Tag, You're It!

Since I started using Flickr earlier this month, I’ve falling in love with tags. Using categories in WordPress has always been a burden, so made the move to rid the site of them. Using tags is much better way to classify things in my opinion. You can view a heat map or full list of the tags used here at MDV.

While looking for a plugin to do the job I found quite a few, but they were all done wrong. Just bout every tagging plugin out there for WP used the meta data to store tags. I just didn’t get it. All of the functionality is already built into WP with categories, so why not just use what is already there?

After much searching I finally found a solution. All it takes is a simple edit to post.php and one plugin file.

20 Replies to “Tag, You're It!”

  1. Indeed… I wish I could sort my blog out by tags… I think I should move on from blogger and perhaps try other weblogging apps.

    I got a nice script in my ‘customize’ section at my blog. It generates automatic technorati/flickr/wikipedia tags or google searches by typing words in the Flickr format (separated with spaces).


  2. After listening to Clay Shirky, I want to tag everything now. šŸ˜†

    Nick, can you write something up about how you did all this? How does posting change afterwards? I’m scared to undertake something, but I can see how much better it would be to tag posts rather than categorize them. Kind of like Gmail labels, too.

    If I’m thinking like this, and you were thinking like this, I’m sure there’s more people that’d be really grateful if you could write some sort of article. šŸ™‚ Thanks Nick!


  3. Actually, it’s really easy.

    Download the plugin and rename it to .php

    Add do_action('before_post', ''); to the top of post.php somewhere.

    There are two configurable options inside the plugin:

    $post_tag_separator = " ";

    $post_tag_override = true;

    I chose to set the $post_tag_seperator to “,” so that I could have spaces inside my tags.

    Once this is done, just activate the plugin. Now when you get to the Write Post screen you’ll have a text area underneath the main post area where you can type in tags. If the tag hasn’t been used before, it will be added to the list of “categories”. There is a section inside the plugin also to disable the regular comment list on that Write Post screen.

    Oh…and you’ll obviously want to change all references to the word “category” in your theme to “tag”.

    Let me know if anything doesn’t make any sense and I could write up a true post on this.


  4. Anything that outputs “Category” to your site, you’ll most likely want to change….I’d just do a search for that word in the theme folder.

    It depends on what you set the $post_tag_separator variable to. The default is left as a space. I changed mine to a comma, so that I can put something like this in that post tags area…

    quickie,site news,web design

    This would give me three tags: “quickie”, “site news”, and “web design”.


  5. By the way…feel free to hit me up on IM anytime.

    Under Options->Permalinks, instead of using “archives/category” I changed it to “archives/tag”.


  6. Pingback: ClioWeb | Home
  7. I really like the tagging system you’ve implemented. I’m now in the process of switching from MT to WP, and I figure as long as I’m going to all the trouble of converting my templates, I might as well switch from traditional categories to tags as well.

    Only problem is I can’t for the life of me figure out how to display a “cloud” list of the tags on my archives page (like you did). I can’t seem to accomplish it with either wp_list_cats or the_category.

    The “heat map” is probably too advanced for me; I don’t need that. But I’m afraid a normal list will take up too much vertical space, so I’d really like to do the cloud thing. Can you clue me in?



  8. Nick,

    Sorry, I’m not down with the lingo. Del.icio.us, since the upgrade yesterday, refers to your “heat map” display as “cloud”.

    Got a link to that heat map plugin?



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