Organizing Content with Vocabularies and Terms for an Effective Information Architecture

April 1, 2019In Framework3 Minutes

Drupal is an open-source content management system (CMS) used for creating and managing websites and web applications. It is a powerful and flexible platform known for its extensive functionality and scalability, making it suitable for building various types of websites, from small personal blogs to large enterprise-level applications.

Like WordPress, Drupal also incorporates the concept of taxonomy to organize content effectively. In Drupal web design, the taxonomy system consists of vocabularies and terms. Vocabularies act similarly to WordPress’s categories, while terms work like WordPress’s tags. The major difference is that Drupal’s taxonomy is more flexible and can be customized to suit specific needs.

  1. Understanding Vocabularies and Terms in Drupal

Vocabularies and terms in Drupal are used to classify and organize content. They have the following characteristics:

Hierarchical structureFlat or hierarchical
Group related contentAdd specific details
CustomizableAssigned to content
Improve site’s general themeDescribe content in more detail

Vocabularies are used to create a hierarchical structure that groups related content together, while terms are used to add specific details and keywords to individual pieces of content. In Drupal, you can create multiple vocabularies, each with its own hierarchy of terms.

  1. Vocabularies and Terms in Information Architecture

Implementing vocabularies and terms in Drupal can help create an effective information architecture that keeps your content organized and easily accessible:

Create a clear, hierarchical structureConnect related content using keywords
Facilitate navigationHelp users find content
Improve SEOOffer context for search engines

Vocabularies help in creating a clear, hierarchical structure that enhances navigation and user experience. Terms, on the other hand, connect related content using specific keywords, making it easier for users and search engines to find and understand the content.

  1. Tips for Using Vocabularies and Terms Effectively

To create a robust information architecture in Drupal using vocabularies and terms, follow these best practices:

a. Plan Your Vocabularies: – Define a set of vocabularies that represent your site’s main topics. – Use sub-terms when necessary to further refine content organization. – Create custom fields for vocabularies and terms if needed for more advanced classification.

b. Use Relevant Terms: – Create terms that accurately describe the content’s details and context. – Use multiple terms when relevant but avoid over-tagging. – Maintain a consistent approach to term usage across your site.

c. Optimize for SEO: – Use descriptive, keyword-rich names for vocabularies and terms. – Optimize term pages with unique titles and meta descriptions. – Avoid duplicate content by setting appropriate canonical URLs.


In Drupal, vocabularies and terms provide a flexible and customizable taxonomy system that helps create an effective information architecture for your website. By understanding their differences and using them thoughtfully, you can optimize your site’s structure, enhance user experience, and improve search engine visibility. Implementing a well-designed IA with vocabularies and terms will ultimately lead to a more successful and user-friendly website.

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