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How to Beautifully Formatted Archives by Month Separated by Year

Snippets by IsItWP

Are you looking for a way to display a beautifully formatted archives list of months separated by year? While there’s probably a plugin for this, we have created a quick code snippet that you can use to display formatted archives by month separated by year in WordPress.

Instructions:

All you have to do is add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or in a site-specific plugin:

function wp_custom_archive($args = '') {
    global $wpdb, $wp_locale;

    $defaults = array(
        'limit' => '',
        'format' => 'html', 'before' => '',
        'after' => '', 'show_post_count' => false,
        'echo' => 1
    );

    $r = wp_parse_args( $args, $defaults );
    extract( $r, EXTR_SKIP );

    if ( '' != $limit ) {
        $limit = absint($limit);
        $limit = ' LIMIT '.$limit;
    }

    // over-ride general date format ? 0 = no: use the date format set in Options, 1 = yes: over-ride
    $archive_date_format_over_ride = 0;

    // options for daily archive (only if you over-ride the general date format)
    $archive_day_date_format = 'Y/m/d';

    // options for weekly archive (only if you over-ride the general date format)
    $archive_week_start_date_format = 'Y/m/d';
    $archive_week_end_date_format   = 'Y/m/d';

    if ( !$archive_date_format_over_ride ) {
        $archive_day_date_format = get_option('date_format');
        $archive_week_start_date_format = get_option('date_format');
        $archive_week_end_date_format = get_option('date_format');
    }

    //filters
    $where = apply_filters('customarchives_where', "WHERE post_type = 'post' AND post_status = 'publish'", $r );
    $join = apply_filters('customarchives_join', "", $r);

    $output = '<ul>';

        $query = "SELECT YEAR(post_date) AS `year`, MONTH(post_date) AS `month`, count(ID) as posts FROM $wpdb->posts $join $where GROUP BY YEAR(post_date), MONTH(post_date) ORDER BY post_date DESC $limit";
        $key = md5($query);
        $cache = wp_cache_get( 'wp_custom_archive' , 'general');
        if ( !isset( $cache[ $key ] ) ) {
            $arcresults = $wpdb->get_results($query);
            $cache[ $key ] = $arcresults;
            wp_cache_set( 'wp_custom_archive', $cache, 'general' );
        } else {
            $arcresults = $cache[ $key ];
        }
        if ( $arcresults ) {
            $afterafter = $after;
            foreach ( (array) $arcresults as $arcresult ) {
                $url = get_month_link( $arcresult->year, $arcresult->month );
                /* translators: 1: month name, 2: 4-digit year */
                $text = sprintf(__('%s'), $wp_locale->get_month($arcresult->month));
                $year_text = sprintf('<li>%d</li>', $arcresult->year);
                if ( $show_post_count )
                    $after = '&nbsp;('.$arcresult->posts.')' . $afterafter;
                $output .= ( $arcresult->year != $temp_year ) ? $year_text : '';
                $output .= get_archives_link($url, $text, $format, $before, $after);

                $temp_year = $arcresult->year;
            }
        }

    $output .= '</ul>';

    if ( $echo )
        echo $output;
    else
        return $output;
}

Add this snippet in your index.php file or any other template file where you want to display the formatted archives.

<?php 
           wp_custom_archive(); 
?>

Note: If this is your first time adding code snippets in WordPress, then please refer to our guide on how to properly copy / paste code snippets in WordPress, so you don’t accidentally break your site.

If you liked this code snippet, please consider checking out our other articles on the site like: 9 best WordPress auction plugins and how to create a guest post submission form in WordPress.

Comments  Leave a Reply

  1. How to remove recent month of the year in this plugins?

  2. Cristian Florescu October 9, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    $temp_year not defined 😉

  3. Awesome code! Thanks a lot man!

    1. No problem glad I could help!

  4. Awesome code! Thanks a lot man!

  5. Awesome code! Thanks a lot man!

  6. Awesome code. Exactly what I was looking for. Do you, perhaps know how to refine it to only pull in a custom post type? *waiting hopefully 🙂

    1. post_type is defined here, “WHERE post_type = ‘post'”

  7. This is a very good example. Thanks, Now, it’s possible loading months of a specify category?

  8. Jony Fernando Schulz March 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Very bealtifully. Great. Thanks!

  9. Wow. That’s a great solution without a plugin. Works perfekt. Thanks for the snippet

  10. Exactly what i needed, this should be baked into wordpress core it’s so good

  11. Great solution, thanks 🙂

  12. Dear Kevin,
    Hard to understand your script. Would you like to attach it with tabel in database MySql? May be it more clearly for me because I am new in PHP. Thanks

  13. I know this is an old post. But is there any way to specify the category of the archive list? Preferably by passing the value from the wp_custom_archive tag. So that I could put several archive lists on a page. i want an archive list for category 9 and a separate archive list for category 4. So that the tag would be something like wp_custom_archive(‘9’) and wp_custom_archive(‘4’).

    Any help?

    1. hhhmmm Hi John, many archive plugins exist that might be a better solution when wanting to get this detailed with your archives.

    2. If you’re still wondering, I’ve posted modified code above (5/29/2017) that allows for filtering by category.

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