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

Doug Stewart zamoose at gmail.com
Tue Mar 10 11:41:08 GMT 2009

On Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 11:49 PM, Stephen Rider <wp-hackers at striderweb.com>wrote:

> On Mar 9, 2009, at 11:18 PM, Mike Schinkel wrote:
>  "Lynne Pope" <lynne.pope at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  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.
> Such a page sounds like something made either by a plugin or a *very*
> custom theme -- either of which could then implement "empty archive pages"
> as part of the full functionality.
> You've named some excellent examples of your case, but beyond the "hacked
> URLs should work" argument, none of them are core material.
> In my opinion, the best *core* implementation would be to return the 404,
> but *display* an "empty archive" page -- e.g. a page that says "there are no
> posts for this month", and links to the nearest adjacent months with posts.
> From the user end, this is a superior (friendlier) interface.  But as
> others have pointed out, we don't want Google cataloging archive pages that
> don't have any posts.  A 404 that looks like a "no posts" archive is the
> best of both worlds.
> Stephen

Or you could simply use John Godley's excellent Redirection plugin (
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/redirection/) and explicitly trap all
months you know don't have content and redirect them to either a landing
page or simply the next month with content.

Boom, problem solved.


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