The Recommended Tags Plugin

Since I upgraded to WordPress 2.3, The biggest thing I missed about my old Simple Tags Plugin was the auto-completion that happened for tags when I started typing them in on a post. I started missing that so much that I began to think of writing a new plugin. Before beginning on such a task however, I wouldn’t even think of not searching Google. Well, I came up with the Recommended Tags Plugin. I can’t say enough how this is exactly what I was looking for.

From their description:

This is a plugin for WordPress 2.3+ that utilizes the built-in tag system for recommending and displaying a list of your current tags. It avoids the troubling issue of creating duplicate tag names that are nearly identical, such as “download” and “downloads.”

All I was looking for was auto-completion, to help me avoid typing in different spellings or slightly different tags that have the same meaning. This plugin goes way beyond that by listing your available tags and recommending tags based on the content that you’ve written for your post. It’s a must install in my opinion.

Upgrading to WordPress 2.3 and the New Built-in Tagging Feature

I’ve barely completed an upgrade to WordPress 2.3. Out of many new improvements, one which stood out to me is the integrated tagging support. No longer, is it necessary to download one of the many tagging plugins.

Some things I noticed during the upgrade:

  1. My existing tagging plugin broke at the time of the upgrade. I found, after searching on Google, that some of the database schema that most tag and link plugins depend on was removed. (wp_post2cat et. al.) Simply disabling my two plugins for Simple Tagging fixed the database error message at the top of the pages
  2. WordPress has importers for a lot of tagging widgets. All I had to do was go to the “Manage” tab and choose “Import”. Importing the tags worked flawlessly.
  3. The new tag cloud widget applies unique styles to each tag. They are in the format < a class=”tag-link-$tag_id” … >. To get around the tags not having a style, I modified my style sheet and added color and link styles to the container div that the tag widget is in.
  4. I had to modify my page template to print a list of tags at the bottom of each post. There is a pretty good reference for that here.

Categories vs Tags

I found a couple plugins that make the tag and category features function the way I’d like.

  • Simple Tagging
    This plugin allows each post to have an associated set of tags. This enables a clean category system while still being able to show the subjects that each post talks about.
  • Simple Tagging Widget
    This widget Enables a cloud view of the tags in the sidebar.