The Modern Categories setting replaces the theme based category output with one that's configured to use our best practices. This resolves:
- configurations with poor options
- CLS issues with the theme category
- bad accessibility support due to multiple links pointing to the same location
- improper use of <article> semantic tags on post links
To enable the Modern Categories, just check off the checkbox in the Feast Plugin and hit save.
The layout follows the recommended settings in the how to use categories page:
- 4-wide on desktop
- 2-wide on mobile
- only show the image and title
This is not customizable.
While it's technically possible to select full-width layout for the category pages, we don't recommend this because:
- it's a desktop-first optimization, which makes up less than 20% of pageviews for most sites
- it removes your site-wide internal links to your trending posts and seasonal seasonal recipes, which negatively impacts SEO for your most important pages
- it messes with the desktop-to-mobile ratio (720px = 2x 360px) which can create layout issues
Personally, I'm a BIG fan of having the sidebar on a site. It's a strong sitewide signal for internal linking purposes.Casey Markee
But if someone was to remove it JUST from categories, I guess that would be something they could do… at least it wouldn't be "as harmful" as removing the sidebar completely.
I just personally don't see much value in doing this for most sites. It's purely cosmetic for desktop users only.
The Modern Categories automatically exclude the introductory text when not on the first page of the categories.
We recommend ordering the category page by modified date instead of published date, to help surface the best content for your readers.
This also helps Google crawl and index the content you're updating.
This uses the default image size setting in the Feast Plugin (same image size as the FSRI block):
Ensure that the Modern Thumbnails are enabled for this.
Posts per page
While we recommend limiting a category to 24 posts, there are some cases (eg. parent categories, not recommended) where you can have multiple pages of categories. In this case, we recommend setting the Posts per page to 24:
Note: our recommendation was updated from 20 posts per page, to 24, in May 2022, and then 40 later on.
The reason we've turned this into a checkbox rather than having you manually set it, is that most bloggers don't have the time (or care enough) to test and optimize this. We're comfortable with updating this number (up or down) in the future on your behalf, based on testing and monitoring.
This is simply one less thing on your 83-item to-do list.
Frankly, the only reason you wouldn't display every post in a category (even 1000 posts) is because of DOM node issues relating to pagespeed.
Note: if you do feel like managing this yourself because you have all the free time in the world, you can manually set it yourself in Settings > Reading > Blog pages show at most > #
We recommend against using subcategories in favor of a flatter site structure, but for users who have 500+ posts and have historically used subcategories, you can now generate a list of subcategories directly on the parent category.
Just to be extra clear: do not create subcategories (nested categories). This is only here to help bloggers who have made this mistake (in our opinion) in the past.
This will display all subcategories, even empty ones. We recommend deleting empty categories until you have enough content to make them useful (minimum 4, preferably 8 posts) per the how to use categories guide. Category pages need content. Sites with excessive low quality, empty pages can incur a site-wide penalty from Google.
Recipe time + rating
You can enable the recipe time and recipe rating display on categories in the Admin "edit category" page:
This is enabled on a per-category level and can be useful for categories where the total time is important, such as:
- 30 minutes or less
- instant pot recipes
- game day appetizers
Remember to fill in your archive intro text - we still see a lot of people missing category descriptions which is a big SEO issue. Google penalizes websites with high quantities of thin content and we recommend that every page+post+category on your site has unique content.
You can enable this for all archives as well with the filter:
add_filter('feast_modern_categories_all_archives', __return_true );
This format will be applied to the search pages as well, in a future release.
We recommend going to Yoast > Search Appearance > Taxonomies > Social Title and removing the word "Archives" being appended to the end of each category.
For developers, we've added the following hooks:
feast_before_archive feast_after_archive_intro feast_after_archive
Thanks Mike Zielonka for the request.
We don't recommend or support content excerpts on the category pages because:
- it adds DOM nodes to the page, which slows pagespeed and can cause CLS issues
- it doesn't format well on mobile, which makes up 80% of pageviews
- it creates an accessibility burden because the screen reader must read all the except text, while a sighted user can easily navigate past it
- your title + image should convey all the information necessary to help the reader understand what the recipe is about
- it creates a false sense of content on category pages, even though the excerpt is all duplicate content to the post (every page requires UNIQUE content, not duplicate content)
- It introduces unnecessary and complex configuration requirements such as where to cut off text, how much to display, and outdated "read more" tags
Overall, we've made the intentional decision not to support excerpts anywhere in our setup, including the homepage, category page and search pages. We believe this is a mobile-first, user-experience focused approach that greatly simplifies site management and supports a modern aesthetic.
The Yoast option to remove social title is only available in the premium version. Will it hurt to leave it there? (I have the free version at this time).
Also, should we continue to leave the word "archives" in the SEO title? Mine is currently set up to read: %%term_title%% Archives %%page%% %%sep%% %%sitename%%
Really appreciate it.
I don't think the word "archives" is useful at all to readers, so you can strip it from everywhere.
It's not going to *hurt* SEO, but it could negatively impact click through rates because an "archive" has a negative connotation. I don't want a "Breakfast Archives", I want a "Best Breakfast Recipes" list.
Is there a way to delete the archive bit from social without premium yoast?
We only recommend and support Yoast because it's the industry standard and has dozens of individually useful features. Replacing or customizing each feature Yoast provides would cost THOUSANDS of dollars PLUS maintenance of those features every year.
No wanting to invest in what is essentially a required plugin that delivers thousands of dollars in value means that you're creating unnecessary problems for yourself.
Spend the $80 on Yoast premium. It's CHEAP.
one question on Layout: I'd love to design the Desktop version for category pages with 3 columns instead of 4 columns. Do you have any quick fix for me, or is this complicated? Thanks
Due to how mobile-vs-desktop is laid out (you can only display multiples of 3 AND 2 to avoid missing images at the bottom) as well as text size, image size for pagespeed, and a few other issues, we only support a 4-column layout.
It's not that it can't be done. It just introduces a whole whack of problems that have to be re-fixed with pagespeed, accessibility, mobile, user experience and more in mind. This requires deep expertise that very few developers have.
Supporting all these different configurations comes with a price tag and is only aesthetic - it has no functional benefit. It actually introduces technical issues if done incorrectly.
My recommendation if you NEED a 3-column layout would be to hire a developer for a custom theme.
Hi Skylar - To enable the modern categories, do we just check the box on the feast plugin settings page? Is there any other config needed to get modern categories to work.
Also, I am wondering if this creates a private page which can be configured to show the description and category image?
Yes, to enable it, just check the box in the Feast Plugin and save. I've updated the tutorial to show this.
Categories are edited via the core WordPress edit category page, not a separate interface. You can manually embed an image in the description, but we don't recommend this.
The categories will undergo a major update in a future version of WordPress and we wouldn't recommend modifying or customizing them too much in the meantime.