How to Add Visualization Tools to your WordPress Blog

CM Blog WidgetsIn the past, WordPress was mostly known as a blogging platform, but as time passed, and with the evolution of WordPress, users began to find different ways in which the popular content management system can be utilized for their benefit. Many sites began utilizing the WP blogging functionality for a variety of purposes which go far beyond just displaying a blog. For example, some companies chose to list their services inside posts, while artists use it to display their creative work in separate categories. Retailers may choose to display their product catalog, and the possibilities of additional plugin-generated custom post types are endless.
The challenge: Not all themes are friendly to this kind of practice, so the question remaining is how to take those post types, categories and tags and display them in a way that makes them easily accessible to you readers?

Introducing CM Blog Widgets

A new release by CM Plugins offers a new set of visualization tools which enhance your posts visibility and highlight your tags and categories. These visualization tools can be entered via the WordPress widgets area, or through the use of shortcodes, which can be inserted on any page or post.

The Plugin comes with 5 built-in widgets that can be displayed in both the forms mentioned above:

  • Blog Dynamic Cloud- Shows a moving cloud of Blog Categories or Tags
  • Blog Word Cloud- Shows a colorful cloud of commonly used terms in your blog
  • Blog Single Random Post- Shows a short description of a single random post
  • Blog Color Cloud- Shows Color cloud of Blog Categories or Tags
  • Blog Bubble Chart- Shows a BubbleChart of Blog Categories or Tags

Dynamic Clouds

Dynamic clouds offer a way to get familiar with the terms, categories or tags related to your content. The visual tool uses parameters such as the maximum number of terms and the type of content to display (tags or categories). Once used as a shortcode user can also set the width of the display area. Hovering over the terms will make them move about, and clicking on any word will take the user to the page that represents the word- either category or tag.
[blog-dynamic-cloud width=”600px” terms=”15″ type=”category”]

Word Clouds

Word clouds are very widely used these days and bring a fresh way to look at content. Some well known sites such as Wordle are offering a “do it yourself” word clouds service, wher they can create a word cloud using the text that you provide. Word clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. In the case of our new plugin widgets, the size of the word is defined by the amount of times it appears within the blog. Once used as a shortcode, users can also set the width of the display area as shown bellow. Clicking on any word in the cloud takes the user to the page which represents this word. If the words clicked are categories, the blog category page with all the blog posts which match this category will be displayed.

[blog-word-cloud width=”600px” terms=”30″ type=”category”]

Bubble Graph

Bubble graph is a way to present diversity and importance of tags, categories and commonly used terms in your blog content. The bubble size is defined by the amount of times the term, tag or category are referenced within the blog. Once used as a shortcode, the user can also set the width of the display area as shown bellow. Clicking on any bubble takes the user to the page which represents the specified category or term.

[blog-bubble-graph width=”600px” terms=”30″ type=”category”]

Like our Blog Widgets?

Similar tools are also available for our CM Answers and CM downloads Manager plugins.
CM Answers widgets will display clouds of forum categories, question and answers, and CM Download manager widgets will highlight download categories to attract more views to your downloads directory. Check them out!

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