How to use WP-Cumulus shortcodes

Contrary to what I originally thought when I released WP-Cumulus, it seems most people prefer to use it on their blog’s sidebar. I estimate that at least 80% of users use the widget. But the plugin still has two other ways to embed the movie into your blog, and version 1.20 greatly improves the most important of those. Shortcodes can be incredibly useful, and version 1.20 of my plugin now properly supports them.


WordPress 2.5 introduced an API that allows us plugin creators to easily create square bracket ‘tags’ that users can type into blog posts and pages to trigger plugin output. WP-Cumulus has used something similar since day one, but the official shortcodes API allows for a lot more flexibility.

The most important change is that you can pass parameters. For Cumulus, this means you can override your default settings each time you embed a tag cloud into a post. Lets assume you’ve set up the non-widget version of the tag cloud to be 500 pixels wide. You can now use the following shortcode to display it at 300 pixels.

[wp-cumulus width="300"]

If you’d instead like a cloud with red tags and a transparent background, here’s the code for that:

[wp-cumulus tcolor="ff0000" tcolor2="ff0000" trans="true"]

Supported attributes

Here is a complete list of the attributes WP-Cumulus currently supports:

AttributeUsed forPossible valuesExample
widthWidth of the tag cloudNumber of pixels (positive integer)width=”300″
heightHeight of the tag cloudNumber of pixels (positive integer)height=”240″
tcolorTag colorHEX color value without the ‘#’ prefixtcolor=”ffcc00″
tcolor2Tag color for less important tagsHEX color value without the ‘#’ prefixtcolor2=”cc9900″
hicolorTag highlight colorHEX color value without the ‘#’ prefixhicolor=”ffffff”
bgcolorTag cloud background colorHEX color value without the ‘#’ prefixbgcolor=”333333″
speedRotation speedPrecentage, higher means fasterspeed=”150″
transBackground transparency“true” or “false”trans=”true”
distrEven tag distributions along sphere“true” or “false”distr=”true”
argsArgments to be passed to the ‘wp_tag_cloud’ function (experimental, use at own risk)URL encoded stringargs=”smallest=10″
modeTag/Category mode“tags”, “cats” or “both”mode=”tags”

Default values

By using any of these attributes, you override the values entered under ‘Settings->WP Cumulus”. These serve as the defaults used when using the shortcode, so simply entering [wp-cumulus] into a post will result in a tag cloud with those settings. If you have only one cloud inside a post or page it’s probably best to change the main settings. The attributes listed above will allow you to have multiple clouds inside posts, all with different settings.

WordPress 2.5 and up

Please note that since the shortcodes API was introduced in WordPress 2.5, none of this will work on older versions. The new lowercase shortcodes replace the old [WP-CUMULUS] one. That still works for now, but is ‘deprecated’ for blogs running WP 2.5 or newer.


  1. Link: Блог на Андон Иванов » WP-Cumulus - ключовите думи под формата на флаш сфера.
  2. Dear Roy…
    That was a Great Job Bro…
    It 100000000% work on my blog…
    For all who use blgger just klick on

    Comment by Yosep — May 19, 2009 @ 7:09 am

  3. Best plugin I found, I love it.

    Comment by Waseem Qamar — June 19, 2009 @ 11:13 am

  4. Link: Tagnetic Poetry 1.0 adds shortcode support | Roy Tanck's weblog
  5. Hi Roy thanks for the great plugin. I know this might sound immature but how do I add it to my sidebar and a width of 260px? I received a message ‘flash player 9 or higher’ so I downloaded the latest flash player and still doesn’t work.

    I tried to follow your instructions but does it only work when you create a new page or post? How do add to the sidebar.php?

    Thanks in advance
    CHEERS 🙂

    Comment by Danny — July 8, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

  6. Love your plugins!! Congratulations on your work. I will spread it to everyone 😉

    Thanks for the detailed how-tos!


    Comment by Pedro — July 9, 2009 @ 1:45 am

  7. I have the same question as Danny above. I there a way to add arguments to the code for the sidebar?

    Comment by Timo — July 9, 2009 @ 9:20 am

    • Hi Danny, Timo. Are you guys using the widget? That has its own set of settings (simply click open the widget). If not, there isn’t currently a way to pass arguments to the php function call.

      Comment by Roy — July 18, 2009 @ 6:53 pm

  8. Thanks a lot Roy..I really appreciate it..

    Comment by Khalid — July 12, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

  9. I am a newbie, please help me more technical to install this wp-cumulus. I can not find how to upload this cumulus. Please help me to find plugins folder to be uploaded to.
    I am very grateful if you help me by informing the step by step to may email.


