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  • [CMS] What's the difference between category and section?

    Forgive the newbie question, but what's the difference between a category and a section? I'm setting up a new forum/blog using vBulletin 4.0 and I have to create and name some sections and categories and can't figure out the logic/reasonsing I need to use to divide my subject material.

    The vBulletin guide is woefully inadequate at this. It goes to great length to explain what a blog post is but fails to describe how a category differs from a section and where you would use one rather than the other.

    I've read this thread and all the pdfs Don Kuramura has provided here. They were helpful in that I learnt that an article can be assigned to different categories but not to different sections. Apart from that, sorry Don, but it wasn't very useful on this topic. Page 2 of the last pdf shows a chart example of how you'd organise sections and sub-sections. But can't that just as validly apply to categories i.e. I can create categories and sub-categories? What categories would you use for that example site which has Sections of Movies | Videos | Games and sub-sections under Movies of Coming Soon | Comedy | Sci-Fi ?

    Nowhere is a clear example provided that would assist me in deciding how to name and organise the categories and sections within my subject matter.

    I would appreciate any help. Or links to sites that have already set up both so I can see how they did it.
    Last edited by Macsee; Mon 4 Jan '10, 5:12am.

  • #2
    Ok, for my site (sorry its all video game related) but this is how i would do it.
    On my site, I have Reviews, News, Videos & Pictures all to do with gaming. Now those are the main sections - the backbone of where everything is stored in an easy place for users to get to.

    But when I make all my articles I dont want to put all of my Reviews dumped in one place, but I want to categorize them for easy referencing.
    So under Reviews I would have, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii Etc etc so it means that if I just want to look at reviews for the xbox 360 I just click review and then xbox 360 and it will show me all of those articles that have been put in the categories. Similarly, the news section will also have xbox 360 and ps3 etc etc BUT they are leading to news articles and not reviews.

    If you see the CMS demo here you can see that they have video games as a section and the categories under that are 'action', 'fighting' & 'Sumo' - obviously its up the user what type of section you want.

    I know its difficult to figure out, it takes some time to learn. It would help if you could show us an example of what type of thing you intend to make, maybe we can help.
    hope this helps, Chris
    My site: www.sanctuary4gamers.com My Twitter and if you like video games, my podcast (itunes)

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply, crazyfruitbat. Here's my site. I'm looking to start a forum and blog discussing the buying and selling of internet businesses. I've started and made some forum posts so you should get an idea of what the site is about. There will be discussions on the valuing, transfer of, conducting due diligence on and the finding of web businesses to buy. I can't for the life of me figure out how to divide the intended subject matter into categories and sections.

      In the example of your own site, you have sections on Reviews, News, Videos etc. And when you write a review you use the categories of Xbox, PS3 etc. Why not sub-sections? Why categories? So under the Reviews Section you could have sub-sections for XBox, PS3 etc. An XBox review is always going to be under reviews, it will never come under videos or pictures or news. So wouldn't a sub-section follow the normal folder/sub-folder convention and be easier to understand/implement/search?

      I realise that this involved an element of personal choice by you. But I was hoping vBulletin would have some explanation somewhere on the best approach to dividing content. Or what purpose a Section and a Category serve.

      That vBulletin CMS demo you linked to kinda helped but it's easy for them to put up a demo that has a wide subject range - in this case everything from Food to Travel to Video Games! And, I'm sorry, I still don't see a logical arrangement in their sections and categories either. I feel extraordinarily stupid.

      Also, another question. Why does the admin CP have a section for blog categories? If I set categories under the vBulletin CMS, why do I need to set them in blog as well? Isn't the blog served from the CMS - I thought that's what a CMS was about?

      Comment


      • #4
        The easiest way to think of it, is that sections are your chosen formal structured way of setting up your content.

        Categories are an additional way of ordering your content.

        If your site was based around movies, you could have sections based upon genre, ie, Sci-Fi, Horror, Action, Thriller, Romance and so on.
        Your categories could be; Animated, Black&White, 3D, Sub-titled etc.

        Or sections based on release date, and categories based on genre.

        Comment


        • #5
          It took me a while to understand and I'm not 100% sure its working as it should.

          My understanding is as stated above.

          On my test site http://91.215.180.152/testforum/content.php

          I have main sections - such as TV, cult, film, soaps etc

          Under a section called soaps i would have categories such as UK Soaps US Soaps
          Under a section called Cult I would have categories such as Doctor Who, Star Trek, etc etc

          Thats how I understand it but its slightly buggy and requires a double click for me for content to appear in a section.

          All my content is tagged under headlines section but only one article shows. Maybe its me, its hard to tell until all the bugs are fixed.

          Comment


          • #6
            forum
            -category
            --section
            ---threads
            -- Web Developer for hire
            ---Online Marketing Tools and Articles

            Comment


            • #7
              forum
              -category
              --section
              ---threads
              -- Web Developer for hire
              ---Online Marketing Tools and Articles

              Comment


              • #8
                Loco I dont quite understand that.

                In the CMS the category sits under a section doesnt it?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PamelaE View Post
                  Loco I dont quite understand that.

