Monday, October 31, 2005

Article Categories The Easy Way

I have been asked by John, in a comment to the article Articles Are Now Categorised, how I actually do this. Here the deep dark secrets are revealed!

OK, there are no secrets; I categorise the simple way... manually! I realise that the whole point of blog software is to automate simple tasks, but I am used to manually creating web sites and so do not shirk from a little heavy lifting. In this case it's only one extra step for each article.

To set up the system I first decided on categories, which may in fact have been the most difficult part of the process. I created entries for each category, and back-dated the creation times so the articles became lost in the bowels of the archives. Then I put links to them in my sidebar, so the category pages are easy to access. So far, so good.

Every time I add an article I must now also edit the appropriate category page and add a link to it. This is not too much work, IMO. Sometimes I wait and do several at once, since categorising brand new articles, those people can easily read on the opening page, is not a high priority.

Blogger should definitely have an automated way of dealing with this. It's trivial to implement so I don't understand why it hasn't been done.

However, the manual method has certain advantages. There is full control over how you link to the categories, full control over their contents and formatting, and it's easy to put an article in more than one category if you wish.

I am not keen of categorising using hacks that depend on outside resources, though if you want to check that out, some techniques are available over on FreshBlog.

Another technique that makes this method easy is explained in the next article, Quick Article Editing. (This is getting nicely entangled.)



John said...

Thanks for the how-to. Linked on my blogger hacks post. As I say... I'm fascinated by all the different ways we're getting around the absence of categories on blogger. Fine work!!

James Brush said...

I like the simplicity of this method so I used it on my blog. Thanks for the advice.

bengaluru said...

"Simple & Elegant" and I mean it though carpenters interpret it as fancy but cheap!
I'll incorporate this in my blog :)
Thanks Robin!

Alexander M. Jordan said...

Thanks for your excellent method. I used it to create categories for my blog, and have written a howto post in which I give you credit, although I provide my own step-by-step explanation of how I used your method!

danchong said...

Elegant solution! I have another one that depends on Blogger Search (so no linking to external sites needed). It takes about 5 minutes to set up and there's no need to maintain category pages. Just ensure that each post has keywords that Blogger Search can find.

Step-by-step instructions are here.

manny hernandez said...

Thanks for providing information on your method, as well as linking to the BlogFresh site, with so many more options.

Tony Garcia said...

I started to do this method on my blog back in April 2005 (when I was brand new to blogging)...after a while (around September of 2005) I decided to just create a 2nd blog for those archive pages.

Check them out...
Actual Blog and Archive Blog.

Tony Garcia said...

Whoops, I just noticed that I messed up the links...

Actual Blog and Archive Blog.

Richard said...

Thank you very much for this.
Simple and elegant solution to a problem that e really shouldn't have to contend with.
Have just spent a valuable few hours setting up the category pages for my blog.

Nick CC said...

Oh yes - I am also deeply grateful. After fruitless hours trying to find a solution I was so relieved to find yours. Many thanks. Nick

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