The easier it is for readers to find your content, the more likely they are to read it.
That sounds intuitive, but it is amazing how often I go to blogs and unless I want to work my way through pages and pages of posts, the only content I can quickly find is the 5-10 articles on the front page.
So if you want your content to last longer than the few days is stays on your front page, you need to develop ways for readers to find it. One way, which we looked at in the last post, is by adding a Google Custom Search Engine. Another way, which I haven’t done must of yet on this blog, is by creating a “Series post” which lists several posts around a central theme, and then create links to this main post from your sidebar. I have some “Series Posts” at my Till He Come blog if you want to see what I mean.
One final way of helping readers find your old posts is by creating an Archive Page.
Add an Archive Page
The first thing you need to do is add a new page from your blog dashboard.
And guess what? You are almost done.
Set Page Template as “Archives.”
Standard Theme comes with some preset templates, as most quality themes will.
If your theme doesn’t have an archives page template, there are WordPress plugins that will help create one for you.
Really, that is all there is to it. Here is what mine looks like right now:
However, as usual, I like to tweak things a bit. Here are the changes I make to my Archives page:
Make Changes to the Archives Page
I want to change the layout and structure of my Archives Page, and have it list every post I’ve ever published, rather than just the last 30. So, to make these changes, I must edit the Template files.
From the Dashboard, I go into the “Appearance” section, select “Editor” and then choose the “Archives Template Page” file.
Here are the coding changes I make:
Change the Number of Blog Posts
I want to show ALL the blog posts, not just 30. So I change the statement from “The last 30 Blog Posts” to “Every Single Post Ever Written:” and then go down and change the “showposts=30” to “showposts=1000”. Once I pass 1000 posts, I will come change this to 2000.
Also, since this section of my archives is going to end up being very long, I am going to put it at the bottom of the Archives page, rather than at the top. So I copy the entire section, and move it down right beneath the “Monthly Archives” section, immediately before the first closing </div> tag.
Add a Listing of Blog Pages
Second, I want to add a listing of blog pages to my Archives. Right now, the pages are not listed.
So from the spot where I just removed the listing of blog posts, I am going to add a listing of Blog Pages. Here is the code that will do it:
Add Links to Series Posts
Third, I want to add some links to Blog Series posts that I have done. Though I indicated earlier that I haven’t really done too many series of posts yet, I have two minor series of posts that I want to add here, and I will add more as I get more.
Here is the code I am going to add right beneath my “Pages” code:
Add an Image
One final change I like to make is to add some color to the archives. An archive is just a list, but it doesn’t have to be boring. So let’s add an image to the top. I am going to add the same image I used at the top of this post.
To do that, I get the link to this image from the Media Settings in my Dashboard (or just from the HTML code of this very post), and then insert it into my Archives template with the following code. Right beneath this:
I insert this:
Once these four changes are done, I save the file, and then go check to make sure it all looks proper:
If it all looks good, I am done creating the page. However, there is one last step. I need to make sure readers can find the page!
Add Archives Page to Navigation Menu
After you publish your Archives page, make sure you add it to you navigation menu.
I like to add mine under the “About” section of my Navigation menu, but some people prefer to put it right on the navigation menu itself. Do whatever makes the most sense to you.
My Archives page is now set up! Do you have one set up?