16 May 2019: This article and the code were updated for PHP7 compatibility.
Since publishing my tutorial Build a CMS in an Afternoon with PHP and MySQL, many readers have asked how to add more features to the CMS. I thought I’d answer some of these questions by writing additional tutorials that build on the original simple CMS.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to add article categories to the CMS. Categories give your site more flexibility: as well as listing all articles on the homepage, you can create separate section pages of your site, with each section page listing the articles belonging to a particular category.
For example, our original CMS demo lumps all types of article — news, reviews, and interviews — together on both the homepage and the archive page. By creating separate News, Reviews, and Interviews article categories in our CMS, we can then create individual archive pages for news, reviews, and interviews in our site.
You can see how this looks by clicking the View Demo link above. Notice that each article title on the homepage has a category name below it (Interviews, Reviews or News). Click a category to view its archive page, which lists all articles in that category, along with the description of the category at the top of the page.