A few days ago I happened to be browsing through my blog, looking for some articles I had written last month. As it happens, I hit the category archives, but to my surprise it was showing ONLY the latest 15 articles. No links at the bottom of the page to older posts in that category, nothing.
I use the WP Page-Navi plugin, which allows you to show a full list of archive pages for that category on each archive page. Apparently that plugin had been deactivated by mistake (I can only guess that I had disabled another plugin that was sitting just above it a month or two ago and had click on the wrong link by mistake).
Bottom line – A simple act of carelessness made most of my site’s archives (almost) completely unavailable to readers and search engines (luckily, my archives page lists all posts on the site, so there was at least one way for crawlers to get there).
It made me wonder what other things might be broken on my blog (and on other blogs), and how often we let our blog management go unattended and let small errors like these creep in (especially in design – read Shane’s post on virtual clutter).
We’ve talked before about the need for doing monthly ‘blog reboots’ to your blogs to evaluate your progress and highlight how you can further improve your blog. It would be wise to add a ‘audit’ section in which you look specifically at what things are broken or have gone downhill from the last month.
After all, you don’t want to be in a situation where no one can read your site’s archives.