Roy’s WordPress Cumulus Tag Cloud in Rapidweaver!


This post was originally published in 2008
It may contain stale & outdated information. Or it may have grown more awesome with age, like the author.

Revised (23/09/08)

MAJOR UPDATE: This tutorial has been updated to work with the new version (1.14) of Roy’s Cumulus Tag Cloud. The embed script has changed significantly. If you had trouble with the last version, give this one a try – it has been improved a lot!

If you scroll down and look left, beneath the menu you’ll see a new addition to the page.

I’ve managed to find a way to integrate Roy’s awesome tag cloud plugin with Rapidweaver’s blog page.

And now that you’ve seen it, I figure you’ll want it too – and this is how to do it:

Note: requires php – will NOT work on .Mac.

This tutorial has been written with the “code-phobic’ in mind. It may bore you with details that you feel are obvious. If so, just skim read until you find the parts that interest you. I’ve included screenshots of various steps in the process – to view the full size images, just click on the thumbnail of each image. The image will load on top of this page.

If you feel that this tutorial is too complicated, or you run into any problems, please let me know by posting a comment below.

As long as your server has PHP, I am confident that you/we will be able to get this beatiful tag cloud going.

1) Make a blog page. At this time, the script does not work with Rapidblog. I will look into this when I have finished a few other projects I have going.

2) Add some blog entries.

3) Download the tag cloud file pack here. This It contains a snippet that is used to insert the cloud, the swf file, “swfobject.js” and “cloud_creator.php’, that gets tag information.

4) Upload both “tagcloud.swf’ and “swfobject.js’ to your server. Note URL that points to these files. If you’ve uploaded them to the root directory of your server, then the path will look like: “’ and “’.

5) Upload the “cloud_creator.php’ file to your blog’s “files’ directory. The directory will either be called “files’ or “blog_name_files’. The first image shows an example of each. The second image shows an example of how the blog files directory should look before the “cloud_creator.php’ file has been uploaded.

6) Open “cloud_creator.php’ in your browser. You should see a blank page.

7) Make sure “cloud_creator.php’ is working. Check that “cloud_file.html’ has been created in the blog files directory.

8) Change the page’s extension to .php.

9) Change the sidebar to HTML

10) Drag the snippet into the sidebar. Change the addresses to match your site. If you aren’t happy with the default tag text colour, change the last 6 numerals of:


to any hex colour. I use The RGB Colour Calculator to get my hex values.

11) Change the URLs in the following two lines to match your site, then paste them into the header.

For example, from:

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
    <? include(''); ?>


<script type="text/javascript" src="PATH_TO/swfobject.js"></script>
    <? include('PATH_TO/cloud_creator.php'); ?>

12) Publish your page – you’re done!

Thanks for reading – if you like this tag cloud, head over to Roy’s Site and let him know!

13) With the updated version of the flash file, there are a few extra options worth mentioning:

so.addVariable("tspeed", "100");
        so.addVariable("distr", "true");

The first controls the speed of rotation. Increase it for faster rotation, decrease it for slower. I use slower rotation for bigger clouds, and faster for smaller to be best.

The second tells the cloud whether to attempt to spread the tags out evenly throughout the sphere. Change “true” to “false” to disable this (why would you want to disable it? I don’t know).

Thanks for reading – if you like this tag cloud, head over to Roy’s Site and let him know!

It has been brought to my attention that some hosts do not allow standard use of the “include(‘URL’)’ function. If you get a message that looks similar to this:

Warning: include() [function.include]: URL file-access is disabled in the server configuration in /a/path/to/a/ on line XX

In your “include” parts (there are two, one in the snippet, one that gets pasted in the header in step 11), instead of using this (with paths changed to suit your site):

<?php include(""); ?>

Do this (changing the paths to suit your site):

<?php  include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/files/cloud_creator.php");  ?>

The $_SERVER[‘DOCUMENT_ROOT’] asks the server for the path to the current file, .”/files/cloud_creator.php” appends the path to the file we want.

The snippet’s include should look something like:

<?php  include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/files/cloud_file.html");  ?>

When you get it working, or get stuck – I want to know! Leave a comment and I’ll respond as soon as I am able.

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