WordPress plugin: WP-Cumulus Flash based tag cloud

I love tags. I think it’s a brilliant idea to tag blog post. Not so much because I feel it enables people to find information they’re looking for, but because tag clouds usually offer a more adventurous mode of navigation. If I click on a tag called “water” there’s no way of telling whether I’m going to end up reading about water shortages in the third world or the chemical composition of rain. And I like surprises.

What I do not like however, is the way tag clouds traditionally look. Enlarging the font for often-used tags causes all sorts of line height weirdness, which bugs me. This why I started experimenting with Flash to see if I could come up with something better looking. I’m so happy with the initial results I decided to post them here. Both the movie and the plugin itself need loads of work, but please feel free to tell me how you like it so far.

P.S. The tag cloud displayed by the movie is this site’s actual ‘live’ tag cloud, and yes, if you manage to click a tag the page for that tag will open… 🙂

P.P.S. You can download the plugin here. The FAQ should answer most of your questions.


  1. i licky-licky like it 😛

    great stuff man! thx for sharing!

    Comment by kjus0matic — October 19, 2009 @ 9:15 pm

  2. Really super plugin, Roy! Thank you!
    You can programming very nice code for hint of any blogs or site.
    Good luck with your site!

    Comment by Roman-master — October 25, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

  3. Hey, I was wondering if you every created a 3-D cube style tag block before, with tags on all 6 sides of the cube. I would be interested in something like this for my new site, it would be cool if you could create something like this just like your cumulus tag cloud just cubed.

    Comment by Juan L. Pabellon 3rd — October 27, 2009 @ 9:01 am

    • Hi Juan. No, I haven’t done a cube yet. I’m not sure I’d like a tag cloud that would hide half my tags (usually with a cube, only three sides are shown at once). It may look cool, but my guess is it would be even less functional than WP-Cumulus is.

      Comment by Roy — October 28, 2009 @ 8:07 am

  4. Link: Bu Eklentinin Adn Bilen ? - Webmaster Forumu
  5. I would like to include one cloud to my website but just add the links from my website, I have just 11 links inside my web,

    How can I do this? where can I find the code?

    I hope someone can help, here is my site http://www.decantera.egogdl.com/


    Comment by Joe — November 1, 2009 @ 9:13 am

  6. Hi Roy… I’m kind of a newbie here but I use some logic and believe me, I cannot find what am I doing wrong here… I used the example files… I have flash player 9 and the cloud looks great with all its features enabled (great work by the way). But, (the big one), the tags don’t work… I mean… the links are DEAD… the only linking I get is in certain browsers (such as Chrome) when I link to My PC locations… Links to external URLs just stay untouchable, except in IE, which tells me something like this…

    “SecurityError: Error #2028: El archivo SWF local file://C:\Documents and Settings\nelvinarmando\Escritorio\wp-cumulus-example\tagcloud.swf del sistema de archivos no puede acceder a la URL de Internet http://www.roytanck.com.
    at global/flash.net::navigateToURL()
    at com.roytanck.wpcumulus::Tag/::mouseUpHandler()”

    And that’s japanese to me… what should I do??!!

    A note of interest… the cloud in THIS page WORKS PERFECTLY… hahahaha…

    Thanks in advance.

    Comment by Nelvin — November 3, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

    • Hi Nelvin. Do you also get that warning if you place the files online? When running the files locally, different security limitations apply.

      Comment by Roy — November 4, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

  7. Hello Roy,

    Many thanks for your tagcloud plugin wich is fabulous. I want to use it as the menu of my website but I don’t find how to change the color of the visited tag. Any ideas ???

    Thanks in advance


    Comment by Antoine — November 7, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

    • Hi Antoine. Cumulus is a front-end for WP’s built-in tag cloud. That tag cloud does not contain info on whether a link has already been visited. Normally, the browser will know that, and with properly set up style sheets you can change the color. Since this is Flash, that will not work. I don’t think there’s a way to do this, short of using a Flash cookie to store clicked tags. But that will only change the colors for pages visited through Cumulus, not for those visited through other navigation.

