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Revitalizing Your Blog’s Past Posts

I tend to write “timeless” articles, articles that will still work two or four years from now. For over two years I’ve been hunting for a method to showcase past articles on on the front page, giving a fresh audience a look at these older but still valid articles. I’ve searched for keywords like “featured posts”, “past posts”, and a variety of other combinations. It wasn’t until I was searching for something totally unrelated that I stumbled across the solution: Malyfred of Skriker’s Archivist WordPress Plugin.

Featured old posts with the Archivist WordPress Plugin on Taking Your Camera on the RoadIt’s a miracle I even stumbled across it. The author admittedly doesn’t speak English and the site is pretty much a photoblog with little text, but it was a treasure worth finding.

The Archivist WordPress Plugin looks in your database for posts that are older than today, or whatever date you set such as older than 60 days ago, and showcases them on the front page of your WordPress blog. You can feature the post in it’s own CSS styles so it will look different from the rest of your front page posts, or just let it blend it with the rest of your posts. It’s a fairly flexible Plugin to work with.

To use, download the Archivist WordPress Plugin. Open the PHP file in a text editor and change the information per the article to set the results of the featured post. Here are two examples:

To show five posts at the top of your front page from categories with ID numbers 8, 10, and 12:

  1. Set 'number_of_posts' as 5
  2. Set 'frontpage_position' as 0
  3. Set 'from_categories' as 8, 10, and 12

To show only one post older than 45 days under a title of "Featured Post", and have it sit under the third post entry on your front page list:

  1. Set 'number_of_posts' as 1
  2. Set 'frontpage_position' as 3
  3. Set 'from_categories' as empty
  4. Set 'older_than' as 45
  5. Then set 'title' as "Featured Post:"

Save the Plugin php file and upload it your site's Plugin directory and activate it.

That's it. Brilliant.

If you would like to make the featured archive post look different from the rest of your posts, there are two basic methods.

To add a graphic file to the post to make it a bit different from the other posts, in the Plugin's php file's title option, add a link to the graphic:


$archivist_settings['title'] = '<img src="http://lorelle.files.wordpress.com/feature.gif" alt="" class="right">Featured Article: %title';


To control the CSS styles of the featured post so you can put the featured post(s) in a box or change the background image, you will have to move lower in the Plugin file to change the output. On or about line 157 which begins with $draft->post-title, change the following section in that line of code to something like the example "archivist" class:


$draft->post_content = "<div class=\"archivist\"> {$draft->post_content} </div>";


In your CSS stylesheet, add the archivist class and set it look like whatever you want. Here is an example that puts a red border around the featured post:


archivist { border: 2px red solid; padding:10px; }


The old posts featured will be only see on the front page of your blog. It will not show up in your feed, a feature I'm still looking for. For now, I have to feature old posts manually, in a new post, in order to get them into my feeds.

If you want to reach back into your posts from the past and give them new life on the front page of your blog, as I did with , the Archivist WordPress Plugin is the way to do it. Thank you, Malyfred, for revitalizing my old articles.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

21 Comments

  1. Posted December 26, 2006 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    When replacing
    $draft->post_title = str_replace("%title", $draft->post_title, $archivist_settings['title'] );
    by $draft->post_content = " {$draft->post_content} ";
    I can not add any prefix to the title. Is there any possibility to control style of content and title?

  2. Posted December 27, 2006 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    This is great! Thanks.

  3. Posted December 27, 2006 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    That’s a great find, especially for those of us that have been blogging for far too long. It would be waste to have the older posts go unnoticed to everyone but our own selves.

  4. Posted December 27, 2006 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Fanatyk: The control of the style and content is explained in the lower section of the article. Once you put the CSS selector (like “archivist”) into the Plugin’s code in a DIV or whatever tag you want, then you add that to your stylesheet, which is typically style.css in WordPress Themes.

    And as explained in the article, in the bigging section of the Plugin’s code, you will find a section to designate ‘title’ to be whatever you want, which I have used “Featured Post” as the example. It’s not the easiest thing to use but it’s a right step in a positive direction.

  5. Posted December 31, 2006 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!
    Since I install this plugin my old posts became alive :]

  6. Posted May 21, 2007 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    nice plugin, but cant add it to sidebar
    ?

  7. Posted May 21, 2007 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    It is meant to only be used within the WordPress Loop, and the sidebar is outside of the loop.

  8. Posted August 12, 2007 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    hi lorelle -
    can i please see what your archivist.php looks like? i have been trying to make this work for the past 4 hours or so, but i am no php expert so not sure if i am doing it right. please help me.. thanks!

  9. Posted August 13, 2007 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    The WordPress Plugin is not working in the latest version of WordPress and I haven’t had the time to figure out why.

    If you are using an older version of WordPress, which is not recommended due to security vulnerabilities, start with the originally downloaded file, Archivist WordPress Plugin, and see if it works without making any changes. Then only change the settings and see if it works.

