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

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Tue Mar 10 04:18:47 GMT 2009

"Lynne Pope" <lynne.pope at gmail.com> wrote:

> If no posts existed for a monthly archive, where are the URL's 
> to the archive coming from? How would people end up following 
> an URL to a non-existent page?

At least two places:

1.) User's hacking URLs (which I and Jakob Neilsen believe is good UI: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990321.html)

2.) A Custom Calendar.

> The only place I can see the potential for this happening is 
> if a site is using a calendar that outputs links to non-existent 
> archives. Surely that, then is a calendar issue which should be 
> fixed?

Whether it needs to be "fixed" is based on whether you think it is broken.  

> Call me dim if you like, but I just cant see how creating virtual 
> pages for non-existent content helps anyone (least of all search 
> engines trying to index content).

Consider the use-case where a page has a "Add your own event for this month" link. 

Bottom line, I think we should be able to have virtual pages if we so desire and not be painted into a corner by WordPress because of someone else's view of what constitutes a 404.

That said, kudos to Austin Matzko for providing a solution which I will soon be testing.  Thanks Austin!

-Mike Schinkel

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