Tag clouds are information rich, making a lot of data meaningful in a very intuitive form. I love tag clouds, and previously had one on my blog back when it was powered by Movable Type. I’ve missed it since moving to WordPress, but not because it’s not possible. There are at least two ways to add folksonomy tagging and tag clouds to WordPress: the easy way and the DIY method.
First, the easy way. Jake, one of the team leaders over at BigBlueBall, shared The Ultimate Tag Warrior. Considered one of the top ten WordPress plugins, UTW was created by Christine Davis, a neato gal from New Zealand with tag-cloudy vision.
Installing UTW was a snap. Configuration was a bit of a chore, only because there are so many options available. Understanding exactly what each option does takes some patience and trial-and-error. The tags show up nicely in each post, but it takes some work to get the tag cloud and results integrated with your blog’s theme. Case-in-point… Obviously, someone needs to brew another pot of coffee.
The Do-It-Yourself method allows you to create tags using the categories you’ve already assigned posts to. UTW allows this as well, but a group called Phraction has created a nice, open-source tutorial on creating your own WordPress tag cloud class. While the end result is not as configurable as UTW, it’s a good approach for someone interested in learning more about programming for WordPress.