Missing Views: How to create an Archive page in WordPress.com

I learned Drupal in a previous life and I even built a website with it. I loved its versatility but also hated the fact that sometimes you were walking blindly, testing things and many times failing to make them work. One of the things that didn’t convince me was the comment system. It could have improved nowadays (honestly I don’t know), but I used to get a lot of spam.

Anyway, one of the things I loved from Drupal was the Views module. You assigned categories to your pages (or posts) and then you could create a dynamic page where you could display all the entries of a determined category in a list, a table or any format you liked and with an introductory text.

Having a blog in a dedicated platform, like WordPress.com or Blogger, has its advantage; you don’t have to worry about the basic stuff that makes a blog work withing normal parameters, but if you want to personalize it a bit you need to find some workaraound.

I wanted to create a page with my knitted projects and another with my sewn projects, and I didn’t have anything like Views available inside WordPress.com. I don’t mean just clicking on one of your categories and displaying your posts inside that one category, I mean having a button in your menu linking to a page where you could display the list in the way you want and with an introductory text if you like. Miss Portia wrote about how to do this in Blogger. The logic is the same in WordPress.com: You need to create it yourself. You cannot create here a dynamic page, so it needs to be static. I’ll explain later on how to do it but first make sure you have a template that allows this (this is the main difference between Blogger and WordPress.com). Here you can find more information and templates that allow this, and here you have a list of all the themes which you can use to customize menus. Here you can read about custom menus.

Then you need to display your content. I’ve done it in a very simple way, just a list of the projects with a picture of each one linking to a determined post and a title below. For the picture you can make something more elaborated like Portia, I just linked to one of the pictures in each post. This is enough for me (for now).

<div style=”text-align: left;” align=”center”>Introductory text.</div>
<div style=”text-align: center;” align=”center”>

<a href=”link-to-your-post/”><img alt=”Title” src=”link-to-the-image.jpg” width=”193″ height=”288″ /></a>Title…

<a href=”link-to-your-post/”><img alt=”Title” src=”link-to-the-image.jpg” width=”193″ height=”288″ /></a>Title</div>

I hope this helps people with the same needs. if you have any questions, issues or suggestions, please let me know (it sounds like I’m talking to one of my customers, ha).