Smarter Archives: Clean and Compact Date-Based Archives

I can’t stand seeing blogs that have a long list of monthly archives in their sidebars (I’m looking at you, prefab Blogger templates!). It clutters the design, and promotes long sidebars.

Blogger users, unfortunately, don’t have the nifty Pages feature WordPress bloggers get (or plugins for that matter), so they won’t be able to enjoy this amazing WordPress plugin.

Smarter Archives, creates a new template tag, <?php wp_smart_archives(); ?>, that you can put in a custom template, allowing you to build a custom Archives page. I use it here, and ProBlogger does also.

The plugin displays the monthly archives compactly, one line of text per year, so you have room on the page for other things, like a tagcloud, output from the Popularity Contest plugin, etc.

  • Dan

    A much better archive plugin for WordPress is SRG Clean Archives.

  • Matt

    Better is a matter of opinion. SRG Clean Archives is another good plugin, yes, but personally I prefer Smarter Archives. It’s more compact, for one. To each their own…

  • Vinh Le

    In my opinion, organizing archives by date doesn’t really help the reader find interesting articles according to their particular interests. The only person that would sift through an archive by date is probably a really bored one. I don’t have my archives page up yet as I don’t have much content, but I am going to manually edit my archives so that it appears in an order that will make sense to readers as well as make it easier to find topics.

  • Matt

    @Vinh Le That’s the point of Smarter Archives, in my opinion. Since few people will use it (though there are cases where I’ve wanted to read posts from a specific month on a blog), you make them compact and put them on an all-in-one Archives page along with categories, tags, search, etc.