In my travels around the internet, I see a lot of blogs. There is nothing more annoying than to stop at an interesting article, want to see more by the writer, and have no other articles available to see. Many people use the standard archives widget, which is nothing more than a listing by date. What good does that do anyone? A date is not exactly a compelling reason to check out more of the blog.
In case anyone is curious what I wrote on a particular day, I do have the date widget, as you can see toward the bottom of my right sidebar, but I use a drop down box in place of a long list of dates. I also have “categories” toward the bottom of my left sidebar, but that is almost as useless. “Grief” and “writing” and “life” are almost as dull as a date. However, if you will look toward the top of my left side bar, you will see “Recent Posts” and “Top Posts.” Recent posts, obviously, are the most recent posts, and top posts are the ones that got the most views for the past forty-eight hours. This gives anyone who is interested in reading more of my articles a sampling of my writing. If you don’t use such widgets on your WordPress blog, why not? It takes only a few minutes to add the widgets. Here’s how:
Rest the mouse cursor on the name of your blog in the top left hand corner until you get a dropdown box. Click on “widgets.” On the widget page, find “Recent Posts” and “Top Posts and Pages,” and drag them to your sidebar. If you have more than one sidebar, as I do, drag them to the sidebar where you’d like to see them featured. Title the widget if you want, or leave the title WordPress gives them, choose the number of posts you’d like to display, and click “save.” That’s it. Simple, right?
What’s even simpler is creating a page with an archive of all your posts. Supposing you have a lot of posts you are proud of and you want people to be able to see all your titles at a glance — it will take forever to list them, won’t it? Nope. Won’t take but a minute. Here’s how:
Rest the mouse cursor on the name of your blog in the top left hand corner until you get a dropdown box. Let the cursor rest on “new” then click “page.” Add a title to the page, then in the body of the post, write [a r c h i v e s]. Use the brackets, and don’t put spaces between the letters. I had to add spaces, otherwise you wouldn’t see the shortcode, you would only see the list of all my blog posts.
Now, the next time I visit your blog, I’ll have a reason to stay and read awhile.