The chronological nature of blogging means that great articles can get lost in your archives. Placing a search bar and an archives widget in your sidebar can make it easier for visitors to search through older content.
You can extend this further by creating a dedicated archives page. Unfortunately, not every WordPress theme comes with an archives page template and those that do are not always structured the way you want.
Thankfully, it is very easy to create your own archives page. All you have to do is create an archives page template and then assign it to a page.
In this tutorial, I would like to show you how you can build an archives page for your WordPress website.
Check If You Already Have an Archives Template
Before we get started, I recommend checking whether your current WordPress theme already has an archives template. This will help you determine whether you need to create an archives template from scratch or simply modify an existing archives template.
The quickest way to see if your activated WordPress theme has an archives template is to create or edit a page (not a blog post!). At the right hand side of the post editor you will see the Page Attributes menu. This allows you to assign a custom page template to any WordPress page.
If your activated WordPress theme already has an archives page template, you will see an option for an archives template. The name of the archives template depends on what it has been named in template itself. Usually, it is named Archive or Archives.
Many themes do not include an archives template, though WordPress users may be led to believe they do because they include a template named archive.php. Take the default WordPress theme Twenty Fourteen, for example.
If you modify a page, you will see that the theme does not include an archives page template. However, a quick look at the templates of of Twenty Fourteen highlights that it has a template called archive.php.