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Ultimate Category Excluder

Ultimate Category Excluder (UCE – unfortunately the same abbreviation as unsolicited commercial email) is a WordPress plugin that allows you to quickly and easily exclude categories from your front page, archives, and feeds. Just select which categories you want to be excluded, and UCE does all the work for you!

Ultimate Category Excluder was originally written by Kyle Slattery of fidgeting.net.

Compatibility

I am using Ultimate Category Excluder on a blog running WordPress 3.6. You should not be running older versions of WordPress, they have serious known security problems. The current version of UCE (0.96) does not work with versions of WordPress before version 3.1. Contact me if you need an older version of UCE (but you really should upgrade your WordPress!)

Installation

  1. Download Ultimate Category Excluder to the plugins directory under wp-content of your blog.
  2. Unzip the ultimate-category-excluder.zip file.
  3. Activate the plugin on your plugins page.
  4. You can edit the options by going under “Settings” and then “Category Exclusion.”
  5. If you are upgrading from an older version, you need to go into your “Category Exclusion” settings, choose at least one option from the Searches column, save settings, then go back and clear that option and save again.
  6. (Optional) I suggest you subscribe to my RSS feed so you can stay informed about any updates to Ultimate Category Excluder.

Note for Upgrading to 0.96

If you are upgrading to version 0.96, you need to choose any category to exclude from the Search column on the settings page. Then save the settings. And then go back and uncheck that category, and save the settings again.

Uninstall

  1. Deactivate the plugin on your plugins page.
  2. Delete the ultimate_category_excluder directory from your plugins directory, under wp-content of your blog directory.

History

  • 0.96 – September 11, 2013 – Went back to the last known (no complaints at least!) version, 0.84. I know it’s been frustrating over the last few days, and I apologize for breaking web sites around the web.
  • 0.94 – September 9, 2013 – It turns out that some themes process their home pages in odd ways. This resulted in UCE no longer correctly filtering out the excluded categories. This was a hard bug to figure out, as I couldn’t reproduce it on any of my sites. I think I’ve got it fixed now, but I do have a report that UCE is now causing a conflict with a separate page on the site. So I am working on that; but since this version should fix most people’s home pages, I’m releasing it while continuing to bug hunt. Thank you for your patience. Many thanks to Michael Westergaard, Alyx Hydrick, Alain Saintpo, Seth Vore, and Michael Pollock for their help in figuring out what was happening.

    I also fixed several very subtle bugs that were throwing error messages behind the scenes. And I tweaked the system information section at the bottom of the UCE settings page.

    Added the Danish tranlation. I don’t who to thank for providing this.
    Added Brazilian translation. Thank you to Leandro Callegari Coelho.
    Feel free to send me other languages if you like.

  • 0.91 – September 4, 2013 – You can now exclude categories from appearing in results from the built-in WordPress search engine. Other search engines (e.g. Bing, Google) may still be able to find and index your content. Also fixed a bug that excluded categories from appearing in the Post Editor. And fixed a bug in the system information section.
  • 0.84 – August 3, 2013 – Fixed the show empty category listing again.
  • 0.83 – August 2, 2013 – I fixed a couple of silly bugs. And added a feature to list what versions of MySQL, PHP, WordPress and UCE you are running. The first thing I ask when someone reports a bug is the version of their system software, and most of the time they have no idea.
  • 0.8 – July 7, 2011 – All categories will now appear on the list of categories able to be excluded, even those categories that don’t have any posts yet.
  • 0.7 – May 6, 2011 – Added internationalization (i18n) support, based on suggestion and code from Patrick Skiebe.
  • 0.6 – February 24, 2011 – Addressed a bug in UCE that didn’t handle multiple excluded categories correctly.
  • 0.5 – February 24, 2011 – Addressed a bug in WP 3.1.
  • 0.4 – October 10, 2009 – A user pointed out a bug when trying to filter down categories in the edit posts admin area. I believe I’ve fixed this, but let me know if you still have trouble.
  • 0.3 – June 20, 2009 – James Revillini pointed out a few fairly obvious bugs. I’ve incorporated his changes into the software.
  • 0.21 Beta – January 10, 2008 – Initial release, fixed file name bug, dashes vs. underscores
  • 0.2 Beta – December 13, 2007 – Initial release, tweaked to refer to PlanetMike.com, no functionality changed
  • 0.1 Beta – February 14, 2007 – Initial release

To-do List

  • Allow settings to be automatically applied to child categories
  • Have more precise control of exclusions–i.e. exclude from home page, but not from list of categories
  • Create “category bundles” which are a group of categories that have their own feed, page, etc.