    Comment by raggne — August 6, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

  10. Hi Roy,

    thanks for that great plugin. I’ve downloaded the typo3 version which works very well, but with a very little restriction: How can i set the default font-size for the plugin? All links are getting displayed very litte and unreadable?!?

    Guido P.

    Comment by Guido Palacios — August 11, 2009 @ 12:05 pm

    • Hi Guido. I’m afraid you’ll have to contact the author of the Typo3 port to look into your issue. Font sizes are set in the Flash movie’s input data, and controlled by the CMS.

      Comment by Roy — August 11, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

  11. Hi, Roy. Your plugin looks super nice.
    But I have a problem, send a link to / tag / postname /, but I want the transition to / postname /. How do I configure this?

    Comment by VRS — August 13, 2009 @ 3:08 am

    • Hi VRS. If you change the permalink structure for your blog, Cumulus will instantly update its links. It gets its links from core WordPress functions, and doesn’t store or cache them in any way (except perhaps for some caching by the Flash plugin, but that shouldn’t be too bad).

      Comment by Roy — August 13, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

  12. If I want to put an image without text, what I have to do?
    I dont speak very bell english, sorry and thanks!

    Comment by NiKo — August 13, 2009 @ 3:12 am

  13. Link: Testing wp-cumulus « Security Enthusiast
  14. Than you for this great widget. This is supeer 🙂

    Comment by DarkCrema — August 23, 2009 @ 7:21 am

  15. Very good your pluggins, but where changed the size? here :wp-cumulus/wp-cumulus.php.I have test to change this line :
    function wp_cumulus_install () {
    $newoptions = get_option(‘wpcumulus_options’);
    $newoptions[‘width’] = ‘100’;
    $newoptions[‘height’] = ‘100’;
    But this not that. Thanks for your help.

    Comment by TIJ — August 25, 2009 @ 10:58 pm

    • Hi TIJ. You can change the size and other settings under Settings -> WP Cumulus (these apply to the shortcode version) or by opening the widget on the widget screen (if you’re using the widget)

      Comment by Roy — August 26, 2009 @ 9:28 am

  16. Thank you very much! Beautiful plugin for wordpress!

    Comment by Andras — August 27, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

  17. Thanks for this very nice plug-in !have others plug-in for show music?

    Comment by LiuMing — September 3, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

  18. Link: WP Plugin: Cumulus |
  19. Hello Roy! We really appreciate your great work! It’s incredibly amazing to learn so many things from you! WP-Cumulus is very wonderful tool and we put it on our blog! Thank you! God bless!

    Comment by Olga — September 19, 2009 @ 12:11 pm

  20. Nice plugin…can i integrate this with my flex application… ..any document related to this…

    Comment by trio — September 22, 2009 @ 7:45 am

    • Hi Trio. There’s a flex port here.

      Comment by Roy — September 22, 2009 @ 9:26 am

  21. Great Plugin. Easy to use. I think that plugin is absolutely an eyecatcher for every website/blog.

    Comment by Johnny Prince — September 23, 2009 @ 10:54 am

  22. superb !!! Thank you 🙂

    Ravikumar V.

    Comment by Ravikumar V. — September 23, 2009 @ 2:21 pm

  23. Hey I have tried all the setting you have mentioned to make wp-cumulus work for my website.. But it isnt working at all.. I have installed flash player and javascript..installed it with widget on sidebar.. but still no changes its coming as it is in a plane format… Plz help… this is the website link

    Comment by vipul — September 24, 2009 @ 8:40 am

    • Vipul, I can’t seem to find even the slightest hint of WP-Cumulus code on that page. Are you sure the widget is in there somewhere?

      Comment by Roy — September 24, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

  24. Hi Roy, I am desperate .. I had your plugin all set up and working fine .. after doing some updates it disappeared and I cant figure out where is the problem. I am having tags assigned to pages through simple tags plugin …

    The page is here:

    Thanks a lot ..

    Comment by Yara — September 24, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

    • Hi Yara. When looking at the source code on that page I see al the right stuff, except there are no tags. Could you try placing the regular WP html tag cloud (widget) on your blog and see if it displays any tags at all? Cumulus is simply a flash frontend for WP’s built-in tag functionality. I’ve seen issues with Simple Tags before, so I’ll contact the author about this to see if there’s a quick fix.

