Organizing content with taxonomy

Last updated on
17 January 2018

Taxonomy, a powerful core module, gives your sites use of the organizational keywords known in other systems as categories, tags, or metadata. It allows you to connect, relate and classify your website’s content. In Drupal, these terms are gathered within "vocabularies". The Taxonomy module allows you to create, manage and apply those vocabularies.

Drupal 7 and 8 has the ability to add taxonomy fields to vocabularies and terms.

Taxonomy is the practice of classifying content. It will come in handy for everything from menu and navigation schemes to view and display options.

Taxonomy can be used in workflow, to customize defined sections of your website with different themes or to display specific content based on taxonomy terms. Although taxonomy can be used in various ways, probably the most important use of taxonomy in Drupal is to relate content.

Taxonomy should be driven by the business requirements of your website, with an eye towards possible future functional expansion. Here are some questions to help you determine how you may want to use taxonomy:

  1. Are there subsections of your site that you would like to look different from the main theme?
  2. Are there content areas of your site that should be edited only by a specific part of your organization?
  3. Is there content that can be shared around your site (such as a press release, form or fact sheet)?
  4. Is there a business need to support local sites such as service centers or local events?
  5. Are there different states you need to set (such as left navigation / breadcrumbs) for site sections?
  6. Are there needs around providing default lists of content by taxonomy term or default RSS feeds by term?

Many contributed modules rely on Taxonomy-generating; for example, menus based on existing tags.