All of us here at The 42nd Estate really love WordPress. It’s not only a great blogging platform but also an incredibly flexible content management system. Still, there’s some default configurations of WordPress that leave us wanting for more flexibility. One is the default permalink structure, which is a bit ugly and poor for SEO. Another is the number of posts displayed in category and tag pages.
Show all posts in a category
By default, WordPress is set up to display ten posts per page. Luckily, within the Reading tab of the Settings panel, there is an option to set how many posts you want to display per blog page. It’s nice but whatever option you set there is system wide. Meaning, if you set your blog pages to display five posts (like we have here), then your category and tag pages will also display five posts.
For blogs with tons and tons of posts, this means your user will have to click through a ton of pages when browsing the archives. Luckily, as with many WordPress issues, there’s a simply to install, simple to use plugin that will allow you to display as many posts as you want in the category and tag archives. You can even setup the plugin to show all posts within a category.
Custom Query String Reloaded
The plugin is called Custom Query String Reloaded. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s a very easy to use plugin. You can download the plugin from MoshuBlog [here is a direct link to the file]. It is not available in the WordPress plugin directory, so you will manually have to install the plugin by uploading the PHP file to your wp-content/plugins folder.
Once uploaded, simply browse over to your Plugins section and activate the plugin. Then head into the settings for the plugin (called CQS in the administrative panel). Once there select “is_category” from the drop down Conditions menu next to the Query field. In the show column, enter “-1″ and then click Add. Though it says category, the option should update all of your category and tag pages to show all posts. Of course, you can enter a different value besides “-1″ to show a certain amount of posts per page. I’ve opted for “-1″ (e.g. all posts) to make browsing the archives as easy as possible for my readers.
You can see the plugin in action on Boston category archives on my personal blog. As of this post, that category has 86 posts. All of them show up neatly on one page so my readers don’t have to click through page after page to find what they want.
Edit: To show all posts for monthly archives, add a query matching “is_month” and select how many posts you want showing up.
Let us know what you think of the plugin. If you have any issues with it, let us know and we’ll try to help you out. I’m running WordPress 2.7 on my blog so it does work with the latest version of WordPress.