If you were starting to think that categories are old starting to get old school, well so do the guys at WordPress. Because when I upgraded from from some reaaaally recent version, my categories and tag clouds went blank. Good grief Charlie Brown. Anyway if you’re here you’ve probably broken your blog too. Don’t despair, here’s how to fix.
Note: This is probably a really important time to mention that .1 releases (as in the 2.6.1 that I’m eagerly awaiting) always have bug fixes like this. So don’t blow your load too soon with new releases like I did!
1. Log into your CPanel if you have one
2. Scroll down to ‘Databases’ and select ‘PHPMyAdmin’. For the lay, this is a database browser/admin tool
3. PHPMyAdmin should load in a new tab/window.
4. On the left hand side, you will see a list of databases installed on your web site. Select the database that runs your WordPress. It usually has ‘wp2’ in the name.
5. The screen will refresh displaying all the tables in that database
6. From the left hand side, select the wp_terms table.
7. You should see a screen with the following rows in the table listed term_id, name, slug, term_group
8. To view the table in a bit more context, select the ‘browse’ tab
9. If you had the same problem that I did, this whole table will be all but blank. Maybe the ‘slug’ column will be a bunch of minus twos, e.g. ‘-2-2-2-2-2’
10. Anyway name is your category name and slug is the directory for it e.g. ‘cars and stuff’ as a slug would be ‘cars-and-stuff’ because you shouldn’t have spaces in a web directory name.
11. If you have a backup of your categories, then the term_id field should be all you need to identify our categories. Just open up your SQL backup script in Dreamweaver, search for a category name and you should be able to find the original categories. Now you can cut and paste them into the new database using PHPMyAdmin.
If not, go to the ‘wp_term_taxonomy’ column and yes the names will be blank, but it will have the post counts for the categories. That should help you work out which category is which by the number of posts there.