Tags! They’re everywhere! It seems like every site on the ‘net is adding tagging now. Tag clouds — ridiculous, pointless, and annoying — are not the reason. Tagging is a good way to get into Technorati and a good way to get more traffic to your site. It’s a nifty way to organize your posts and to help your readers find what they want on your site. Is it the wave of the future? I don’t know. I don’t think so. Several of the early adopters are now saying that they are useless, and the search engines seemed to be doing a fair job of indexing blogs long before people got tag-happy. But it’s not exactly terribly painful to add this functionality to your site — it only took me about a half hour, so how hard could it be? Plus you’ve got me to explain it all to you.
This how-to assumes that you’re using WordPress to manage your blog. If you are using something else — blogger, MovableType, etc. — then you’ll have to look somewhere else. Technorati is a good place to start.
Adding Tags to Your WordPress Blog in Six Easy Steps:
- If you’re not using WordPress 2.04 (or better), upgrade.
- Make a backup of your .htaccess, index.php, single.php, and archive.php files!
- Grab Bunny’s Technorati Tags plugin. Unzip the plugin and upload it to your wp-content\plugins folder. Activate Bunny’s plugin from the WordPress Administrator Plugins tab.
- We’re going to edit bunny-tags.php because there’s really no reason to send all your visitors to Technorati. Instead we’ll make your tags search your own site for related posts. In the output_bunny_tags() function, change:
$tag_link='<a href=”http://technorati.com/tag/’ . rawurlencode($tag) . ‘” title=”‘ . __(‘See the Technorati tag page for’, ‘BunnyTags’) . ‘ \” . $tag . ‘\’.” rel=”tag”>’ . $tag . ‘</a>’ . $separator;
$tag_link='<a href=”http://www.yourwebsite.com/tags/’ . urlencode(urldecode($tag)) . ‘” title=”‘ . __(‘Search this site for’, ‘BunnyTags’) . ‘ \” . urldecode($tag) . ‘\'” rel=”tag”>’ . $display_tag . ‘</a>’ . $separator;
- Go to the WordPress Administrator Manage Files tab and add this line to your .htaccess file:
RewriteRule ^tags/([^/]+)$ /index.php?s=$1 [R]
- Add this line somewhere to your index.php, single.php, and archive.php templates:
<?php the_bunny_tags(‘Tagged with: ‘, ”, ‘, ‘); ?>
There you go. Now you’re good to go. Your “Write Post” page will now include a new field you can use to enter tags specific to each post. Bunny’s plugin stores the tags in the WordPress wp_postmeta table.
Enter the tags with spaces between each one. If you have a multi-word tag, like “banana split”, use %20 or the plus symbol (+) for the space character. So for “banana split” you’d enter “banana%20split” or “banana+split” (without the quotes). I think that you can edit the plugin to allow you to use a comma as a separator by changing the value of $bunny_strict, but I haven’t tried this.
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