Categories are the World of Cars Wiki's way of sorting articles in an appropriate and organized manner. Categories are located at the bottom of each article, in a box titled "Categories". Individual categories are displayed as links, and when a specific one is clicked, it brings you to its respective category page.
Categories serve the purpose of creating a logical and efficient system of organization. The key to using categories is understanding when a category is necessary and when it is not. Categories should not have too few or too many articles. The easiest way to explain this will be to use an example article: for this, we will look at Mac iCar.
Mac iCar is a character article. When picking categories for it, we want to make sure that the categories are not too broad or too specific. An example of an undersized category would be something like Category:Apple -- while the Apple and J.P. Drive articles would also fit into this, they are the only three articles on the entire wiki that would. That is far too limited in scope to make the category warranted.
Mac iCar is also a character -- but, he should not be added to the Category:Characters. Currently, we have over 1,000 character pages, and every single one would fit into that category. Because that is nearly a fourth of the overall page count, the category is far too broad to have every single character placed in it. However, we still want to keep all of the characters together -- this is where subcategories come into play.
Subcategories are essentially categories within a category. Most commonly, this wiki organizes subjects based on the series installments they are from. Again using Mac iCar for reference, he would be put into Category:Cars Characters, since he appears in Cars. While this category will still feature a couple hundred articles, it is a significantly smaller number than 1,000. Additionally, all the characters share a much more specific commonality -- they all appear in Cars.
Category pages themselves can also be categorized, which is how subcategories are created. The Category:Cars Characters page would be added to Category:Cars, making the former a subcategory of the latter. That way, all articles relating to Cars can still be kept together, but there won't be an absurd amount of articles piled into one category, and someone trying to look for a specific article will have a much easier time finding what they are looking for.
In general, subcategories should be used to keep articles of a certain type of thing together. If there are thirty or fourty levels in a video game, they would be added to Category:[name of game] Events. The same concept would apply to characters, places, items, and any other class of subject.
On the opposite end, not all types of subjects need a subcategory within a series category. In Rescue Squad Mater, there are only ten characters. In addition to characters, there are also few locations and crew members. In this case, all of the subjects should just be added to the main category, Category:Rescue Squad Mater.
To add an article to a category, you have a few different options. If you are editing an article in source mode, you will need to add the following text string at the very end of a page, even after language links: [[Category:Name]]. While this is written in the same way as a normal link, the specification of "Category:" will automatically inform the engine that it is a category.
Alternatively, for those who make use of the classic visual editor, there is a section on the right hand side of the page labeled "Categories" which can be opened and closed with a drop-down arrow. You can type in a new category or choose to modify an existing one by either clicking the pencil icon to edit the details, or the trash icon to delete it entirely. When editing details, you can edit either the name of the category, or choose how it will be listed on the respective category page, though this wiki does not often use that feature for anything substantial.
Finally, there is the easiest but also the most limited option: Clicking the "Add categories" button in the category links box. If you do this, you can only add a new category and not edit existing ones, or move your new category to a different spot in the order. As a result, we recommend using one of the previous options over this one.
The category tree is how categories and subcategories link to one another. Every single category leads to a broader one above it, all the way up to the base category, Category:World of Cars Wiki. That category then has two subcategories, Category:Browse and Category:Site administration. The former contains every article within the mainspace, whereas the latter deals with everything else, like files, templates, special pages like this one, and more things related to the running of the wiki.
A category line should not be overly long. There will rarely be a line that exceeds four or five branches.
While every mainspace article fits into categories, we also categorize our files, templates, and special pages. Files are categorized by the source they are from, and also by what type of image they are -- if one is a film screenshot, it would be placed in Category:Film screenshots. If another is artwork of a character, it would go into Category:Character artwork, and so on. All images lead back to Category:Images.
Templates are categorized by the purpose they serve. All navigation templates have their own category, as do all notice templates, and so on.
Special pages are also organized by their purpose. Using this page as an example, it is a help page that gives writing guidelines, so it goes into Category:Editing guidelines, which is a subcategory of the overall Category:Help pages.