I wanted an automated way to display the site content in a block and the tag clouds module seemed a good fit. Implementation was easy enough although there are are few things to remember.

  • The block needs to be enabled via Admin / Build / Blocks
    • There is one block per vocabulary
    • Remember to select the number of terms
  • Adjust your CSS as desired, mine is currently at defaults
  • Tag enough content to be useful
  • Clear the cache to see updates, required if you have block caching turned on in the performance options

The last two were what bit me. During the migration of content from 4.7 to 6 a number of taxonomy tags were lost. Turning on the tag cloud showed me just how few of my nodes were tagged, making it far more difficult for people to navigate my site, including me!

Setting up a taxonomy can be daunting, especially if you feel the need to create a highly structured, organized set of categories before you begin adding tags to nodes. I encourage you to drop that idea for now. Although it sounds nice in theory in practice its such a pain that you may find yourself not using tags or putting everything in an other taxonomy. Both poor ideas.

Instead try a simple taxonomy configuration using Free Tags, Multiple and Required. As you add terms try to maintain the smallest set you need but if you need a new term add it. I typically try not to add terms until I get four or more nodes using that term, then I just edit the prior nodes and add the proper term to them. By using Drupal’s built in auto-complete or the Tag tool module it is easy to keep the track of your current tags.

All content is now tagged, the tag cloud is running so now we see how it all works out over the next few days.