I like placing tag clouds on my blogs' sidebars or footers.
Displaying your blog's tags in cloud format is an easy way to point your visitors to your most popular topics.
The WordPress default tag cloud appearance leaves a little to be desired however, so this article explains how to format prettier tag clouds.
In the screenshot below, the default tag cloud widget is shown under #1. You can see that it takes up a lot of space and that the large fonts are VERY large. Unfortunately, the only items your can configure with this widget are the widget's title and the taxonomy… whether you wish to display tags or categories.
Making improvements to the tag cloud appearance is easy when you use a plugin. The Configurable Tag Cloud plugin and the Super Tags plugin are shown in positions #2 and #3, repectively.
These plugins give you the option to increase or decrease the number of tags that you display, change the font sizes, change the sort order and so much more. The options for both of these widgets is shown below.
Configurable Tag Cloud Widget
- Title – Title shown in sidebar.
- Number of Tags to Display – Controls the total number of tags in your cloud.
- Min. Number of Posts – Tags with less than this number of posts will not be displayed.
- Max. Number of Posts – Tags with more than this number of posts will not be displayed.
- Font Display Unit – What unit to use for font sizes.
- Smallest Font Size – Tags will be displayed no smaller than this value.
- Largest Font Size – Tags will be displayed no larger that this value.
- Min. Tag Color – Beginning color for tag gradient. Please include the #.
- Max. Tag Color – Ending color for tag gradient. Please include the #.
- Cloud Format – How to display the cloud.
- Show Tags – Display tags in cloud.
- Show Categories – Display categories in cloud.
- Show Empty – Display empty categories in cloud.
- Display Post Count? – Show number of posts for each tag.
- Sort By – What field to sort by.
- Sort Order – Direction of sort.
Super Tags Widget
- Smallest Font Size ( optional / in pixels ):
- Largest Font Size ( optional / in pixels ):
- Max Tags To Display ( optional / number > 1 ):
- Format ( optional / flat or list ):
- Orderby ( optional / name or count ):
- Order ( optional / ASC, DESC, or RAND ):
- Exclude ( optional / comma separated term IDs ):
- Include ( optional / comma separated term IDs ):
- Taxonomy ( optional / post_tag, category, or link_category ):
Although not as robust as the Configurable Tag Cloud Widget, I have chosen to use the Super Tags widget on this blog.
NOTE: If you prefer to hard code the default WordPress tag cloud, please read the documentation for the wp_tag_cloud() function on the WordPress Codex.
So… do you use tag clouds on your blog? Do you pretty them up with a widget or are you using the default WordPress plugin? Do tell!