New tags can be created on-the-fly without changing the entire content structure.
  • Authors can tag content quickly without having to navigate through complex menus.
  • Tags improve search engine optimisation (SEO) and internal searches, as they link relevant keywords directly to the content.

Best practices

  • Use consistent and precise tags to maximise findability.
  • Limit the number of tags per content to avoid overloading.
  • Encourage the use of common tags through guidelines to avoid inconsistencies.



  • Structures large amounts of content efficiently and clearly.
  • Makes it easier for users to browse through content thanks to a clear, logical structure.
  • Enables the targeted addressing of user groups through specific categories.

Best practices

  • Plan a scalable category structure that can grow with your content.
  • Keep the category structure simple and intuitive.

How and when to use tagging and categorisation effectively

Tagging is particularly suitable for:

  1. When content changes or is updated quickly, such as news articles or blog posts.
  2. If content is relevant in several contexts, tags allow linking across category boundaries.

When someone unfamiliar with tagging prepares content for publication, a common mistake occurs: they use internal category names or industry-specific labels to define the information.

In truth, the approach should be reversed. Tags should closely align with the labels users would naturally use if asked to categorize the content they've found.

You can use the content-type (interview, product-review or news), the subject of your article, audience, where the information originates from (a public study) or services which relates to your text.

Example: A blog post about "SEO optimisation" could be tagged with "SEO", "marketing", "content strategy", which improves findability under various search queries.

Categorisation is particularly suitable for:

  1. For static content, such as product data sheets or service descriptions, where a fixed categorisation is helpful.
  2. To provide users with a clear structure and easy navigation.

One major aspect when you use categorization is if you have a bunch of content somewhere different in your page tree or in a seperated content app within magnolia. Then categorization becomes a major key point to aggregate the data based on a specific category or multiple of them.

Idealy the categorization is something people can navigate through, think about them as you would build up a content navigation or filter system.

Example: An online shop could organise its products into categories such as "clothing", "electronics" and "household appliances", with further sub-categories such as "men", "women", "cameras", "smartphones", etc.