This page gives guidelines for the proper categorization of portals under Category:Portals and its subcategories.
Top level portal categories
No new top-level portal categories, like Category:Technology portals, Category:Geography portals and other major divisions of Category:Portals, should be created without broadly-achieved consensus, e.g. as the result of a thorough Village pump discussion.
Categories of portals
When a Category:Portals subcategory (or a subsubcategory thereof, etc.) accumulates a significant number of portals, they should be, where reasonable, sorted into subcategories of portals. E.g., all of the association football (soccer) portals under Category:Sports and games portals have been gathered into a Category:Association football portals subdirectory under the original sports and games portal category. This keeps the latter easier to read, navigate and maintain, and such subcategorization also makes it easier to find topical portals and to see how they may related to other portals.
For a subcategory of portals, use as simple and clear a name as possible, and make it plural (e.g. Category:Motorsports portals, not Category:Car, motorcycle and other power vehicle racing portals).
Do not create a subcategory of portals for a topic area with fewer than two portals (or topical portal categories, see below) to be added to it, unless there is a clear convention to do so (e.g. a category for each major subnational division of a country's portal category that already has several such divisions). For example, do not create a Category:Cycling portals container category for nothing but Portal:Cycling, even if you feel there will probably someday be a Portal:BMX or Category:BMX portal that could also go in there; wait until there are multiple cycling portals/portal directories to populate the category, or it will very likely be deleted at WP:CFD.
Topical portal categories
For simple portals consisting of a page with sections for editing, no category is needed. Portals that consist of a "shell" portal page that transcludes content in from separate subpages can be given its own category to help portal editors manage the components that come together to form the portal. Such a category is not mandatory, but recommended.
A category for a portal page and its subpages should generally be named in the form
[[Category:TOPIC NAME portal]], where the portal itself is named
[[Portal:TOPIC NAME]]. E.g. for Portal:English football use Category:English football portal. Do not use the format
[[:Category:Portal:TOPIC NAME]], as this is easily confused with
For any portal, the portal page (if it does not have its own category) or the portal category should always be categorized under a subcategory of Category:Portals, and usually under a subsubcategory of that subcategory, often even deeper. Do not simply add a new portal or portal category to Category:Portals unless you cannot figure out where to put it more specifically (other editors at WikiProject Portals can help you).
For a portal with its own category, put the portal in that category only, and put the category in other categories. E.g. Portal:Snooker goes in Category:Snooker portal, which in turn is categorized in Category:Sports and games portals and Category:Snooker. Definitely do not put both the portal page itself and its category into the same containing portal or article category! This leads to a bloated, messy category of portals.
Portals for geographic locations
The top category for portals tied to geographic locations is Category:Geography portals. This category is very hierarchically organized. There are several top-level categories for broadly defined regions of geographic portal organization, such as Category:Asian portals.
Included in this geographic portal hierarchy are more specific portal types that are within - sometimes quite deep within - the top-level geographic portal categories (which are not all arranged the same):
- Countries, states/provinces/regions, cities and towns
- Places of interest (including universities, landmarks, tourism destinations, cathedrals, etc.)
- Government agencies
- Various others.
The structure will generally be at least similar to that of the corresponding non-portal geographical categories. For example, the portal category for Portal:Hawaii is hierarchically located here:
- Category:Geography portals
Portals under construction
Portals that are not complete and ready for casual public browsing are categorized in Category:Portals under construction. These portals should not also be included in the Portals category or any of its subcategories.
Portals needing attention
Portals that are complete, but which still (or, due to decline in maintenance, suddenly) need some attention should be placed in the appropriate Category:Portals subcategory and into Category:Portals needing attention, unless they have fallen into such a state of disrepair that they are of little if any use to readers, in which case they should not be in either location, but be relegated back to Category:Portals under construction.