As you can see if you are reading this on the blog,punchbarrel.com web site (you will need to imagine if you are using an RSS reader or some fancy blog-to-email thingy), this blog has a “tag cloud” in a sidebar. I really like the way that a tag cloud allows quick and easy access to existing posts without searching or browsing.
However, the tag cloud widget built in to the version of WordPress I am using defaults to display of a small number of tags (around 40, as I recall.) This is a piffling amount and results in most of my low-volume tags not being displayed – largely defeating the point of tags for navigation. I did find a place in the widget PHP where this value can be overridden, and that’s how I have been showing a reasonable number of tags over the last few months.
The modification I found has one big problem. It is reverted every time I upgrade WordPress, and so far I have ended up searching through the WordPress code to find where to make the change again. Each release I have hoped that this obvious value will be available as a widget parameter, but to no avail. With the latest WordPress update I could no longer be bothered to look.
So today I decided to abandon the existing tag cloud widget and look for one more suitable to my needs. The one I eventually settled on was Configurable Tag Cloud (CTC). This plugin acts a widget in the same way as the built-in one, but is much more configurable. best of all, it defaults to showing all the tags – just what I want!
As an additional bonus, and only a few months after it was pointed out to me by some of my users, I have finally fixed the CSS styling when hovering over a sidebar link, so that it no longer obscures the link text with a big opaque blue blob. Now the current link is indicated with a gentle yellow background.