I have read many articles online since I have started blogging on whether or not it is worth consuming prime blog real estate by putting a tag cloud on your homepage. There are so many tag cloud choices, you can choose a static tag cloud, or ones that are animated and rotate like drums, spheres or just about any shape you can imagine.
If you decide to use a tag cloud I think the most effective ones are the tag clouds that show “emphasis” to tags based on usage, they do this by making the font larger for your more common tags. So if you blogged about SEO and used that tag often, SEO would stand out much stronger and larger than the rest of the tags in the tag cloud.
The most common benefit to tag clouds is to show readers what you write about, by showing a tag cloud they can get a quick visual of your most common themes and topics and this could determine whether the reader will want to come back to your blog, or whether the topic that brought them there is a rarity and the majority of the blog doesn’t have content of strong interest.
Personally, I would rather display categories on my blog for readers than using a specific tag cloud. I have found that for the most part, only other bloggers or people involved with SEO really care about a tag cloud at all. If you add an animated tag cloud, you can also increase the pageload time of your site for a very marginal benefit at best.
When I choose to implement new widgets, features or functions that take up space on my blog homepage, I generally try to find something that has some measurable means to quantify its continued use or abandonment. A tag cloud I used to have on my blog for several months, and instead I relegated it to a tab that someone can click on if they choose, but it won’t be immediately noticeable unless someone clicks on my “Tags” tab on my home page.
What are your thoughts about using a Tag Cloud, do you think it is worth carving up some area of your home page? Or left being relegated to a hidden tab or page inside your blog?