Have a good blog? You need a good archive.

Your archive page is probably the least considered of your blog’s design.

Look at any WordPress blog out there, and you’ll see basically the same thing– a sidebar with links, kind of confusing, not much else.

Stresslimit and I decided to solve this by releasing our first WordPress plugin.

Justin, Colin, and the rest of the team I work with worked crazy hard to create an archive page that looked as fresh and different as the rest of my site, and the result was what you see below.




I’ve always thought it’s one of the coolest parts of my site, so it’s awesome that it’s now available for free. We decided to release it as a WordPress plugin, and basically solve everyone’s ugly archive problems forever.

Download it here.

What the plugin does

  • Pulls thumbnails based on images inside the post, automagically.
  • Customizable colour based on your blog design (inside the Settings menu)
  • Browsable by month, year, or image
  • Far more functional and gorgeous than what WordPress sticks you with.

You can try it out by checking it out on my site (or Robyn’s or Chris’, who just installed it), then download it here and follow the instructions.

Once you’ve installed it, I’d love to hear your opinion on how it works, what could be improved, or what you like– anything, really.

And now, back to our regular scheduled programming. 🙂



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14 responses to “Have a good blog? You need a good archive.”

  1. blogjunkie Avatar

    great stuff! thanks for releasing this plugin for free

  2. robyn Avatar

    love it! i’ve already got it installed, and after a few layout tweaks to a few blog posts (so they’d show up uniform in the archives) it looks great! i’m excited to watch this grow as my blog does the same!

    1. Julien Avatar

      Hey Robyn, I’m going to add a link to your archive here so people can see it, cool? Also, just FYI, you can change the colours in there.

      Judy, thanks for the props. I’m happy people see the importance of it… your archive page is also your photo album if you do it right!

  3. Judy Helfand Avatar

    As I have said before you are so succinct. The other day I wrote a blog about this topic Blog Archives are your Hope Chest. You can see it took me a few more words to get my point across, but I was also trying to tell a story about why archives are so important.
    When I was thinking through my post I remembered how interesting and efficient your archive feature is, so thanks for sharing it. I don’t use WordPress, but I know so many people do and you have been of service.


  4. Christopher S. Penn Avatar

    Love it. And it’s nice and smart about SEO, too. Well done.

  5. Sandy Avatar

    Really like it. It was easy to setup and I like that we were easily able customize the colours. The photo thumbnails are great and much better than the bland default archive available. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Amílcar Tavares Avatar

    Love it! But I have a problem:

    Warning: imagecreatefromstring() [function.imagecreatefromstring]: Empty string or invalid image in /home/******/public_html/wp-includes/media.php on line 253

    What should I do?

  7. Martyn Chamberlin Avatar

    Dude it needs some work. Here’s what mine looks like http://martynchamberlin.com/blog/archives/ The pictures are shown full size.

  8. Charles H. Green Avatar

    Great idea.

    I want to throw in an unsolicited plug for Justin, Colin and the gang at StressLimit: they do wonderful, fabulous work, and this is just one more example.

    (Full disclosure: they do my site, so I’m biased–quite a bit)

  9. Jeremy Meyers Avatar

    Using it now, much better than the other ones.

    You might want to use the strip_shortcodes tag when pulling post content to make sure the text comes through clean when people are using things like Zemanta to insert images in the beginnings of posts dont have them show up weird.


  10. Ricardo Bueno Avatar

    Julien: Just installed the plug-in. When I click on a different month, it refreshes the whole page… Any idea on how to fix this?

  11. zeaks Avatar

    Great plugin, just installed it after trying 5 or 6 different ones, nice and clean and works great. Thanks

  12. Emily Avatar

    You’re archive page is down. Oh, irony.

  13. Emily Avatar

    I spelled your wrong and I’m getting a writing degree in five months. Double-irony.

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