WordPress mentioned a few days ago that they will be releasing the stable version of 2.3 today. They have not announced the release as yet on their blog however I decided to give the beta release a try.
The biggest difference in 2.3 is the addition of the Tag Cloud feature to wordpress. It works in much the same way as the Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin which proved so popular with WordPress bloggers.
WordPress 2.3 introduces two new tags for use with the tag cloud feature.
- wp_tag_cloud – The wp_tag_cloud template tag lists the top tags you have on your blog. Words that have been tagged more often after larger in size than those that have just been mentioned once or twice.
- the_tags – The the_tags template tag lists the tags which are attached to that post.
Once you have upgraded to WordPress 2.3 you will see a tag field directly under your post area and above the save/publish buttons. You simply add the tags you want to attach to the post and seperate it by commas (See below for an example).
Unfortunately, tags for your posts are not auto generated so you will have to manually add them to all of your posts. Thankfully, if you use the the_tags template tag to display the tags attached to your post it will not display anything unless the post has tags attached to it.
Ultimate Tag Warrior Plugin users can rest easy as well because WordPress 2.3 has an import function in the import area of your blog admin area so that all of the tags which you used with UTW remain intact. I’m pleased WordPress took the time to add this import feature as so many WordPress bloggers used the Ultimate Tag Warrior Plugin.
Adding your tag cloud outside of the loop
You can add the tag cloud to your posts using the wp_tag_cloud template tag. If you want to add a dedicated tag archive page which lists all posts associated please follow the guide at WordPress.org.
Rich Gilchrest wrote a post showing you how to add your tag cloud in your sidebar. I’m sure the sidebar is going to be one of the most popular areas to display the tag cloud so I will write my own guide showing you how to do just that in the next day or so. I’ll also show you how you can add it to your footer.
This is the first WordPress update in a while which has added a major feature to your blog. Hopefully, WordPress will keep this up and incorporate more popular plugins into official releases. I have yet to update my posts with tags but I may set some time aside to do it because the search engines love them!
One thing I would advise all of you to do during upgrade is deactive all plugins. I quickly found that the Google Sitemaps Plugin which I had been using cannot work with this release and was causing problems when posting.
Let me know if you have any problems upgrading or if you have any questions regarding adding tags to your WordPress blog.
Until WordPress update their download page, you can download the release canditate here. Note, you’ll probably have to do another upgrade within the next week if you do choose to use the beta version.