Help Solve My WordPress Archive Conundrum

During the past few days, I’ve been experimenting with a variety of WordPress plugins that specifically deal with the archiving of posts. Most allow archives to be generated via short code on a page while others are simply widgets with different configuration options. Some of the plugins I tested displayed every post ever published which not only inundated visitors, but was a bad use of resources on the server. I eventually found a plugin that had what I was looking for but since installing it, I’ve been faced with a conundrum.

A Simple Way To Display Archives With Compact Archives Plugin

I initially wanted to create an archive page so that all of our previous content would be easy to find. To me, WPTavern is a continuously updated archive of WordPress information. Making it easy to find all of the previous knowledge that’s been published within the past six years is important, especially since it’s all tied to one specific subject. For displaying the archive, I settled on the Compact Archives plugin by Syed Balkhi and Noumaan Yaqoob. I like this plugin because it provides a few different ways via shortcode to display the entire archive of posts. The display is not pretty and doesn’t include images but then again, the main goal is to make it easy to browse the history of WordPress Tavern.

Compact Archive Plugin On WPTavern

Search Box or Dedicated Archive Page

Once I completed the archive page, I questioned whether or not the work was all for nothing. If you think about it, the search function of WordPress should be able to handle finding previously published content. As long as the search functionality provided relevant results, it would be the only form of archive retrieval needed. I decided to browse around to see how other large WordPress centric sites are archiving their content. Most of them don’t contain a dedicated archive page and handle everything through their search box.

What Would You Do?

So this is the conundrum I’m in, whether to create a dedicated archive page or just have visitors use the search box. I could use both methods but then they become a another page and plugin that needs to be maintained. There are two questions I have. The first is what would you do? The second, how do you archive a WordPress powered site with years of posts?

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