Topic Clouds & Post Lists: 2 On 1 Stroke!!

A couple under an umbrella

There were two things I want­ed to see changed in the bootScore theme before ven­tur­ing into the big inter­ven­tions. I was told that improved top­ic clouds and post lists would increase read­abil­i­ty and usabil­i­ty. For­tu­nate­ly, it was easy to get a more fan­cy tag cloud and an improved list of recent posts show­ing the fea­tured images as thumb­nails:

[ en | de ]


  • For get­ting a nicer tag cloud
    • install the Plu­g­in Cool Tag Cloud,
    • goto Appereance/Widgets,
    • copy the wid­get Cool Tag Cloud into the side­bar,
    • open it to con­fig­ure it,
    • set the val­ue Largest Font to 17 (so that the tags denot­ing more posts are dis­played larg­er),
    • select an image col­or fit­ting the style of your theme,
    • and: Bin­go.
  • For get­ting a nicer recent post list
    • install the plu­g­in [Recent Posts Wid­get Extend­ed] https://de.wordpress.org/plugins/recent-posts-widget-extended/,
    • goto Appereance/Widgets,
    • replace the stan­dard wid­get recent-post-wid­get in the side­bar with the new recent-post-wid­get extend­ed,
    • and again: Bin­go


Word­Press offers some plu­g­ins for improv­ing the tag cloud. Its own wid­get is a lit­tle spar­tan. But most of the alter­na­tives are some­how out­dat­ed1 or try to offer com­plete tag man­age­ment. Thus, for the moment2 I could only find two can­di­dates: Cool Tag Cloud and Cre­ative Tag Cloud. The lat­ter pro­duces a very styl­ish spi­ral. But it is dif­fi­cult to con­fig­ure. And the result does not prop­er­ly work on small devices. Quite dif­fer­ent in con­trast: Cool Tag Cloud. On its descrip­tion page, it pre­tends to be Open-Source Soft­ware. But the repos­i­to­ry nei­ther con­tains a license file nor a licens­ing state­ment. So — as a FOSS purist — I should ignore it, which I do not do because it is offi­cial­ly host­ed as a Word­Press plu­g­in and Word­Press is licensed under the GPL‑2.0. In oth­er words: I am count­ing on the Copy-Left Effect.

Word­Press deliv­ers its own recent post wid­get as well as it con­tains its own tag cloud wid­get. And the recent post wid­get also pro­duces a visu­al­ly rather lim­it­ed result. For its improve­ment, I bet on the plu­g­in recent post wid­get extend­ed. Accord­ing to its readme.txt, it is licensed under GPL-v3 or lat­er. And even­tu­al­ly, it direct­ly does what I want­ed that it should do.

And how does this …

… sup­port our migra­tion to bootScore? Well, when the web design­er has com­plet­ed her work on good illus­tra­tions, she can relax and inte­grate tags and clouds into her site, improve her overview page and design her own land­ing page. Whether the result­ing full­ness real­ly ben­e­fits her own read­er, whether it can become slim­mer and how, whether more dis­creet ref­er­ences and spe­cif­ic fonts also increase the read­abil­i­ty, all this she should nev­er­the­less con­sid­er while imple­ment­ing these fea­tures. This post sup­ports these steps towards a per­son­al­ized bootScore site.

  1. = not test­ed with my cur­rent ver­sion 6.1.1 []
  2. 2023.3.6 []
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