Use tagging in WordPress

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Posted 09 Jan 2008 in Better Blogger, WordPress

WordPress Wednesdays

This is Step #34 in the 101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger.

WordPress 2.3 introduced us to built-in tagging support, which has been a great addition to every blogger’s blogging arsenal for three reasons:

  1. Tags are a great way to quickly show visitors what you blog about. Categories can be helpful to show visitors what you blog about, but tags give an extra layer of information that is a lot more specific and targeted. If a visitor only wants to read your posts on Firefox, they can quickly find them, versus searching through various categories or searching your blog.
  2. You can review your tags and see where you spend most of your time blogging – and adjust your topics if necessary. If your blog is about pets but you blog more about celebrities, either you need to focus more on pet-related topics or switch your blog’s niche to celebrities!
  3. You no longer have to use third-party plugins to add tagging support to your blog. Third-party plugins can be useful, but when the developer no longer supports them or the instructions are incomplete or difficult to understand, you can end up more frustrated than is necessary. Also, some plugins require coding in your posts – and when you stop using the plugin, the code is still there until you manually remove it!

However, many older themes do not have built-in tagging support, so you must manually add tagging support to your blog.

How do I add tagging support to my WordPress theme?

You have several options to add tagging support – whether you want to go all out and have tags displayed on each post or just want to display a tag cloud in your sidebar or footer.

Perhaps the easiest (and more popular) option is to just add a tag cloud to your sidebar. Adding a tag cloud to your sidebar takes a few steps:

  1. Navigate to Presentation > Theme Editor > Sidebar (or if you want to place the tag cloud in the footer, Presentation > Theme Editor > Footer)
  2. Select the place within your sidebar code for the tag cloud.
  3. Insert the following code and save the page. Visit the WordPress Codex to get the code.

    <?php wp_tag_cloud( $args ); ?>

  4. Save the page, then load your website up and see the changes.
  5. Modify the code to fit your needs. You may want to tinker with the location, size of text and display of the tag cloud, to best fit in with preexisting sections of the sidebar and footer. Again, it is personal preference as to where and how to display your tag cloud.

If you are interested in adding tags to each post on your WordPress powered site, visit How To Implement Tags In Your WordPress Themes from Everybody Go To. Lars takes you step by step through adding tagging to individual posts and to your sidebar.

WordPress Wednesdays features posts about plugins, themes and general usage of WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system!

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