Find a bug?

If you happen to find any problems, let me know! Also, if there is anything you’d like to see in future releases, please, give me your thoughts.

Payment

Using Ultimate Category Excluder is free, you do not have to pay me anything. If you find it useful, and you’d like to pay me, any (or all!) of the following would be greatly appreciated:

  • Subscribe to my RSS feed.
  • Blog about the Ultimate Category Excluder plugin, tell your readers about it.
  • Make a donation to me.
  • Buy me something from my Amazon Wishlist.

93 Comments

  1. Big L says:

    The plugin works fine on my blog. Just one question: can I change the ‘finish reading’ to German ‘weiterlesen’? It worked before I installed the plugin. I don’t know where the plugin gets this information. WP 3.1.4

    Thank you
    Big L

  2. Big L, That functionality is not part of UCE. It’s probably part of your theme. See http://wordpress.org/support/topic/change-more-link-in-twenty-ten-theme?replies=15 for details.

  3. Lê Xuân Thạch says:

    It has a error! When one post become two categories’s posts (ex: cate1, cate2). After all, i exclude cate1 and don’t exclude cate2, The Post can’t display!

  4. Hi Lê Xuân Thạch, That’s not really a bug, it is an expected behavior. What version of UCE, and WP are you using? Mike

  5. Trex005 says:

    I am trying to hide categories everywhere on the site…. except a place I am using WP_Query directly in the theme. I have tried all combinations of setting and it seems that
    Archives controls both the blog page and where I use WP_Query directly. Is there an alternate way I could pull hidden information, or perhaps an argument I could use with WP_Query to override this?

  6. Narsil says:

    On WP 3.3.1, Ultimate Category Excluder inverts the home page article’s order (older first)

  7. There is a bug in MySQL version 5.0.51a. Make sure that your web server is not running that version of MySQL. If it is, the bug will only appear when you are trying to exclude certain posts from appearing. Seriously, it’s not a bug in my plugin, it is a known bug in MySQL. See these two pages:
    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/solution-for-posts-suddenly-appearing-in-reverse-order
    http://bugs.mysql.com/bug.php?id=32202

  8. embarko says:

    Mike,

    Great plugin. It does 75% of what I need, which saved me a bunch of time. Is it possible to exclude a category from the main feed, but not to disable the feed for that category.

    Thanks,

    Embarko

  9. Hi Embarko, Ummm, I don’t think so. Mike

  10. PC says:

    I take it you can not use this plugin to exclude actual pages then, huh? I was using Simply Exclude and after his last update, it totally screwed up my site. Looks like it screwed up a lot of sites.

    What’s a good plugin to exclude pages? Thanks.

  11. Ummm, Exclude pages from what? I just looked at the “Simply Exclude” plugin. It seems weird to me to need to exclude pages from search, since the plugin wouldn’t affect search engines or other spiders/bots. I use the “Exclude Pages” plugin to prevent pages from showing up in menus. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/exclude-pages/

  12. PC says:

    Yes, but I would like to exclude certain pages from my search. I already exclude them from the search engines (no follow) but I need to do it with the search feature on my site as well.

    You know, for download pages and the such. Right now, if you searched for my main keyword, my members only page comes up in the results.

  13. Well, a nofollow doesn’t necessarily mean that the search engines won’t index your page. Ideally, you need to add those URLs to your robots.txt.

  14. Wayne says:

    Hi Michael,

    On my site (WP 3.3.1), I have a static Home page and put my blog posts on another page. When I try to exclude a post category (admittedly using the Home page exclusion), it still shows up in my category listing in the sidebar, though the category won’t display its articles when I click on that it. Any way that I can block the category from showing up in the sidebar listing? I’m trying to create a category that will contain my syndicated articles so I can put them into a specific feed, but don’t want my users to see that category on my site.

    Thanks,

    Wayne

  15. Wayne, To edit the list of categories that appears on the sidebar you need to tweak your theme. Your theme probably uses the wp_list_categories command. Check it at http://codex.wordpress.org/Template_Tags/wp_list_categories . Or your theme might be using the Categories widget to list categories. Both of those areas are using a different part of WordPress than my plugin uses, so the list of categories is unaffected.

  16. NicotineLL says:

    It’d be a good thing if there was an option to exclude categories from search. Hope to see something like this in your next release.

  17. Hi NicotineLL, I still haven’t heard a great case example of why you’d need to exclude categories from the WordPress search function. Your pages would still be indexed by bots/spiders out on the web. If you can give me an example, that would help my thinking. Thanks, Mike

  18. NicotineLL says:

    Well, this is my reason: All my posts contain only a featured image and nothing else except the ones in a category names “Play” (games) which contain flash games. Those are the posts I would like to exclude, since they would be totally irrelevant to anybody searching for images.

