When Automattic developed WordPress, it had a crazy notion of what an ‘archive’ is. 20+ years later, we’re stuck to the same definition: WP considers that an ‘archive’ is really just a list of past articles, neatly ordered by month/year.
But that’s not the case. A real Archive is a place where you can store posts that are not relevant any longer — thus keeping them away from the Loop — but without deleting them, because, naturally enough, the whole point of having an Archive is to allow search engines and backlinks to ‘old’ articles to still work correctly.
This is the whole point of this simple plugin: to allow to add a new status to every post/page, classifying it as having been archived. This means that the post/page will not require any changes: it doesn’t need to be deleted, change its category, add any tags, or simply set to Draft (so that it doesn’t appear). Instead, posts and pages stay exactly as they were before — just with a new status (beyond the classic ones, i.e., published, private, draft).
Because this status is an addition, this means that all well-behaved plugins and themes will not recognise it as a valid status (i.e. when checking if a post is published, the theme/plugin will not find the archived posts), and so they effectively ‘disappear’ from the visibility status of most 3rd party code. That’s exactly what we expect to happen with an ‘archived’ post. And that’s precisely what this plugin does, and does quite well; as such, it comes as highly recommended by many reviewers, and ranks high on their lists of ‘best’ plugins for a specific purpose.
The plugin itself is well-written, strictly follows all coding guidelines as set by Automattic and the developer community, regularly maintained, and has very reasonable support on the forums: issues are opened, followed up by the author, and closed when resolved or when threads become stale due to lack of activity. Documentation is minimal, because the plugin is so simple to activate and use (and not because anything is missing).
Sadly, at the time of writing this (July 2023), this plugin suffers from a dependency of a third-party library which, unfortunately, breaks the posting workflow, introducing a new way of saving new posts which is not only counter-intuitive, but lacks essential functionality. Work is under progress to restore the normal functionality of the posting workflow, but, until that happens (which is beyond the plugin author’s control), it means that you very likely won’t wish to use this plugin on any WordPress site that is used by more than one author.
I will certainly review my classification in the future, once this major issue gets resolved, and LH Archived Post Status works again, flawlessly integrated into the WordPress posting workflow, as it did in pre-Gutenberg days.
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