December 13, 2006

WordPress — show all in Archives solution

Sigh. It seems that, starting in WordPress 1.5, the WordPress creators in their wisdom decided that whatever the number of posts you select in the Reading Options (which allows you to limit the number of posts displayed on the home page), well, that number will be carried through throughout the site.

What this means is that, if you choose to display five posts on your home page, then only five posts will be displayed on your Category archives, Monthly archives, etc. — no matter how many actually exist, and even if you display only titles. I believe that's what the Previous and Next links are for, but whoever thought of that kind of limitation, and why would anyone want to page back and forth through an archive? To me, an archive — essentially a table of contents — by definition should display everything in that category, that month, etc. Not five, or some number chosen to sanely limit the display on the home page.

Solution: Matt Read's Custom Query String

Matt Read's rather vaguely named Custom Query String plugin solves this problem; just upload it to your wp-content/plugins folder, activate it, and set your parameters in Options > CQS. (I only call it "vague" because the name doesn't immediately bring anything to mind, but I highly appreciate it.)

As a note, it seems that this was a "design decision" by the WordPress creators. Eh? It's as easy as that? Heck, if you ever turn out less than stellar work, or a usability nightmare, just explain it away as a design decision. No worries, mate. ;)

(To the WordPress guys: I love ya, really I do. But really, while I'm sorry to complain, this isn't the most logical choice.)

To the plugin writers whose works I've used on this and other blogs: kudos. My "thing" for this next couple of weeks will be to make donations to these folks.

6 Comments to "WordPress — show all in Archives solution"

  1. Tamar Weinberg says:

    I totally agree. And I'd add that I hate sites that don't have easily accessible archives beyond the front page.

  2. Tamar Weinberg says:

    Oops, I spelled my name wrong. ;)

    (That's what I get for making fun of a coworker earlier for using the same misspelling.)

  3. Diane Vigil says:

    Hi, Tamra; I corrected your name.

    I agree. There are a number of things, seemingly small but usually that way by default, that combine to make blogs less usable than they would be.

    For instance, something so small an issue as breadcrumb links (e.g., Home > some category) at the top of the page can help to identify where the page fits into the grand scheme of the website. Otherwise, everything kind of just looks the same … and then you can go forward and back from … wherever you are. :)

    I agree especially about the no-archives-beyond-front-page thing. I'd run into that just yesterday, I think. Makes you wonder if there is any more, or was ever anymore.

    Anyway, welcome to DevelopedTraffic. :)

  4. Tamar Weinberg says:

    Hey Diane – actually it's "Tamar" ;) I need to look closely before I hit submit on those fields that come naturally to us, like our names. :)

  5. Diane Vigil says:

    Thanks, Tamar — I've now edited your comments to display your now correctly-spelled name. :)

  6. Tamar Weinberg says:

    Thanks Diane!

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