OK, so I know that I’ve been playing a bit of hookey around here. I’ve been spending my time working on some of my other sites, so this one has been on the back burner.
Let me start by saying that I love WordPress. I use it for a number of my sites including this one. If I have any complaint it is that they just don’t get how powerful their own software is when used as a true Content Management System (CMS). To get it to function more like a CMS and less like a blog seems to require ‘breaking’ things to get them to work right.
Case in point is the hover text on category lists. I mean, really, who thought using the category description for hover text in the title tag was a good idea? Anyone who uses category descriptions does not want to use their entire category description as the title tag. Anyone who doesn’t use category descriptions gets no value from using the category description for hover text. Did someone really think that a paragraphs-long title tag wouldn’t happen? Did they not consider the negative SEO ramifications and general spamminess of doing this?
And, yes, if anyone’s actually reading this, I am trying to stuff this with all of the keyword phrases that I used while wasting my time trying to figure out how to stop using category descriptions as hover text.
The answer was quite simple but does require a small edit to a core file. Which is another reason for this post as I have little doubt that even after fixing this that it will probably come up again.
You will have to have access to your site installation as you cannot remove category descriptions from your title tags without directly editing a file.
Travel to the WP-Includes directory and find the category-template.php file. Don’t worry if you’re not a PHP guru, we are making one small and simple edit.
Search for this line…
‘use_desc_for_title’ => 1, ‘child_of’ => 0,
it was on line 423 in my version of WordPress.
Change that 1 to a 0 (zero)…
‘use_desc_for_title’ => 0, ‘child_of’ => 0,
and you should be rid of hover text using category descriptions.
The Remove Title Attributes plugin did not work on my site. The function that seems to be going around for removing the title tag from category links only crashed my site. Editing one little value in a single file seems the cleanest and easiest way to fix this.
I’ve wasted so much time hunting a solution that I ultimately figured out on my own. Hopefully this will help someone else chasing their tail on getting rid of ginormous title tags in the category link lists.