  19. Gary says:

    Hi Michael,

    I have a post that is tagged with 3 categories: CAT1, CAT2 and Featured. CAT1 and CAT2 are excluded from the homepage, but I want Featured to displayed on the Homepage.#

    Is this a possible modification that you have, or should I try to modify the php myself? I think some comments have alluded to similar functionality.

    All the best

    • Hi Gary, I’m sure it’s possible to do what you’re asking. (Heck, anything’s possible, right?) But right now UCE doesn’t do that. I really need to dig into the logic of how these different combinations of included and excluded categories would work.

      • Gary says:

        Hi Michael,

        It’s positive to see you replying to the comments here.

        Have you ever thought about releasing a “Premium” version? I’d certainly have no problem with paying $5-25 for something like this; it’s a very useful tool and -from the comments -I can see the ‘exclude’ function is in demand.

        All the best!

  20. Elle Greene says:

    Hi Michael

    Another request for exclusions here!

    I have categories that I don’t want showing on the main page, or in the archives, however choosing to exclude these options also means that I lose my category archives as well, at least when using the Twenty Eleven theme. So if I want to put a link to this category in my sidebar using mysite.com/category/mycat it doesn’t work and I get a nothing found notice.

    If we could have something like a second tier to the Exclude from Archives command where we could chose exceptions to the rule, that would be great. So we would have Category X > Exclude from Archives [check] > with the Exception of X Category Archive. [maybe a dropdown where we could choose one or more categories to exclude]

    And whether or not something like this can be done, thanks for a great plugin!

  21. Russell says:

    I am using My Category Excluder(MCE) for word Press. This plugin allows your registered users to exclude some categories from the queries on your site.
    Will you please tell me difference between UCE and MCE?
    One more thing Is that possible to exclude a specific category from main feed without disabling its feed.

  22. luis says:

    Hi Michael,
    first of all great plugin, but i have a question is there any possibility to exclude some categories when a new custom post type or post is added or edited, instead of being in the home page?

    thanks in advanced

    • Luis, I’m not sure exactly what you mean. You want a custom post type to be excluded from the home page? I thought (possible incorrectly) that custom post types do not use categories at all.

      • Luis says:

        Hi Michael, tnx for the reply,
        let me try to explain it in other way to make it easier to understand (if i can).
        i have added to the custom post type the metabox which contains all categories. this is the same metabox that the post window (new or editing) shows to the user.
        The point is to exclude some of this categories. I suppose the list is obtained “querying” the categories table in the DB.
        but no idea how to choose which categories should be appear in the metabox.
        Hope it make it more clear where i am stuck.

  23. Robinson says:

    I have installed the UCE and i am amazed how its works superbly. Its really a very fantastic and cool plug-in for my word-press. And the most wonderful thing is that it is absolutely free. Please keep it up and keep providing these type of amazing plug-in.

  24. Scott Aniol says:

    I have installed this plugin, and while it keeps posts in indicated categories off of the home page, they still go to my feed, even though I have it checked? Advice?

  25. Andy Smith says:

    Hi Michael,

    I have ticked the ‘Exclude from Main Page?’ and ‘Exclude from Archives?’ for one of my categories, which works great. However, I have not ticked the ‘Exclude from Feeds?’ box, but posts are not showing up in the category feed. Is this supposed to happen?

    I want to hide posts for this category on my site but have a working category feed for them. Is there a way to do this using Ultimate Category Excluder?

    Thanks,
    Andy Smith

  26. Andrew says:

    Hello,

    Is it possible to only exclude child categories form a homepage. For example,

    New York State (main cat)
    –New York City (child cat)

    When I click to exclude the child cat the main cat disappears too.

    Thanks

    • Hi Andrew, Hmmm, on my setup, excluding a child category doesn’t affect the main (parent) category. Do you have at least one post that is in the Main category and is not in the child category? Send me your system info (found at the bottom of the Category Exclusions page). Mike

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks for the reply Mike

        I will add a few more categories and child categories and test again. So basically if I have a post in a category with a child category (where the post is included in both) and exclude the child category it will exclude both (because the post is included in both?)

        Or, are you saying if I include a post in main cat (as a dummy post) but not in the child then this should show on the homepage? Sorry to sound so confusing but I am testing a wordpress theme called the navigator and I am attempting to include only top level categories in a homepage map and link these to child category pages (otherwise the top level map becomes a mess)

        Thanks again,

        Andrew

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