Navigating blog content

Hi Folks :),

Sean here from Phoenix Imaging. I’m a sole graphic designer, and I have only a medium level of technical knowledge. Just joined the forum.

I am branching out into internet marketing, and I am going to set up a Wordpress blog as the platform. I am hoping some of you might be willing to answer some general questions I have about using a blog.

Okay, here’s the thing. I’ve seen many blogs and themes lately. The actual content is the most important thing. The posts are generally organised into categories, while the pages have the static stuff.

Two things are confusing me.

1.) Although the all-important content is in the categories, the categories themselves are very often listed almost as an afterthought. They might be listed in the sidebar halfway down the page, while the static pages are listed front-and-centre in a prominent position! This seems very odd.

2.) I’m confused about how users are supposed to navigate through a blog. Often a thumbnail-like selection of the most recent or most popular posts can be seen on the front page, but it is difficult (or at least non-intuitive) to browse through all posts to find things of interest. Add to this is the issue of ‘old’ posts being ‘archived’ by month.

This seems to indicate an ethos where only the most recent information is of interest, and any topics over a month old are moth-balled and need to be hunted down. Seems a bit clunky - or am I misunderstanding how this works?

Is there a better way to organise blog content? I would have thought that the categories would take pride of place, while the static pages would be off to the side somewhere. I also think it would be better to have all posts under a category viewable in brief (those mini-previews) so users could browse all the available posts in a category, regardless of when they were posted (my subject matter will not be time-sensitive).

Thanks for any help and info you can provide!
All the best,

Hi. There are no replies as yet to my blog questions here, so I’m thinking it may be in the wrong subsection (needs to be in “Just Starting Your Design” maybe?).

Or, my question might be too convoluted.

To simplify it:

I need to work out why blog designs/themes tend to display page navigation before categories, when the categories are where the juice is.

I also asked if there were ways to organise posts in a more accessible way than having them archived by month. Is archiving automatic, or can it be turned off?

I just need general advice here about the concepts. If anyone can enlighten me that would be great. Any experienced bloggers out there who can “throw me a bone”? :shifty:

I wish I had a better answer for you, but it’s a question I have often wondered about myself. It’s just the way WordPress does things I think.

It’s my opinion that page navigation is horrible on a WP blog (I have several). Compounded with tag clouds, categories, archives, and all the widgets (related posts, popular posts, recent posts, etc.) it’s a wonder any reader can find anything!

However, you can use WP as a CMS (as many sites do) in which case you need decent page navigation. But for a blog, IMO if you had none, that would be fine.

Thanks for the info Shyflower. Looks like I might have to just put up with it.

I assume that all the posts go into the categories, so it might be just a case of making the category links more prominent than the page nav. Hmm.

Blogging is sure popular nowadays. You might want to create categories to help users find what they want. Create advanced search functions on your site if you really want to focus on them finding it. You can sure create many different kinds of list to put the data into. You can create tables, such as: most recent posts, best rated posts, etc. Good luck! Old posts can be archived - this sounds useful. Look at other popular blogs and perhaps you can set up your blog in a similar way. Create images as well as text.

Thanks Dejesus for the info.

I had a suggestion from someone on another forum that was really good I thought.

She created pages with a list of all (or just favourite) stories in a catagory, allowing a user to browse the stories in a catagory by title. Great navigation technique.

As I understand it you can set your menus across the nav bar as categories, you can also put your pages in a widget menu in the sidebar. Hope thats on track and helps.

Thanks for the tip Neal.

I’m in the process of researching themes. I’ve moved on from free themes to purchased ones, because they seem better and have good support. Although I haven’t come across any that feature the categories in the nav yet, I’m hoping they will be customisable enough to do exactly that. If not, I can use the pages with links idea.


I agree that free themes are somewhat limiting, it’s that old adage about a free lunch again :slight_smile:
I used themeforest, i think it’s a .com but not sure and not sure if i’m allowed to post links yet. I have had three emails through the forum, all from Mods telling me i did stuff wrong so don’t want to get banned for link posting :slight_smile:

The theme i have will allow you to post categories in the main nav. If you care to look, under the Photographers button is articles by… all three are a categories

Hey, nice looking site Neal! Who’s your photographer? :wink:

Theme Forest and Elegant Themes are the only two suppliers on my shortlist for theme templates. Both are good looking and not too expensive. I’ve probably previewed every free theme on the planet, and nothing compares so far.

Did you modify the theme to suit your needs? Was it easy?

Hi Sean,
Yer, my photographer is pretty good, don’t tell him i said that he will want a raise and will think he is above making the coffee :slight_smile:

I did some modification myself and needed the developer to help with other bits. I wanted two phone numbers which Manuel had to do for me. I changed the contact form to another plug in and added a few others, not a great deal of work but it took ages as i’m technophobic :slight_smile: