To archive or not to archive, that is the question.

So, when I changed the theme of this blog a while ago, I also did a mini-audit. After reading a couple of articles on what I guess you would call blog hygiene, I added an email sign-up button, updated my blogroll, changed some headers on that right column, etc. One of the tips I adopted with some ambivalence was to clean up the right column by getting rid of the archives.

According to this article about cleaning up your sidebars, no one looks at archives, so why have them clutter your page? Beside, you want people looking at your new, fresh content…right?

As a blog reader, I like the idea of the archive. But when I thought about it, I rarely used them. So, I gave it a shot and took the archive down.

A friend recently asked why my archive had disappeared. She loves going back to look at old posts and, perhaps more importantly, she likes to see how long someone has been blogging.

So, I’m putting it to a vote. What do you think? To archive or not to archive?


8 thoughts on “Archive?

  1. Jackie

    As a reader, I love the archives. As a lover of clean design, I can understand your hesitation. Still, I think they’re worth a little clutter! I like seeing how long a particular blogger has been blogging — gives me a sense of his/her expertise and longevity.

  2. People will always be directed to your newest content whenever they go to the home page, so there’s no need to worry about the archives competing for reader attention. I think it’s a great idea to make it easier for readers to look at older posts. Your categories drop-down menu is one way to organize them, but I think having the archives as well would be nice.

    I don’t always use the archives, but I appreciate having the option. I agree that it’s helpful to be able to see how long someone’s been blogging, and sometimes I’m curious about what a blog was like in its beginning stages or want to pick a few posts from different times to see how it evolved. (And some people like to read every post in the archives when they find a new blog they like — I’m afraid I’m not one of them.) In those cases, the archives would be more useful than the category option.

  3. bethfinke

    Wow, my first time answering a blog poll. Thanks for being ambitious enough to set this one up. Who knows, maybe I’ll try putting a poll up on my own blog sometime…you’re an inspiration!

  4. Star Anise

    I often read the archives when I come across a new blog.

    Also, the horizontal space has already been taken by the sidebar, so you might as well use it. The sidebar is not the main focus, so I don’t see how having archives in it is a distraction.

    I’ll tell you what, though; I have never referred to a blogroll. I find new blogs when a blogger links to them, quotes the or mentions them in a post, not from static content which has no context.

  5. Wow, that was pretty unanimous. So, (drumroll, please) back by popular demand is the archive in drop-down form!

    Thanks for such thoughtful comments.

    Now, anyone have any ideas for my next post?

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