Are Blog Archives Too Old Fashioned?

What are reasons to keep an archive on your blog? We have categories and tags. An archive may seem a bit prehistoric or overkill, especially when they aren’t search able and just sit there all static and growing old. Tony Briley started this discussion on the CMF Ads forum.

Reasons for keeping an archive on your blog:

  • Web directories tend to list established blogs only, those which are at least six months old. An archive is where they look to find the age of your blog.
  • Knowing the age of your blog establishes your credentials, your experience, especially if you are posting about web publishing related topics like SEO, blogging and making money online.
  • Some readers prefer to read a blog which has some staying power, has passed the test of time and kept going.
  • If people want to flip to a certain date in your blog they need an archive. For instance, to see what you were posting about a year ago, or what you posted on a holiday, or some other eventful day.
  • An archive shows all the posts from the month on one page. You can do the same with categories but, not by date.
  • Your readers can go back to see how you started. What your thoughts and plans and goals were right from the beginning of your blog project. Who was commenting then? How has your writing style, your way of expressing yourself changed? Also, have you changed the focus of your blog and the topics you cover?
  • You may have undertaken a special project which readers would like to track back and go through the journey day by day, as it happened (through the archives). This is not just something for personal bloggers. If you post a series of posts on a topic they can also be read as an ongoing journey.
  • I also keep an archive for myself. I like to skim back and see where I was, what ideas I had in the past. I don’t look by topic (category or tags) cause that isn’t as random as looking into your past by time machine alone. Often something I posted a couple of years ago inspires me for an update on the same topic or a completely new angle on what I was thinking then.

Reasons to get rid of the archive on your blog:

  • Your blog is very new and you don’t want to broadcast that.
  • You want to cut down on clutter in every way you can and the archive just seems to take up more space than it is worth.

What’s your opinion? Archive or not?

5 thoughts on “Are Blog Archives Too Old Fashioned?

  1. Gosh, I hope they never go out of style–I depend on my Archives a lot and am always revisiting some old post. I really wish I had a “search” option for better navigation. But as it is, if I can remember the general vicinity of where something was, I have half a chance of finding it quickly.

    Definitely. Archive.

  2. LiveJournal doesn’t have a search? I’ve used mine here a few times too. It’s great when you know what you posted and want to find a link. I’d be pretty sad trying to find something like that by archive alone. Though I do hunt there first, I’m never right about the date.

  3. Nope–bummer. Not mine, anyway–I have a Plus account, perhaps the Paid accounts are different…

    My WordPress blog has a search though, so I have an easier time there. But, as you said in another post, the spam is atrocious. (What is that about, a trade-off? lol)

  4. Just because archive pages have been around forever, does not mean they’re out of style or not useful. They are very useful to a lot of users. Especially for personal blogs with a constant stream of new posts coming in, burying the old the ones.

    I’m gearing up to launch my blog redesign, with an all new archives page including search, popular posts, and all posts.

  5. A blog without an archive isn’t a blog. That’s the whole point of blogging, to build a history of a given topic. Having no archive is nothing more then a simple dynamic web page that anyone can do.

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