                  In the CMS the category sits under a section doesnt it?
                  well.. IMHO a category and section are the same thing just different terminology
                  -- Web Developer for hire
                  ---Online Marketing Tools and Articles

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is not Joomla.

                    Sections are described in the documentation:
                    http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/conte...Files-28PDF-29
                    Basically, Sections are a hierarchical structure in which every node/page has exactly one place. You assign styles, layouts and privileges by Section.

                    Categories are an entirely different categorization.(Hierarchical also, although the current widgets don't display the hierarchical structure.) A node/page can belong to any number of categories, including not belonging to any categories. Think of it as a tagging system. Each category lives in a section, but any content node can belong to that category even if (especially if) it's in a different section. I think of the purpose of categories as encouraging discovery.
                    Please- I'm not tech support. Don't send your problem reports to me unless I've asked you to.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Edwin Brown View Post
                      This is not Joomla.

                      Sections are described in the documentation:
                      http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/conte...Files-28PDF-29
                      .
                      can I ask why you guys are posting tutorials and info all over the place
                      why not update the vbulletin.com/docs/ which we've been using for years

                      It might not be so bad if the search worked like it use to, but it's like the devs are just like.. hey, lets post something in this blog or on the CMS, surely ppl will find it on their own
                      -- Web Developer for hire
                      ---Online Marketing Tools and Articles

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The first time a dev posts in ages and he gets flamed!!

                        Don't frighten him off!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by S1OPP View Post
                          The first time a dev posts in ages and he gets flamed!!

                          Don't frighten him off!
                          communication is key
                          if info is just tossed out anywhere, it's obvious that ppl aren't going to find it
                          -- Web Developer for hire
                          ---Online Marketing Tools and Articles

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Edwin, thanks for your reply. It's becoming a bit clearer now.

                            In attempting to understand your explanation I keep getting unstuck at "node". The understanding of what a node is seems critical to a full appreciation of the difference between a category and section. And I can't seem to find any mention of nodes in the Admin CP. Any idea where I need to look? (I know what he word means within everyday English but not in the context of programming/vBulletin/a CMS.)

                            Sections are described in the documentation:
                            http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/conte...Files-28PDF-29
                            My original post actually linked to that and indicated that I had read all of those pdfs. They make it as clear as mud. True, one of them explains sections in great detail and about how to edit a section (most of which is completely unnecessary to most people, even newbies like me as the AdminCP itself is pretty lucid on what needs to be done). But nothing about the difference between the two and/or where you'd use one and where you'd use the other.

                            It would have been great if those PDFs provided some new information rather than repeating what's already in the AdminCP (such as "you can add new section by clicking on the Add New Section Button").

                            I'm also still unclear about why I have settings in the AdminCP for both a CMS and a blog. To me, a CMS is something you use to manage a blog and they aren't two separate things. Could you shed any light on that?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Macsee View Post
                              Edwin, thanks for your reply. It's becoming a bit clearer now.

                              In attempting to understand your explanation I keep getting unstuck at "node". The understanding of what a node is seems critical to a full appreciation of the difference between a category and section. And I can't seem to find any mention of nodes in the Admin CP. Any idea where I need to look? (I know what he word means within everyday English but not in the context of programming/vBulletin/a CMS.)

                              My original post actually linked to that and indicated that I had read all of those pdfs. They make it as clear as mud. True, one of them explains sections in great detail and about how to edit a section (most of which is completely unnecessary to most people, even newbies like me as the AdminCP itself is pretty lucid on what needs to be done). But nothing about the difference between the two and/or where you'd use one and where you'd use the other.

                              It would have been great if those PDFs provided some new information rather than repeating what's already in the AdminCP (such as "you can add new section by clicking on the Add New Section Button").

                              I'm also still unclear about why I have settings in the AdminCP for both a CMS and a blog. To me, a CMS is something you use to manage a blog and they aren't two separate things. Could you shed any light on that?
                              Our support staff has, over the last couple days, been hammering the developers pretty hard about documentation, and I know Don's working on it. There should be more soon. And yes, I recognize that didn't address categories. As to the difference- You create different sections to control access (you could for example have a paid section) or for formatting, or because you want the navigation to follow a flow.

                              You create categories because you want an additional way to explore the content, and you can make as many of those as you want. Let's say I had a pet site. My Section structure might be
                              Dogs
                              Retrievers
                              Pointers
                              Trackers
                              Guard Dogs
                              Herding Dogs
                              Cats
                              Long Hairs
                              Short Hairs
                              Med-length

                              And my categories could be:
                              Heart-Warming Stories
                              My best beloved
                              Working Animals
                              End-of-Life
                              Pet Cemetaries
                              Veterinary Care
                              Feeding your pet
                              Traveling with your pet
                              Choosing a breeder
                              Choosing a pet
                              Exercising your pet.
                              So if someone writes an article about the veterinary problems with their beloved Abyssinian cat that goes in the section Cats, Short Hair. It might go in four or five categories, or you may not want to put it in any.

                              A blog is used for an individual to talk about something of interest to them, with no central control. It's very free-form. CMS is for structured content created by the administrator or someone specifically assigned by them to create content.
                              Please- I'm not tech support. Don't send your problem reports to me unless I've asked you to.

                              Comment

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