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Collapsing Archives

This plugin uses Javascript to dynamically expand or collaps the set of months for each year and posts for each month in the archive listing.

This is a relatively simple plugin that uses Javascript to make the Archive links in the sidebar collapsable by year and/or month.

What's new?

  • 2.0.4 (2017.01.02)
    • Compatible with WP 4.7

See the CHANGELOG for more information

Author Robert Felty
Contributors robfelty
  1. collapsing-archives screenshot 1

    Collapsing archives with default theme

  2. collapsing-archives screenshot 2

    widget options

IMPORTANT! Please deactivate before upgrading, then re-activate the plugin.


Unpack the contents to wp-content/plugins/ so that the files are in a collapsing-archives directory. Now enable the plugin. To use the plugin, change the following here appropriate (most likely sidebar.php):

Change From:

 `<?php wp_get_archives(); ?>`

To something of the following:

     if( function_exists('collapsArch') ) {
     } else {
      echo "<ul>\n";
      echo "</ul>\n";

You can specify options for collapsArch. See options section.


For those who have widget capabilities, (default in Wordpress 2.3+), installation is easier.

Unzip contents to wp-content/plugins/ so that the files are in a collapsing-archives directory. You must enable the Collapsing Archives plugin, then simply go the Presentation > Widgets section and add the Collapsing Archives Widget.

2.0.4 (2017.01.02)

  • Compatible with WP 4.7
  • Fixed bug with jquery compatibility
  • Removed deprecated mysql debugging info
  • Works with PHP 7

2.0.3 (2015.08.12)

  • Compatible with WP 4.3

2.0.2 (2014.09.24)

  • Fixed bug when expanding years but not showing month links, where the oldest posts were not getting displayed

2.0.1 (2014.09.05)

  • Compatible with WP 4.0

2.0 (2012.04.09)

  • now using all jquery for javascript stuff
  • added accordion option
  • added option to not use cookies
  • Fixed display issues with IE
  • Easier style handling
  • Added support for custom post types

1.3.2 (2011.01.03)

  • Fixed display bug when only one month in year

1.3.1 (2010.06.22)

  • Fixed bug where months would not expand for current year when "expand current year" was set to no (thanks to beardedgit for debugging help)

1.3 (2010.06.18)

  • Storing post information in javascript array to reduce number of DOM elements (and improve page loading speed)
  • Added option to select post date before or after title

1.2.2 (2010.01.28)

  • Restricting settings page to authorized users
  • Fixed expandYears option. Now when you show posts, but not months, the year expands to show posts.
  • Updated javascript to fix cookie bug
  • Switched from scriptaculous to jquery. Now no longer conflicts with plugins which use mootools (for example featured content gallery)

1.2.1 (2009.06.22)

  • Can now use manually in WP 2.7-
  • Updated Spanish localization (thanks to Karin Sequen)
  • Fixed problems with page load and cookies

1.2.beta (2009.06.07)

  • Changed hide and show classed to collapse and expand to avoid CSS class conflicts

1.2.alpha (2009.05.02)

  • Widgets work with 2.8 API
  • Can specify options directly in manual usage

1.1.4 (2009/04/22)

  • Fixed html validation error when using manual version
  • Spanish localization (thanks to Karin Sequen)

1.1.3 (2009/04/17)

  • Fixed bug with unicode codes showing up instead of triangles

1.1.2 (2009/03/28)

  • Span all on one line so it doesn't mess up exec-php (thanks GeekLad)
  • fixed some minor issues to get page to be valid xhtml
  • no longer requires footer
  • updated javascript file
  • added option for custom expanding and collapsing symbols

1.1 (2009/03/07)

  • fixed bug with truncating titles
  • cleaned up code a bit
  • fixed query for excluding categories
  • fixed including only certain categories
  • added option for "no title" - suggested by Brad Parker
  • reduced number of queries by using get_permalink without id
  • Improved internationalization
  • fixed settings panel

1.0.5 (2009/01/21)

  • changed query
  • when using truncated titles, title attribute has full title
  • using html ellipsis in truncate titles
  • Got rid of comma before post date
  • fixed some issues with settings page
  • updated FAQ

1.0.4 (2009/01/15)

  • fixed debug option
  • style is set in database if the style column is not already there

1.0.3 (2009/01/09)

  • don't put an expand icon for years if "show months" is not selected
  • add self class to post for additional styling
  • fixed :before style info to restore default style
  • fixed post title truncating

1.0.2 (2009/01/07)

  • added javascript version
  • not loading unnecessary code for admin pages (fixes interference with akismet stats page
  • fixed settings page for manual usage
  • fixed sort order option

1.0.1 (2009/01/06)

  • Finally fixed disappearing widget problem when trying to add to sidebar
  • Added debugging option to show the query used and the output
  • Moved style option to options page

1.0 (2008.12.08)

  • Integrating javascript with other collapsing plugins
  • Non-widget version now works out of the box (defaults added to database upon activation)
  • style can now be set with an option
  • inline javascript moved to bottom for faster page loading

0.9.6 (2008.12.02)

  • Minor bug fix with missing end tag when years expand to months, but months do not expand to posts

0.9.5 (2008.12.01)

  • fixed javascript bug for IE7

0.9.4 (2008.11.21)

  • Improved handling of options for non-widget version
  • Uses cookies to keep track of expanded and collapsed years/months
  • tested with 2.7 beta3

0.9.3 (2008.11.04)

  • Now can once again use as a widget or non-widget

0.9.2 (2008.11.01)

  • Fixed truncating of title

0.9.1 (2008.10.28)

  • added collapsArchMonth class for when posts are not shown
  • added img directory
  • calling it stable

0.9.alpha (2008.10.23)

  • Can now use more than one widget
  • Added option to animate collapsing and expanding
  • Added option to use images as collapsing symbols
  • Added option to have the year and month activate collapsing instead of linking to the yearly/monthly archive

0.8.9 (2008.06.04)

  • added option for different expand and collapse symbols (triangles, +/-)

0.8.8 (2008.05.27)

  • added some more FAQ about stylesheets
  • added option to only include certain years



  • fixed bug which had wrong markup when months were turned off


  • fixed bug (introduced in 0.8.2) that made the widget not show up after an upgrade


  • title of archives now shows up correctly using before_title and after_title


  • fixed bug introduced in version 0.8.2 trying to exclude categories. Would break if no categories were being excluded


  • Added option to exclude posts that belong to certain categories. So far this is only working for posts that belong to a single category
  • Added option to change title in widget, and can now set all options from the widget page
  • Now is condensed into one plugin


  • Changed htmlentities to htmlspecialchars in formatting title text. Now this should not mess up accented characters, but should escape quotes
  • Using unicode codes in css file for double quote character


  • Verified to work with wordpress 2.5
  • Now has custom styling option through the collapsArch.css stylesheet
  • updated screenshots
  • (Hopefully) fixed multi-language support for titles (put htmlentitites back in)
  • moved javascript into collapsArch.php and got rid of separate file


  • Got rid of htmlentities in post titles. Should display better now


  • Now links should work with all sorts of permalink structures. Thanks to Krysthora for finding this bug


  • fixed some more markup issues to make it valid xhtml


  • fixed bug when turning off "month links should expand to show posts" option


  • fixed broken links


  • posts now have the class "collapsCatPost" and can be styled with CSS. Some styling has been added in collapsCat.php
  • removed list icons in front of triangles


  • Added option to link to index.php, root, or archives.php


  • Fixed comment count feature in post links
  • Fixed display of date in post links
  • Fixed automatic loading of options into database


    * Complete rewrite of database code to reduce the number of queries from
      2 * #months + 1 to 1 single query


  • Added collapsing class to
  • s with triangles for CSS styling
  • Added style information to make triangles bigger and give a pointer cursor over them
  • Added title tags to triangles to indicate functionality


  • Bug fix - fixed the previous year triangle pointing in the wrong direction
  • Changed default options to reflect how I use it on my website


  • Changed name from Fancy Archives to Collapsing Archives
  • Changed author from Andrew Rader to Robert Felty
  • Added option to link to archives.php
  • Added option to list in chronological or reverse chronological order
  • Added triangles which mark the collapsing and expanding features That is, clicking on the triangle collapses or expands, while clicking on a month or year links to the archives for the said month or year
  • Changed behavior from starting all expanded and then collapsing on page load to the opposite
  • Removed the rel='hide' and rel='show' tags, because they are not xhtml 1.0 compliant. Now uses the CSS classes instead

Fancy Archives Changelog


  • Added option to display Page entries with Posts inside the month links
  • Cleaned up the list generation code


  • Added option: Trim post titles to a set size
  • Added option: Optionally show ellipsis if a post title was shrunk
  • Fix: Added fix for when page's content-type is "application/xhtml+xml"


  • Huge rewrite: cleaned up javascript - one function does all the work, javascript no longer visible in page source
  • Added options: month links are optional, set current year/month to be expanded by default
  • Links now link to 'javascript;' instead of '#'


  • Fixed an issue with displaying comment counts in < WP2.0, fixed by using WP's internal comment counting function (Thanks Will)


  • Massive update, now has a dedicated options page (no more passing options to function)
  • Month links can expand to show individual posts


* Initial Release

How do I change the style of the collapsing archives lists?

