Last time, I took you through the steps to create an archives page for your WordPress blog.
Today, I want to list down the best archive plugins available in the market. There are a lot of archive plugins listed and I found many of them were outdated.
Hence I thought of compiling a list which may help you to choose the best plugin for your blog.
Lets quickly get into the list of archive plugins.
1. Clean My Archives, a shortcode based archive plugin.
This is one of the simplest plugin works based on the shortcode.
You don’t need to setup anything and it has not even a settings page. Just install the plugin and add the following shortcode to a new page, publish it. Done.
At the same time, you can pass arguments to the shortcode to customize the archives design.
Few of the options to note:
- [clean-my-archives limit=”10″] – limits the number of blog posts to only 10 entries
- [clean-my-archives post_type=”post”] – this lists only blog posts
- [clean-my-archives post_type=”page”] – this lists only blog pages
- [clean-my-archives show_comment_count=”0″] – disables the comment count
- More information about Clean My Archives Plugin.
2. Compact Archives, if you don’t want to occupy more space on widget area.
As the name says, this plugin lists the archives as a compact list instead of the traditional list of all year, all month etc.
You can simply drag-and-drop the widget to the sidebar or footer, setup it to show a list of all years and months in each row. The advantage is that this widget doesn’t occupy much space on the screen.
It has 3 different styles:
- Initials: this style shows the month list as 2018: J F M etc.
- Block: this style shows the month list as 2018: Jan Feb Mar etc.
- Numeric: this style shows the month list as 2018: 1 2 3 etc.
If you are looking for a compact way to list the archives then go for this plugin.
3. Smart Navigation Widgets, with more customization for date-based archives display.
If you are looking for a more customization in displaying the archives then you can go for this plugin.
Using smart navigation widgets plugin, you can show:
- date based archives
- month based archives
- year based archives
- date, month, year in any combination
Apart from these options, you can also use this plugin to sort the archives based on categories and comes with 5 pre-defined themes.
4. Simple Yearly Archive, for year based listing.
As the name says, you can create a simple archive listed by year.
The advantage of this plugin:
- you can change the archives listing format especially the date format as suggested by WordPress
- you can show categories, tags for every post
- you can show post thumbnail image
Apart from these advantages, like any other plugin, you can customize the comment count, collapse/expand or link the year listings.
The following screenshot shows the various options of Simple yearly achieve plugin.
Using this plugin, you can show archives on the sidebar ordered by year and by month.
The plugin has many options to customize:
- Show number of posts count
- Show both pages, posts
- Choose the collapse/expand icons
- Exclude certain years
- Exclude certain categories
- Truncate post title to specified length
- Show post date
- Pick the date format
Apart from the above option, this plugin can also remember the last expand/collapse option for each user. That means every user will have their own viewing experience, a great feature achieved using cookies.
6. Archives Calendar Widget, listing by calendar view.
As the name says, this plugin helps you to show archives using a calendar view.
The widget once placed in the sidebar or footer, it shows a calendar from which the user can pick the year, month, day to see the list of all blog posts published during that time.
If you want to show the archives in a different or better way than the traditional method then go for this plugin.
It also comes with pre-defined calendar themes and you can try it to best match your blog design.
7. Expanding Archives, a simple collapse/expand archive plugin.
Yet another plugin to show collapse/expand based archive listing.
When compared to Collapse Archives, it is a simple plugin and there are no options to customize the widget.
Just drag-and-drop the widget and it will list the posts by year, by month automatically.
If you are really looking for a simple collapse/expand archive then go for expanding archives plugin.
Conclusion, which archive plugin to use?
There are a lot of archives plugins available in the WordPress directory however, not every plugin is worth your time.
Hence I went ahead, tried out many plugins and found that these are the best archives plugin that you can give a try.
I also went through a premium list of plugins.
However, I found not many of them are worth or interesting other than smart navigation widgets plugin and for most cases, a free plugin would be good to go.
Let me know, how do you show archive widgets on your blog…