There are a lot of pages on the SpongeBob Wiki, and the most fundamental way of organizing them all is with categories. These appear as links in a box at the bottom of a page and can be created by typing
[[Category:Name]], which should go at the bottom of a page, after all the text, tables and any navigation templates that are used on the article. Most pages have multiple categories, which are entered one after another, with line breaks between them to make it easy to tell them all apart.
There are maintenance categories, known as meta-categories, which are categories that aid in maintaining the SpongeBob Wiki. This page does not cover them in depth; see the maintenance page for more information.
Part of this policy page was adapted from the Super Mario Wiki.
What sets categories apart from the aforementioned navigation templates is how they are used.
For example, while a game has one template that is put on every in-game subject's page, with the characters, items, places, enemies, etc. being separated into different sections within the template, different categories for each subject can be used for the different pages. All these categories are grouped together in a category for the overall game, which also houses any pages that don't fit into a more specific category, such as the episode or game's gallery, and its staff, media, glitch, beta or quotes pages. Subjects with very few entries should also go into the overall game category in order to streamline navigation, as game-specific categories with three or less pages are of limited usage. Which subjects do not qualify for categories differs from game to game - i.e. if one game only has three minigames, they would simply go in the game's category, whereas a different game with many minigames would have a Minigames category.
Both the template and the categories ensure that the different subjects are separated and easily navigable, but the categories can be placed on articles that don't fit into the navigation template (in most cases, these pages are ones that only get the overall game category). Categories also lead to more general categories beyond the overall game category, since they themselves can be categorized, unlike templates. Basically, the game category would be in a series category, while the subject category for the game would be in a subject category for the series, which would, in turn be in a category for the subject in general (i.e. a game's Characters -> a series' Characters -> all Characters).
Navigation goes both ways with categories. Just as a specific subject in a specific game can be followed back to the basic subject category, so too can readers go from the basic subject to a specific game by going down through the increasingly focused categories. This stratified organization separates the categories from the large list pages that can be found on the sidebar (i.e. Characters, Species, etc.). While the lists have everything in one place, they only show the games (or other media) the entries originated from, whereas the categories break the subject up into smaller chunks, which are easier to sift through, but require more movement around the wiki.
Every category should have at least four articles. Even then, only four subjects should have many more than that, since small lists can simply be placed on an article that's central to the subject at hand. It should also be noted that overly broad categories (e.g.
[[Category:Characters who have been to the Krusty Krab]] can be even more unhelpful than overly small categories, and should not be created. Also, just because there's a good number of possible entries doesn't necessarily mean a category should be made, as they are often tenuous or of little functional use to wiki navigation.
Levels of categorization
There are different levels to categorization, which is when categories have increasingly specialized subcategories (such as going from Category:Real world to Category:People to Category:Voice actors). In other words, each category level is more specific than the previous one. In some cases, a level 3 category may be shared with a level 2 one.
The base category, or level 1 category, consists solely of Category:Content, which is the base category for all wiki coverage on the SpongeBob Wiki.
The second-level category is for the most general topics, from which several subjects fall under. There are 15 categories on this level, listed below:
The third-level categories sort level 2 categories into subsets. Any level 3 or higher category should have at least four entries, and if are three or less entries, they should just go into the overall category. For example, there is only one SpongeBob SquarePants video game for the Game Boy Color, SpongeBob SquarePants: Legend of the Lost Spatula, so a "Game Boy Color games" category should not be created for it. Instead, the appropriate level 3 categories are Console games and Handheld games which, while applicable to any article, they are especially intended for consoles with minimal SpongeBob SquarePants games, such as SpongeBob SquarePants: Legend of the Lost Spatula.
Level 3 also consists of categories that either sort by category (e.g. Category:Games by system). Besides sorting articles, the Handheld games and Console games categories can also sort sub-categories, like the "Games by system" category, but for their respective type of game system (e.g. Category:Game Boy Advance games can be categorized under Handheld games as well as Category:Games by system).
When putting a season category on its corresponding page, an asterisk should be added after a pipelink (e.g.
[[Category:Season 2 episodes|*]], goes on the Season 2 article).
In some cases, level 4 categories are the same as level 3 ones, depending on whether level 2 categories have been sorted into sub-categories (e.g. Category:Games by system), therefore making categories such as Wii games level 4. All game categories (e.g. Category:SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom) are level 4 since their level 3 category is Category:SpongeBob games (to distinguish from Category:Nicktoons games).
Note that episodes themselves cannot have their own level 4 category (e.g.
[[Category:Help Wanted]] under
[[Category:Season 1]]) due to the sheer number of SpongeBob episodes and the redundancy this would cause.
Usually, level 5 categories lists a certain subject (usually one that has its own level 2 category) within a video game or a movie. For example, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie characters.
Level 6 categories are usually a subset of a certain type of subject in a video game. For example, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie bosses is a subcategory of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie characters. There are several times in which both level 5 categories and their subcategories can both be on the same article, such as the two examples listed.
Placement on articles
The following points may be used as a summary as to which categories an article should use. Please refer to the subsequent sections of the policy for further reading.
These types of pages should include the indicated category:
- Video game glitch pages should use Category:Glitches.
- Pages showing a list of media files should use Category:Media.
- Pages which list all pre-release and unused content of a video game should use Category:Pre-release and unused content.
- Quotes pages should use Category:Quotes.
- Pages listing staff development and production teams should use Category:People.
- Any profile and statistics pages should use a pipelink for the name of that character. For example, the "List of Patrick Star profiles and statistics" page should use
[[Category:Profiles and statistics|Patrick Star]]so the page isn't listed as beginning with "L", instead showing up under "P".
Note: The same pipelink format is used for other pages where the title begins with "List of", such as the references.
Finally, when pages use two or more categories, they must be placed in the correct order. They should be arranged depending on importance and notability. For example, being a crab is part of Mr. Krabs's core identity, and is more notable than him being a parent, and should therefore appear first. Game/series-specific categories are always placed last (arranged alphabetically, or numerically in cases such as games by date). See the section for further information on ordering categories.
Templates have their own set of categories. The basic groupings can be found here, although a couple are further divided into subcategories of their own. The templates found on articles are either navigation templates or notice templates. Template categories are applied to templates using
<noinclude>[[Category:Name]]</noinclude>, which ensures that only the template, and not the pages it is placed on, are categorized.
- Navigation templates should not contain categories meant for the pages they are placed on.
So, for example, Template:SBSPLOTLS should not contain Category:SpongeBob SquarePants: Legend of the Lost Spatula. This defeats the purpose of having subject-specific categories for a game. Even templates for which a single category is applicable to all their articles (i.e. Category:Sponges for Template:Sponges) should not have that category, as this is inconsistent with the game templates, can interfere with category order on the articles, and can result in redundancy if users add the categories directly to the pages as well, since you can't tell that the templates provide the categories when you're editing until you Preview or Save.
Notice templates, on the other hand, can contain categories, as these do not pertain to the article's subject matter, but to the quality of the page itself and are only applicable when the template is applicable. Other types of templates used outside of the mainspace can also have categories. These categories are added using
<includeonly>[[Category:Name]]</includeonly>, which means the pages the template is put on are categorized, but the template itself is not.