      Comment by Roy — November 8, 2009 @ 9:52 am

  8. Hi Roy,

    this thing is simply…wonderfull..

    but.. i have a question…

    is there a way to put this tag cloud outside wordpress? i want to put it on my website that is a normal php-based host…

    i include the php with:

    include (‘script/tag_cloud/wp-cumulus.php’);

    but.. how to make it works now? 🙁

    thx for help if possible 🙂

    Comment by Takkero — November 7, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

    • Takkero, did you see this blog post?

      Comment by Roy — November 8, 2009 @ 9:47 am

  9. yes, very nice plug in !!!
    i’m new in php but it’s very nice.
    you can see at http://www.albarsark.com
    but wait a little … ha ha ha

    Comment by alexis — November 10, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

  10. I love this plug-in! I use it on both sites I administer.
    But I do have a feature request: Support for Japanese characters.

    I’m in no-way skilled or educated in websites and character support, but is it possible?

    Comment by Son of 8-Bits — November 14, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

    • Hi Son Of 8-Bits (brilliant nickname btw). Did you see this post? We’re looking into offering true unicode support in future versions, but in the mean time this should work if Japanese doesn’t have a millions characters like Chinese..

      Comment by Roy — November 15, 2009 @ 1:59 pm

  11. Fantastic! Thanks for the heads-up, Roy.

    I guess, actually, Japanese has MORE characters… Since it uses Chinese Kanji and also Hiragana, Katakana and our roman script.

    For the time being, I’ll just try and add the characters I’ve used in my tags so far.

    Comment by Son of 8-Bits — November 15, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

  12. Hi, Roy…I just installed this new plugin an couple minutes ago. I been playing around with it to see how it blend with my blog…I will must say it looks great, and I will recommend it to all my members.

    Thanks Roy

    Antonio Coleman ‘TrafficColeman” Siging Off

    Comment by TrafficColeman — November 16, 2009 @ 7:27 am

  13. Hi,
    really great plugin, but is there a way to select other words and links than tags or categories to put into the cloud ? I would use it as a funny educationnal object on my WP, i.e. to grab a few quotes and link them to their authors, or give a ‘dynamic’ glossary to my students…
    Thanks a lot for your job.

    Comment by Sdenim — November 23, 2009 @ 9:22 pm

    • Hi Sdenim. The plugin uses categories and tags only, but the standalone version works with whatever you throw at it (if properly fomatted). If you’re familiar with embedding Flash into html you could probably embed that movie into a blog post. More info here.

      Comment by Roy — November 24, 2009 @ 9:29 am

  14. please tell me roy, this plug in works only inside word press? Could I put this nice stuff inside my web site flash/php?

    Comment by miguel de castro — November 25, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

  15. Hi miguel de castro,
    download the development version here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-cumulus/download/

    You can either feed the tags in as flash vars or have an xml file in the same directory as wp-cumulus.swf file. You’ll see how the xml file is formatted in the dev version

    Comment by Alexis — December 2, 2009 @ 5:46 am

    • Tnx, Alexis 🙂

      Comment by Roy — December 2, 2009 @ 9:41 am

  16. Have installed this…looks weird…I get no color, and the tags are in small font…
    I see no font settings. how do i increase the size of the fonts…? I do not see
    this tag cloud as being search engine friendly either…im dumping it…

    Comment by dsimms — December 9, 2009 @ 6:19 am

  17. How to reduce the space between text i am using wp cumulus without WordPress. I done in html plz help me..

    Comment by Prabhakaran — December 14, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

  18. Link: Wordpress标签云插件: WP Cumulus » 月影鹏鹏
  19. Very Good, Thanks.

    Comment by vian — December 25, 2009 @ 7:39 am

  20. Great idea, and looks awsome in firefox. Unfortunately it can’t be used on live blogs though as it does not work with IE which some people insist on using even though its a peice of crap tsk tsk

    Comment by Gaz — January 19, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

    • Gaz, I’m pretty sure it works on IE. If the page has a lot of markup errors however, IE is usually the first to fail.

