How to display select WordPress category and format archives

A client asked me a good question that brought up the differences between Post Formats and Post Categories, so I thought I would answer it here.

How can I make it clear where video selections are on my website and should they have their own page?

To answer this question, it’s important to explain the differences between Post Formats and Categories.

Post Formats are a theme feature introduced with WordPress Version 3.1. A Post Format is a piece of meta information that can be used by a theme to customize a Post’s presentation. The standardized Post Formats are available to all themes that support the feature. Themes are not required to support every format on the list.

M Theater supports the following Post Formats: Aside, Audio, Gallery, Image, Link, Quote, Status, and Video.

When creating a new Post, choose the format that matches the type of content you want to showcase in the Post’s presentation. In M Theater, for the most part, the Post Format will only affect the Post’s presentation in Archive and Index pages, not on its single display.

Below are examples of how the Gallery, Link and Video Post Formats look on the Archive page of a website driven by M Theater.

Categories, like Tags, are a means of cataloging your content, although they can be used to customize presentation of your Posts, as well. However, for our purposes, the important aspect of Categories is their use as a content organization tool. One main difference between Post Formats and Post Categories, is that you can have as many Categories as you like, and you can add new Categories anytime you like, however you can not add new Post Formats (at least not from within the Administration area of a Theme).

So how do I display or showcase a particular Category or Format?

You need to create a ‘Taxonomy’ page, which is a page that redirects to the Archive of a Category or Format. For example:

To show all Posts with the Format ‘Video’ on, the link would be:

To show all Posts with the Category ‘News’ on, the link would be:

There are many ways to add links to these pages within your main navigation or your sidebar, such as creating a redirect page using a Plug-In such as Page Links To, creating a Custom Menu, or adding a Sidebar Widget. It all depends on where you want to spotlight the Category or Format. You will also notice that in some cases, Formats and Categories have links within a Post’s meta information towards the bottom of it’s preview (see VIEW ALL ‘ ‘ POSTS links in sample above).