setting up an archive page

In my recent post about website design I mentioned that I wanted to include an archive page as a convenient way to find the exact page that you’re looking for. With this in mind, I sat down to create this and discovered that it was another WordPress/ComicPress headache. My goal was to have an archive page that would display thumbnails of the pages which is something that I’ve seen on various other sites that used ComicPress.

So after a bunch of false starts and some back and forth on the forums, here’s what I had to do to create an archive page (this is based on the simple How To’s that I found online, feedback from Frumph and some workarounds that I’ve had to engineer myself).

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My first attempt:

1. Click on the ComicPress tab in your WordPress admin section and then click on “Storyline Structure” and enable storyline support. My storyline uses the category “Book 1” that I set up previously when I first installed ComicPress.

2. Click on the pages tab in your WordPress admin section and then click on “Add New” to create a new page.

3. Title the page anything you want. I’d suggest “archive” since that would logically be what a user will be looking for.

4. On the right hand side of the page, there is a section called “Page Attributes” that will give you a selection of “Parent,” “Template” and “Order.” I have no parent that this page is based on, so I selected “no parent,” for the “Template,” I chose “Comic Storyline with Thumbs” and then set it to appear as the second items in my page list by giving it the number 2 in “Order” (this would be useful to those wishing to have items appear in a certain order in their menubar).

And you’re done. To check out your new page, visit your site and click on “Archive” in the menu bar and… wait, where’s the images?

At this point, I got frustrated. I followed along and nothing seemed to change the fact that the thumbnails didn’t show up. When you clicked on the link that was provided, it took you to the page. No thumbnails could be found…

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For my second attempt, I finally caved and went to the source for help (Frumph), and here’s the correct way to set up your archive page:

1. Enable your storyline structure in the ComicPress tab.

2. Create a new page and title it “archive.”

3. Again, I have no parent that the page is based on, so I chose “no parent.”

4. For the template, I now used “Comic Storyline Archive.”

5. I still want it to appear second in the menubar, so I set it to number 2.

And we’re done – again. I checked out my revised page, clicked on “Archive” in the menubar and… wait, where’s the images? Not again!

Ok, I was seriously frustrated. I decided that I must be missing something, so I went back to the forum and asked again. It was pointed out that if I clicked the link “Book 1” on the Archive page, it would take me to a new page that listed out all the pages with the dates that they were published and a thumbnail image.

So now that I’ve finally figured that out (with some help) I decided to cut out a step and take the user directly to the thumbnail page. So…

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On my final (third) attempt, the complete list of how to create an archive page:

1. Enable your storyline structure in the ComicPress tab.

2. Create a new page and title it “archive.”

3. Again, I have no parent that the page is based on, so I chose “no parent.”

4. For the template, I now used “Comic Storyline Archive.”

5. I still want it to appear second in the menubar, so I set it to number 2.

6. I edited the link in the navigation bar and pointed it to the page with the thumbnails. (For more on how I edited the navigation bar, check out my previous post: Part 3 – editing the code)

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So why is this so hard? No idea. Again, we’re using something – ComicPress – that has been built and coded by others and we’re trying to make it do what we want it to which isn’t always easy. Needless to say, sometimes you need to find a work around which is what I finally did. Hopefully my experience here can help you cut out a few steps and get exactly what want on the first try.

About jason

Illustrator and graphic designer. When not working full time as a Senior Graphic Designer, I am usually working on the graphic novel On the Verge: the Arrow of Time. Artist on Andrew Jackson in Space and The Sisters.

3 Responses to setting up an archive page

  1. kevin says:

    Good morning,
    I am reaching out to you because I am having major issues creating an archive page for my comic. I currently have my comic developed from a friend and I want to put it into wordpress. I felt like I was making good progress with the transferring my art up to the point that I had to create an archive page. I can’t even update my Templates. Where do I go got do this? Can you help me with this or point me to a blog/post or website that can assist me with this matter?

    Many blessings Kevin

    • jason says:

      Hi Kevin,

      First off, sorry for the delayed response. I was on vacation last week and was not able to respond. Anyway, on to your questions…

      Ok, so this post for “how to set up and archive page” is from a while back – and back to when I was still using ComicPress to organize all of my webcomic stuff. I actually stopped using ComicPress a couple years after this post (you can read all about it here). Once I switched away from ComicPress, I set up new archive pages that are really simple: a WordPress page that has a gallery of images on it. If you check out the archive section on this site, you’ll see what this ended up looking like.

      I don’t think I have any blog posts here on my site about how to actually do this, but if you do a quick Google search for (1) creating a new page in WordPress, and (2) creating an image gallery in WordPress, you’ll get what you need.

      I hope this helps!

  2. Andrew says:

    You refer to a comicpress tab but I’m not sure what you mean by that. Is this tab supposed to be located on the dashboard? I see under Appearance there is “comicpress options” but I don’t see anything about storyline structure.

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