      Comment by Roy — September 24, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

  25. Hi Yara, say plz, how include your plugin into the wp theme directly. Thank you.

    Comment by AntraX — September 26, 2009 @ 1:35 am

  26. hello Mr.Roy, Please Help Me, I’m So stress and Confused To insert comulus in my site,
    sorry, co’z i newbie , i still learning about design web, i’m use wordpress, and thats domain,
    i install gamezine wordpress themes, Question :

    i want insert comulus under recent post, in packed install, i have siderbar.php , sidebar1.php and sidebar2.php, when i use widgets, after i active this comulus plugin, and insert in widgets sider bar, BUT CAN NOT DISPLAYED IN MY SITE, and then i TRY insert the CODE, i have same problem, the comulus NOT DIPLAYED in my site, please help me, What can i do?.

    Comment by darmawan — September 26, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

    • Darmawan, does your site validate in , and do IE, Firefox and Chrome/Safari all show the same thing?

      Comment by Roy — September 27, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

  27. Sorry roy i removed it coz it was not working at all… so i installed some other plugin…i just wanted to confirm that in which condition it will work proper….n what else plugin it requires… also is thr any editing in the theme???? If you answer this a lot of ppl like me will be able to install it with ease… thanks in advance…

    Comment by vipul — September 26, 2009 @ 7:18 pm

  28. I love wp-cumulus but since it was not working i installed simple tag for some time..plz let me knw the solution so that i can switch back to it…i hv just deactivated it…

    Comment by vipul — September 26, 2009 @ 7:19 pm

    • Vipul, I do not have a solution to this. Simple Tags seems to bypass the regular tagging functionality in WP, and because of this its tags aren’t available for me to work with. I’ve yet to hear back from the author about how to possibly resolve this.

      Comment by Roy — September 27, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

  29. Hello Mr.Roy, I try in Firefox and IE , Show Different in comulus colum side bar, i active widgets and drag into siderbar 2 , but in FIREFOX browser can’t show comulus ( i mean JUST show “white color” / Nothing )
    and in IE, same thing, SHOW LIKE THAT :
    ” WP Cumulus Flash tag cloud by
    Roy Tanck
    requires Flash Player 9 or better.

    The Comulus Not Shown, PLease Help me, This My Site, can u check this
    sorry , i’m so newbie , and i don’t understand about “VALIDATE in –<<< What is that?… Thanx…..

    Comment by darmawan — September 27, 2009 @ 5:26 pm

  30. this is MY VALIDATE RESULT :

    I’m So Stress, Coz, i have”nt basic of webdesign , php, etc.. But i want to learn, can u help me FIX my problem, ” WHAT CAN I DO TO FIX THIS PROBLEM”? , co’z I’m Verry Interest with Your COMULUS… PLease Help Me…

    Comment by darmawan — September 27, 2009 @ 5:35 pm

    • Darmawan, the best thing would be to tidy up all errors. You could also try the ‘compatbility mode’ in WP-Cumulus (found under Settings -> WP Cumulus).

      Comment by Roy — September 29, 2009 @ 9:32 am

  31. Mr.Roy i had been try To check list The Compatbility Box, and update post, but i have a same problem. comulus can’t show, and for the error validate, i still try to fix it, i’m so stress..hehe:0. co’z i don’t have a basis for PHP language and Html, i’m verry2 newbie…hope u can help me to fix this comulus, co’z i’ so like to post u’r comulus in my site…do u have the other solution for me?…please…

    maybe can u make some guide for me to fix my problem..thanx..


    Comment by darmawan — September 29, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

    • Darmawan, it looks like you do not have any tags on your blog. You need to add tags to posts in order for Cumulus to display them. Please make sure you use WP’s built-in tagging system, not a 3rd party alternative.

      Comment by Roy — September 30, 2009 @ 8:57 am

  32. Mr.Roy, Thanx A Lot, i take a tag in my post, and the comulus can show now hehe :), i’m so happy…
    but i’m still try to fix thats comulus, with the black ground, how change that’s background and the size of text and colour?


    Comment by darmawan — October 3, 2009 @ 6:56 pm

  33. I’m so glad i found you I love your plug-in. As you noticed –most people used it in a sidebar widget — and that’s the way — did –until a few days ago I decided to use it as a full page “category” cloud for an MU hosting site, and having some difficulty w/ it & that sent me here…. Delighted to meet you and thank you directly

    I know others who use cumulus as well, or who have commented on it –very attractive and useful bit of candy. Thank you for your generosity, and supporting this. …. I hope Tons of goodness come your way….

    Now that I have all the variables… I’m going to go tweak cumulus….

    Thanks Roy


    Comment by heywho — October 6, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

  34. Hi,

    Thanks for creating such a visually stunning way to display tags. I would like to embed this on my edublogs blog. Can I do so without being an edublog supporter? If so, how do I do it?

    Thank you for you attention to this request.