    My version has been totally hacked beyond the original version and that featured here. And it doesn’t work in the latest version. It would not help you, only confuse you.

  10. Posted August 13, 2007 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    yes, i’m using the latest version of wordpress. thanks for clearing that up.

  11. Posted August 29, 2007 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    hello lorelle. what can I doo to keep my other blog pages from showing on the featured post? I only want my post to be displayed but one of my pages in my blog keeps on showing up. any code to prevent this?

    another one is I tried to put as many as 10 category ids in the “from categories” setting but not a single post showed up.

  12. Posted August 29, 2007 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I’m looking into fixing this Plugin for newer versions of WordPress, since I can’t get a response from the Plugin author, so that might be part of your problem.

    As for preventing a specific post, I have no idea. The process is automatic. Maybe you can have better luck contacting the author that I can. Let me know what you find out.

  13. Posted September 3, 2007 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    But what if you want to control the entire entry, not just the title or content? Like having the Archivist put two small random posts next to eachother (half the width, float)

  14. Posted September 3, 2007 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    You’d have to set the count to 2 and then view the generated results. There might be styles for each post generated which you can then style individually to create the two column effect. If not, dig into the code of the Plugin and see if you can add the styles.

    What you want to do is based upon CSS not the code itself, unless it doesn’t give a different ID or class to post one and post two, etc. Then you have to add it.

    If you come up with a solution, would you let me know. That’s a neat idea.

  15. Posted September 25, 2007 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    i have tried this plugin but i don’t display any random post.

    This plugin is compatible with wordpress 2.2 ?
    thanks

  16. Posted September 25, 2007 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    No, this doesn’t work in the latest versions of WordPress. I’m trying to fix it. Stay tuned.

  17. Posted March 19, 2008 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    lorelle,

    thanks for sharing this. this is exactly the plugin i need for reviving my old posts. i just hope i can make it work with WP 2.3.3… cheers!

  18. Posted December 12, 2008 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    What I don’t understand and also couldn’t find anyone relating to this:
    When does the plugin refreshes itself to show a different archived post? Does it happen every hour? Every day? Every week? (been using it for only a few minutes so maybe I’ll get my answer soon…)

    • Posted December 12, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      The Archivist Plugin, if it is still working with current versions of WordPress (I had to disable it), changed posts on a daily basis, if memory serves. I’m in the process of upgrading that whole site and will take another look at the Plugin. There are now other options for pulling in “featured posts” from your archives that I will be covering soon.

  19. apsinghonline
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    This plugin works on WordPress 2.6.5 and 2.7. I have pointed some issues with this plugin and a few workarounds on this page Pulling out and Displaying Old Archived Posts

    Hope this will be helpful to someone. Thanks for the info on getting me started.

  20. Posted August 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Sweet I’ve been looking for an app that will post older posts. Thx


10 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Want to show your past posts on front page of your WordPress blog. Lorelle explains how to achieve it with The Archivist WordPress Plugin. [...]

  2. [...] opartych o WordPress wystarczy zainstalować jedną wtyczkę. archivist. Opis wtyczki znalazłem u lorelle, ale zasadniczo wystarczy przeczytać readme wtyczki aby dowiedzieć się [...]

  3. [...] In Blog Navigation WordPress Plugins: Related, Recent, Most Popular Posts and More, I mention several WordPress Plugins which give you the ability to highlight random posts from within your blog. The Customizable Post Listings WordPress Plugin (explained in the Customizable Post Listings WordPress Plugin Guide) and the Random Posts Plugin displays a random list of posts to help give exposure to your past posts, as does Archivist WordPress Plugin, a favorite of mine which you can learn more about on Revitalizing Your Blog’s Past Posts. [...]

  4. [...] Revitalizing Your Blog’s Past Posts [...]

  5. [...] an unrelated search, I uncovered the Archivist WordPress Plugin which did what I wanted. Why didn’t I find it? Because the author, who doesn’t speak or [...]

  6. [...] some of our best content continues to have life years after publishing. Ensure your most popular past posts are updated and checked for dead links to keep your newly arriving visitors [...]

  7. [...] continues our conversation listing some plugins she recommends. Archivist WordPress Plugin showcase older blog posts on the front page of your WordPress [...]

  8. […] Revitalizing Your Blog’s Past Posts […]

  9. […] Revitalizing Your Blog’s Past Posts […]

  10. […] Archivist WordPress Plugin is a favorite of mine. It allows you to reach back into your past archives and pull out some oldies but goodies on the front page of your blog. You can set the number of posts to showcase, the time period, and showcase the posts in many different ways. You have a choice of listing the posts by title or full posts. If I could find a way to set it to excerpts and not full posts, I would declare this a perfect time capsule Plugin. You can read more about how to work with it on Revitalizing Your Blog’s Past Posts. […]

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