The collapsing archives plugin uses several ids and classes which can be styled with CSS. These can be changed from the settings page. You may have to rename some of the id statements. For example, if your sidebar is called "myawesomesidebar", you would rewrite the line

#sidebar li.collapsArch {list-style-type:none} to #myawesomesidebar li.collapsArch {list-style-type:none}

If you are using the plugin manually (i.e. inserting code into your theme), you may want to replace #sidebar with #collapsArchList

= There seems to be a newline between the collapsing/expanding symbol and the category name. How do I fix this? =

If your theme has some css that says something like

= sidebar li a {display:block}

= that is the problem. You probably want to add a float:left to the .sym class


I use this plugin in my blog at


  'noTitle' => '',
  'inExcludeCat' => 'exclude',
  'inExcludeCats' => '',
  'inExcludeYear' => 'exclude',
  'inExcludeYears' => '',
  'sort' => 'DESC',
  'showPages' => false, 
  'linkToArch' => true,
  'showYearCount' => true,
  'expandCurrentYear' => true,
  'expandMonths' => true,
  'expandYears' => true,
  'expandCurrentMonth' => true,
  'showMonthCount' => true,
  'showPostTitle' => true,
  'expand' => '0',
  'showPostDate' => false,
  'postDateFormat' => 'm/d',
  'postDateAppenc' => 'after',
  'accordion' => 0,
  'postTitleLength' => '',
  'post_type' => 'post',
  'debug' => '0',
  • noTitle
    • If your posts don't have title, specify a string to show in place of the title
  • inExcludeCat
    • Whether to include or exclude certain categories
      • 'exclude' (default)
      • 'include'
  • inExcludeCats
    • The categories which should be included or excluded
  • inExcludeYear
    • Whether to include or exclude certain years
      • 'exclude' (default)
      • 'include'
  • inExcludeYears
    • The years which should be included or excluded
  • showPages
    • Whether or not to include pages as well as posts. Default if false
  • showYearCount
    • When true, the number of posts in the year will be shown in parentheses
  • showMonthCount
    • When true, the number of posts in the month will be shown in parentheses
  • linkToArch
    • 1 (true), clicking on a the month or year will link to the archive (default)
    • 0 (false), clicking on a month or year expands and collapses
  • sort
    • Whether posts should be sorted in chronological or reverse chronological order. Possible values:
      • 'DESC' reverse chronological order (default)
      • 'ASC' chronological order
  • expand
    • The symbols to be used to mark expanding and collapsing. Possible values:
      • '0' Triangles (default)
      • '1' + -
      • '2' [+] [-]
      • '3' images (you can upload your own if you wish)
      • '4' custom symbols
  • customExpand
    • If you have selected '4' for the expand option, this character will be used to mark expandable link categories
  • customCollapse

    • If you have selected '4' for the expand option, this character will be used to mark collapsible link categories
  • expandYears

    • 1 (true): Years collapse and expand to show months (default)
    • 0 (false): Only links to yearly archives are shown
  • expandMonths
    • 1 (true): Months collapse and expand to show posts (default)
    • 0 (false): Only links to yearly and monthly archives are shown
  • expandCurrentMonth
    • When true, the current month will be expanded by default
  • expandCurrentYear
    • When true, the current year will be expanded by default
  • showPostTitle
    • 1 (true): The title of each post is shown (default)
  • showPostDate
    • 1 (true): Show the date of each post
  • postDateFormat
    • The format in which the date should be shown (default: 'm/d')
  • postDateAppend
    • after: The post date comes after the title (default)
    • before: The post date comes before the title
  • postTitleLength
    • Truncate post titles to this number of characters (default: 0 = don't truncate)
  • post_type
    • post (default)
    • page
    • all (includes regular post types plus any custom post types - excludes pages, revisions, wp_nav_items, and attachments)
    • custom post type that you have registered (e.g. recipe)
  • accordion
    • When set to true, expanding one year will collapse all other years. Expanding one month will collapse all other months in that year
  • number
    • If using manually with more than one instance on a page, you can give unique ids to each instance with this option. For example, if you had one instance with number 1 and another with number 2, the ul for March 2004 for number 1 would have an id of 'collapsArch-2004-3:1', while the id for number 2 would be 'collapsArch-2004-3:2'
  • debug
    • When set to true, extra debugging information will be displayed in the underlying code of your page (but not visible from the browser). Use this option if you are having problems



This will produce a list with: * accordion style expanding and collapsing * shown in chronological order * using images to mark collapsing and expanding * exclude posts from the categories general and uncategorized


This will produce a list with: * only posts of type 'recipe' * shown in chronological order * using images to mark collapsing and expanding * exclude posts from the categories general and uncategorized


This plugin relies on Javascript, but does degrade gracefully if it is not present/enabled to show all of the archive links as usual.

Version 2.0.4

Requires WordPress version: 2.8 or higher

Compatible up to: 4.7.2

Last Updated 03 Jan 2017

Date Added: 07 Jan 2008

Plugin Homepage


4.7 stars
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