      Comment by Roy — January 21, 2010 @ 9:35 am

  21. Hello Roy. I love the wp_cumulus plugin (I use it on wordpress and sweetcron), but have had a recent issue. The links on my wordpress installation of the cloud are unclickable. I followed your FAQ on the wordpress.org site, stating that I need to direct to the www. of my site, but this didn’t solve the issue.

    I recently moved the installation of my wordpress, so the front page points to a blog stored in a subdirectory (machinemachine.net/index.php points to a blog in the /text directory). Is this something to do with the problem perhaps? Any help, you can give me would be much appreciated please take a peek at my site to see the problem.

    Comment by 0bvious — January 19, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

    • Obvious, I see some pretty strange links in your cloud. Usually, there’s a full path, starting with http://, but in your case the links look like ‘/stream/items/tag/art’, which is a relative path. The issue is also only on the home page as far as I can tell. Is the home page different in any way from the underlying pages? I’m not familiar with sweetcron’s innards at all.

      Comment by Roy — January 21, 2010 @ 9:24 am

  22. Link: WordPress » XMM.IR
  23. I tested it on IE 8.0.7137.0
    No blogs using this plugin work, including this one.
    What happens is, everything else loads fine except for the flash.
    I’m not sure exactly why, could it be my particular version of flash with this particular version of IE? It works with the same flash version in firefox.

    Comment by Gaz — January 21, 2010 @ 9:41 am

  24. Gaz, sounds like a local problem with your setup to me. I’m pretty sure that if there was a more widespread problem I’d know about it. I’d probably be overwhelmed with email and comments…

    Comment by Roy — January 21, 2010 @ 10:05 am

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  26. Link: SEO-блог как раскрутить сайт » Архив сайта » Облако тегов WP-Cumulus русская версия
  27. Link: WP Cumulus – 介绍一个3D立体效果标签云插件 - 法月博客
  28. Link: Wordpress标签云插件: WP Cumulus中文版 - 天下免费
  29. Link: Tagging & subcategories: organizing online content | Innovation in College Media
  30. Link: WordPress Widgets | Active & Marketing
  31. Link: Wordpress插件法与无插件法实现彩色标签云总结(超全通杀) | 斷了線的風箏 | 专注互联网,游戏,开源,音乐,免费资源.
  32. Link: Flash Tag Cloud | Megan Leigh McDonald
  33. Link: wordpress tag插件:WP-Cumulus[支持中文] « 哆啦B梦:Dorabmon.com
  34. Link: Last progress « David – Mini CMS on Apache Sling
  35. Link: SwayOfMultimedia » Flash Cumulus für WordPress
  36. Link: new theme direction?
  37. Link: 2 WordPress Plugins Para Exibir Tags Em Flash | Webmaster.pt - Marketocracia Digital
  38. Link: Delphi 6: Can native Delphi do smooth graphics like Flash? | DeveloperQuestion.com
  39. Link: Buzz Lightyear is here » Blog Archive » links for 2010-11-30
  40. Link: តើមាននរណាចេះដាក់ wp-cumulus-flash-based-tag-cloud ក្នុងប្លក់ដែររឺទេ? | ក្រុមប្រតិបតិ្តការណ៍ពិសេស (黃中太陽)
  41. Link: 介绍:WordPress标签云插件: WP Cumulus | Yorian关于设计那点事 - 网站开发-网站建设-网站设计-CSS-PHP-JavaScript-原创博客
  42. Link: WP-Cumulus русская версия | Создание сайтов на WordPress
  43. Link: Супер облако тэгов | Вебмастеру посвящается...
  44. Link: WP- Plugin “WP-Cumulus” | | WEBWP.deWEBWP.de
  45. Link: 3 Générateurs de nuage de tags
  46. Link: Flash Tag Cloud WordPress plugin | BjDyLSC.com
  47. Link: Animierte Tag-Cloud in Flash – crusy.net
  48. Link: WordPress plugin: WP-Cumulus Flash based Tag Cloud (3D) | Roy Tanck's weblog – Bibliobsession (2008)
  49. Link: JQuery tag cloud plugin | CODER-DESIGN
  50. Link: インストールしたプラグイン | サーバーエラーのようです