    Comment by erikbyker — October 6, 2009 @ 9:03 pm

  35. I need some help for getting the tagcloud to work the way I want to outside of wordpress. It is currently sitting on a page but I need it to automatically start rotating upon loading. Could you please help me out or tell me what code in the AS to edit to get it to do this.


    Comment by Allen — October 13, 2009 @ 6:58 pm

  36. Link:» Blogarchiv » Kumulus
  37. thanks for this great plug-in!

    But I have a little problem by using this plug-in.
    Before I activated the plug-in I had changed the font colors, width and hight in the wp-culums.php.
    I connected the plug-in to my sidebar by using .
    Now the plug-in works good. But I want to change the color for [‘tcolor2’] again and by editing this part in wp-culums.php. Nothing changed in the plug-in after i edited the file. Is there some code I have to chage, too ?
    Thanks in advance!

    Comment by Daniel — October 17, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

    • Hi Daniel. You shouldn’t edit the php file. All settings can be changed by clicking open the widget or under Settings -> WP-Cumulus. Every time you upgrade the plugin, changes to wp-cumulus.php will get overwritten, and besides, there are only default values in there, which get set once, upon installation.

      Comment by Roy — October 20, 2009 @ 9:22 am

  38. Link: Play « Information Search Blog
  39. Hey Roy,
    I am a huge fan of your Cumulus cloud! I’m a beginner when it comes to web design… I would be honored to have your cloud as the homepage center for my website. I don’t want to link it to a blog though, I just have a list of words that I want to use. Is there an easy way for a beginner to do this? The cloud’s whole purpose on my website would just be eye candy. 🙂
    Underneath the cloud would be a link to my actual website, but the cloud would be on the landing page.

    Please email me or reply to this post at your convenience.
    Thank you!

    Comment by Michael — October 21, 2009 @ 3:36 am

  40. Hi Roy,

    Thank you for this nice Tag Cloud. I tried to use this tags in the website that i work on it now. It is a sharepoint website and i want to read the tags from a list but I failed to make it work , do you know how to use it , can you help me?

    Please reply to me.
    Thank you at all.

    Comment by Nehal Al-Jurf — October 21, 2009 @ 7:02 am

    • Hi Michael, Nehal, this tutorial should get you started…

      Comment by Roy — October 22, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  41. great plugin thx.

    WP-Cumulus by Roy Tanck requires Flash Player 9 or better.

    i use flash player 10 and wp 2.8.5.

    normally it should work?


    Comment by digi — October 23, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

  42. Your plugin was superb when i saw this on another site i immediately grab it for my site as well,
    Another thing is i know how to use shortcodes of wordpress plugin thank you once again.

    Comment by Jamal — October 24, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

  43. Hi Roy … it works its with 2.8.5. was just a wrong folder name… guys, (never change the name of the plugin folder… lol) its really awesome. thank you.

    Comment by digi — October 24, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

  44. Hello
    Can I use it on hosted blog?

    Comment by Or-Tal — October 25, 2009 @ 9:07 am

    • Ho Or-Tal. No, I’m afraid blocks nearly every use of Flash, including Cumulus. Afaik you’re also not allowed to use plugins, so installing it would be cumbersome too, if at all possible.

      Comment by Roy — October 28, 2009 @ 8:21 am

  45. Link: The Holt Clan » Blog Archive » ::The Cumulus Cloud for your Tags/Categories::
  46. your plugins is so beautifful ,, hehhe

    Comment by bee — November 26, 2009 @ 12:26 am

  47. Hi Roy,
    thanks for this really well-done tag cloud. It’ amazing! I’m using the Simple Tags and Tags 4 Pages plugins to add tags to pages and not only to posts. But the problem is, that WP-Cumulus doesn’t display these page tags. If I add the same tag to a post and a page it will be displayed in by Cumulus and the page will also be shown in the results when I hit the tag link. But if a tag is only set for a page it wont show up. Is there any way to solve this? Please help.

    Comment by Andy — December 5, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

  48. I am also using Tags 4 Pages and wish that Cumulus would show my tags from Tags 4 Pages as that is basically what my internal work website consist of and not post. If anyone one knows a trick or a way to accomplish this please enlighten us here. Any clues Roy?

    Comment by Killer — December 8, 2009 @ 6:38 pm

  49. Link: WP-Cumulus, plug-in animasi untuk tampilkan tag cloud pada situs dengan engine Word Press | feedberry
  50. Hi! Very nice & spectacular plugin. It seems it’s missing ő and ű – characters used in the Hungarian alphabet and elsewhere. Is there a way to build them in? Thanks in advance.

    Comment by Steven Seagal — December 22, 2009 @ 10:12 am