This is my thesis: the majority of WordPress themes released today, whether free or premium, pay little to no attention to one of the most important elements of all websites, the archive. Every site is the sum of its content right? But we think too much in terms of the here and now, in terms of expediency. We feed data into live streams, Twitter, Facebook, blogs etc., happily forgetting that once we click “post” that data belongs to the past.
We owe it to ourselves, to our readers, and not to search engines, to do a better job of bringing the past back to life, of making it accessible and relevant. And when it comes to that, WordPress along with most other digital content management systems is more or less clueless.
Search the WordPress plugin repository for archive plugins and sure you’ll find quite a few, but look closer and they’re really painful to use. The sad irony is that while we’ve resigned ourselves to the idea of the analogue archive being sealed off and out of access (unless you’re an archivist or researcher), there was with the rise of the Internet the hope for something different. The hope that digital data could not only survive for longer, but that it could be brought back to the present at the click of a button.
They were able to bring Tupac back, so why can’t we do more to bring WordPress content back? That’s the story. That’s the topic of my vlog. In the video I take a quick look at some of the main theme developers (WooThemes, ElegantThemes and ThemeZilla) who have shown glimpses of ways that we might push the archival functionality of WordPress. Please watch the video and let me know your thoughts on the state of WordPress archives.