[wp-hackers] Should Monthly Archive Pages ever return 404?

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Mon Mar 9 20:19:26 GMT 2009

"Paul" <paul at codehooligans.com wrote:
> Trying to understand your issue with the 404 returned. Correct 
>  me if I'm wrong. You really want the option to do something 
> like the search results return of the query returned no hits? 
> Which my understanding is not a 404.

Without parsing the specifics too finely, yes that's about it.

Let me give just one hypothetical use-case (though not my current one.) I may want a monthly archive where posts are listed in the content area and Twitter updates are listed in the sidebar.  I may have no posts for a month but for an active Twitter user I may have many Twitter status updates for that month. Thus even though there are no posts the representation is still valid content.

Expand that and consider a monthly archive where the sidebar lists events pulled from external sources. Returning 404 tells clients, GoogleBot for example, that there is not a valid resource at that URI when in fact there is definitely a valid resource there the resource happens to just not contain posts. Hopefully you can see that the equating of zero posts = "file not found" is too limited.

-Mike Schinkel

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