Every new WordPress install comes with a default post category named “Uncategorized”. As each post must be assigned to one or more categories before it is published, any post that is not given a category manually when it is created will be filed under the Uncategorized category automatically.
You may not like the name of the default category because it doesn’t help with the organization of your posts, and what’s worse, most of your readers would not appreciate it.
WordPress allows you to add, edit and delete categories easily in Posts > Categories. However, you cannot delete the “Uncategorized” category unless another category is used as the default category.
If you want to use something else other than Uncategorized as the WordPress default category, there are two simple solutions: renaming Uncategorized, or using another category as the default category. Both solutions are easy to carry out.
Rename “Uncategorized” to Something Else
Renaming Uncategorized is easy because you are allowed to edit the default category although not being able to delete it. In the category list which can be accessed from Posts > Categories, just find Uncategorized, hover your mouse over it, and then start editing it.
On the editing page, you are able to change the category name, slug, and description. Changing the name is simple as you only need to replace the old name with a new one you like.
However, you must be careful with the change of the category slug. If your site is still under development, you can simply modify the slug without worrying about anything. But if your WordPress site has already been indexed by Google, the change will generate 404 errors when the old slug is used when your users or search engines visit your site.
Luckily, you can set up 301 redirects to redirect traffic from the Uncategorized URL to the new category URL so as to prevent the 404 errors. This could be done with either a redirection plugin or the modification of the .htaccess file, while the former is a little simpler for beginners.
A good redirection plugin is Simple 301 Redirects. After updating the category slug, you can install this plugin, find its settings in Settings > 301 Redirects, and then enter both the old and new URLs to complete the redirection.
You need to put the old URL in the field under “Request”, and the new URL under “Destination”. The formats of the URLs should be the same as what shown in the screenshot above.
After saving the changes, you can rest assured that anyone who visits the old URL will be redirected properly. 404 pages are not going to show up.
Change the Default Post Category
If you don’t feel like modifying the Uncategorized category, you can also assign another category as the default so that those posts which you forget to add to a category will get a good category other than Uncategorized.
Assumed that you have already created a category that you want to use as the default category, you can go to Settings > Writing and make it the “Default Post Category”.
After the changes are saved, the new category begins being used as the default post category. However, the existing posts in the Uncategorized category are not moved to it automatically. If you want to move all the posts to the new category, you can edit each post and change its category manually, or delete Uncategorized category. Upon deletion, those posts in Uncategorized will be moved to the default category automatically.