Nov 12 2008

WordPress Categories and Tags

Category: SoftwareTeknovis @ 20:56

There seems to be differing opinions on how Categories and Tags should be used within WordPress. So now that I some experience with both of these I have decided to go with the following principles:

  • I am using Categories as very high-level descriptors, like chapters in a book.
  • I am using Tags as precise pointers, like the index in a book.

Consequently, the number of Tags is likely to grow very large, and it is likely that a substantial number of these Tags will only be used once. So I will keep this under review.

The Tag Cloud shows a maximum of 45 Tags by default, as described in the wp_tag_cloud() documentation. However, this can easily be increased to any maximum number using a parameter.

I had expected that I could parametrise wp_tag_cloud() as part of my theme, but I could not find any way to do this!

Instead I had to modify one of the WordPress PHP files. There appeared to be two approaches:

I am not sure what the relative advantages and disadvantages of these approaches are, but I chose the second one.

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Oct 19 2008

Why WordPress?

Category: SoftwareTeknovis @ 20:40

I think that it is appropriate that my very first post in this blog should explain some of the reasoning and choices that were made in getting to this point.

The first decision that I had to make when I decided to start this blog was where I would host it. There are many guides online giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options, but for me this was a fairly simple decision. I decided to host it with my current hosting service provider Blacknight, because I like having complete control over it.

The second choice was to decide which bloging software to use. Blacknight offers three possibilities:

I did not have any previous direct experience with any of these, but I understood Drupal to be more of a CMS, so I immediately eliminated it. Initially I was leaning towards Movable Type because it seems to be favoured by Blacknight. Apparently it is significantly less resource intensive than WordPress due to its use of page caching.

I then started reading some of the many articles online that compare Movable Type and WordPress, and in the end I decided to go with WordPress. The main advantages of WordPress to me are:

  • WordPress is open source, whereas only some versions of Movable Type are open source. Therefore, I expect that there will be more plugins and themes available for WordPress.
  • WordPress seems to be more popular.
  • WordPress appeared to be easier, and more intuitive, to use. This is important to me, because I wanted to start blogging fairly quickly!
  • The WordPress implementation seems to be cleaner, since it uses only one programming language (PHP). Movable Type apparently uses a mix of Perl and PHP. I am not a fan of applications written using several similar programming languages!

There are also many advantages of Movable Type, but since these are not relevant to me I have not covered them here.

So now we are here! I will keep this blog updated with my opinions and experiences of WordPress. I also will cover plugins and accessibility in future posts. Now I think that this is enough for my first post!

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