There’s a lot to be said for archiving WordPress posts instead of deleting them. By creating an archive, you can remove old, out-dated content from your blog, but keep a record of it. You can track your topics over time, go back and recycle older content if it becomes relevant, and guide your readers to the content you want them to see.
However, WordPress doesn’t have a tool to archive your posts – at least not in the traditional sense. Yes, there are category and date archives. Those don’t hide your posts from view, just create new ways to sort your content. In order to properly archive your posts, you’ll need a plugin.
Archived Post Status
The Archived Post Status plugin makes archiving WordPress posts a breeze.
Archiving WordPress Posts
After installing Archived Post Status, you can start archiving your posts. Simply go to the post you’d like to archive and edit its status, setting it to Archived. You can also bulk-archive posts, using the Bulk Edit tools, if you’d like.
Once a post has been archived, it’s hidden from public view and can no longer be edited. The post is also prominently marked as Archived on both the front & back-end.
You can only see archived posts on the front-end of your website if you’re logged in – otherwise you’ll just get a standard 404 error. Turning your 404 error pages into a landing page is a great way to utilize this. If you’re concerned about SEO, you can redirect errors to your home page using a plugin like this.
To un-archive a post, you’ll have to go to the Quick Edit tools and set it’s status to Published. Publishing a post will make it visible on the front-end again, and you’ll be able to edit it normally.
I’ve used this plugin when archiving WordPress posts on my personal blog. It’s a great way to keep content fresh and relevant, while hiding the not-so-savory posts of my adolescence. But any website where news and content changes rapidly (hello tech blogs!) could use this to stay up-to-date and avoid confusing their readers.
What are your thoughts on post archives? Do you have another method for keeping your out-dated posts under wraps? Let me know in the comments!