3 Ways to Organize Month Archives on Your WordPress Site

I sometimes catch myself staring at my list of monthly archive section in a sidebar, or the footer… makes me proud to see how much content I’ve put out on a specific project… I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here.

As time goes by, however, your archive list can grow longer and longer – to the point that it’s no longer attractive. When this time comes (and it will, if you have a successful site), a long and detailed archive can become an eyesore. It will also take up too much space – and that would clutter up whatever page is showing the list.

In this post, we will show you how you can limit the number of months and days in the archive section of your website. This is a WordPress guide though, so if you used another website builder like Site123 or Weebly, you might have to check their help docs.

Collapsing Archives plugin

Way #1 – Use the Collapsing Archives Plugin

Collapsing Archives is a plugin. As its name suggests, it works by collapsing a long archive list into a clean and simple interface. You will find other WordPress plugins that work in the same way – feel free to check them out as well. For now, we will show you the steps to using this particular plugin called Collapsing Archives.

  1. In your WordPress Dashboard, go to the Plugins section.
  2. In the Plugins page, search for Collapsing Archives.
  3. Click install to save the plugin in your WordPress.
  4. Once installed, you will see the Collapsing Archive in your list of plugins.
  5. Click on the activate button to make it usable.
  6. Now, go to the Appearance section on your WordPress Dashboard and click on Widgets.
  7. Look for the Collapsing Archives widget and add it (drag and drop) to the sidebar section.
  8. You will see that the Collapsing Archives widget has a dropdown arrow. Click on it to expand the menu. It’s now time to configure the settings (as you want). Some of your options would be to show post count, to show pages and posts, and to chronologically arrange your posts.
  9. Save your settings and go to your website.

Note: with the Collapsing Archives widget, you will be provided with a lot of options (that’s why we like it). If you want, you can choose the option where a user can click on a particular year and a view of that year’s monthly archive will appear. You can also make monthly archives collapsible so that users can click on it and post titles will come up.

Way #2 – Use Compact Archives Instead of Default Archives

Compact Archive is another plugin that you can use to organize the Archive section of your site. Again, you will find other plugins with the same functionality – to help you set up an efficient Archive without taking a lot of space. We really like this plugin, and we’ll tell you how to use it below.

  1. Search for Compact Archives in the Plugins page of your WordPress site.
  2. Look for an exact match and click install (if you want, you can also consider the other results).
  3. Once installed (this will only take about a minute or less), click Activate.
  4. To make it work, go to the Appearance section on your WordPress Dashboard.
  5. Go to the widgets area and place Compact Archives to your WordPress sidebar.
  6. Your Compact Archives is already working, but you still need to configure it according to your requirements.
  7. Click Save once you achieve your desired settings.

Note: When you use Compact Archives, you can expect to see a really compact appearance on the front-end of your site. Expect something like this:

2018 J F M A M J J A S O N D

2017 J F M A M J J A S O N D

2016 J F M A M J J A S O N D

2015 J F M A M J J A S O N D

2014 J F M A M J J A S O N D

Way #3 – Limit the Number of Archive Months Manually

What we mean by limiting the archive months manually, is that you have to use codes and shortcodes and fix things inside your WordPress site’s core. If you’re up to this option, here are the steps:

  1. Add the following codes to your WordPress theme file.

// Function to get archives list with limited months
function wpb_limit_archives() {

$my_archives = wp_get_archives(array(

return $my_archives;


// Create a shortcode
add_shortcode('wpb_custom_archives', 'wpb_limit_archives');

// Enable shortcode execution in text widget
add_filter('widget_text', 'do_shortcode');

  1. In your WordPress Dashboard, go to Appearance and click on Widgets.
  2. Look for the Text widget and position it to the sidebar (put it where you want to place the Archive section).
  3. In the Text widget text mode, place this shortcode:


  1. Click save.

Which Option to Choose?

Your choice of option will depend on your taste and preference. However, if you want a method that’s easy to follow, we recommend #1 and #2. These 2 simply call for installation of plugins.

If you’re into creating codes and shortcodes, however, you can also look at #3. Still, whatever option you choose in the end will result in a more organized Archive section. And of course, that would prove to be beneficial to your website (and readers).

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