I finished building my archive, and honestly, it was a lot easier than I expected. The default WordPress theme comes with an archive.php, so I just copied that, and modified it to match the rest of my theme. Essentially, I just copied the index.php and displayed the excerpt instead of the entire content. After browsing online to check out other archives in an effort to determine what I want, I decided that having an “archive” page is the way to go, if for no other reason than it’s convenient for browsing. Basically, archive.php controls how the archives are formatted, but archives.php is the page for navigating. After getting my archive up and running, though, I realized that while I know what plug-ins I’m using to format things, people without admin access have no idea what I’m using. So I figured I’d include a list of plug-ins I’m using, a colophon of sorts, in case anyone out there is curious.
- Glossy Blue Theme – Not a plug-in, but still worth listing. The theme I currently use, and love. It does everything I want, style-wise. Anything it didn’t do (like archives) I built myself. This is his first theme, if you can believe it.
- Widgets – For themes with a sidebar, this is fabulous. It lets you easily customize the sidebar without hacking the code. You can also easily downoad other widgets to add to your sidebar, and place them however you like. It’s like Lego bricks.
- Drop-down Archives Widget – I don’t have this problem yet, as I’ve only had my site running for 3 months, but the longer your site runs, the longer your list of monthly archives becomes. This widget turns that long list into a drop-down menu, to conserve space. Apparently some themes come with a drop-down menu for the archives, but enabling widgets will overwrite that option in the sidebar.
- Brian’s Threaded Comments – I LOVE this plug-in. I want to be able to reply to a specific comment, and not just have my reply be tossed at the end of a list of comments, so you have to guess what you’re replying to. I’m a huge fan of threaded comments, and this plug-in accomplishes it well.
- Custom Posts Per Page – This lets you change the number of posts displayed on various types of pages, without editing the reading options on the WordPress dashboard. If you want 4 posts displayed on the front page, but 20 displayed on the archives, this will do it.
- Clean Archives – This plug-in displays beautifully formatted archives. It breaks everything down by month, and further by day. This is exactly what I wanted for an archive.
- Polls and more – I’ve not actually used the poll plug-in or widget yet, but I’ve downloaded and installed them just in case. There are actually quite a few good widgets here. Definitely worth exploring.
And there you have it! A complete listing of all the plug-ins and widgets I use.