Ever since I released the first version of WP-Cumulus, people have been asking me for color support. While I agreed that multi-colored tags would probably help make Cumulus look even better, there were a few obstacles to overcome.
- WordPress does not let you specify a color for tags. So where would the colors be coming from? Assigning them at random didn’t sound like a good idea to me, I wanted to look into ways to make the colors ‘help’ in terms of usability.
- The Flash movie depth-sorts the tags. This means the ones that appear closest are indeed ‘on top’. This helps clickability, but it also means tags ‘overtake’ eachother depth-wise. With tags in different colors, this became visible because you’d see one color ‘jump’ in front. This looked very much like a glitch.
With version 1.15 I’ve added a ‘gradient mode’ to overcome the first issue. By entering two different color values you can create a virtual gradient. Each tag is then assigned a color from this gradient, based on its importance. If your first color is red and the second is blue, often-used tags will be red, lesser used ones will be either purple or blue.
The second issue hasn’t really been solved, but you can minimize the effect by choosing choosing colors that aren’t too far apart. I’m currently using ‘white to blue’ on my tags page and ‘grey to brown’ on the sidebar. With this setup I’ve been unable to detect the overtaking effect.
As always the plugin can be downloaded from http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-cumulus/