Saturday, October 1, 2016

Showing your oldest blog-post first - and the rest in reverse order.

Blogger does not have an option to display your posts in reverse order - so that the oldest post is first, and the most recent post is last.  But this article describes displaying your posts in this way by manipulating their post dates.  And it links to an article about some other possible options.


Overview

Previously I've discussed the options for giving your blog a home page.  One option is to organise the post-date for each of your posts, so that you control the order posts are displayed in.

This is easy enough to do, although there are a couple of risks that you need to be aware of as discussed below.


Blogger Posts and the Post-date

Each Post in your blog has a date-time value, which is called its "post-date".   Normally , this is set to the date/time when you publish the post for the first time.  But you can change the post date for any post, and you can do this either when you post it first or later on.

The post-date is important because it controls the order that posts are shown in:
  • The post that appears first when a reader visits your blog is the one with the most-recent Post-date.
  • If you have more than one post-per-screen, then the next-most-recent post is on the screen underneath the first one.  And then the second-next-most-recent, etc.

When a reader is looking at any post, and they click Newer-Posts or Older-Posts, the post-date is used to decide what posts to show on the next screen.

This means that you can make your posts appear in the order than you wrote them (ie first post first, second post second, etc) by changing the Post-date so that:
  • your first post has the most-recent post-date, 
  • your second post has the next-most-recent-date, 
  • your third post has the third-most-recent poste date
  • etc

An alternative approach is to just make one post always appear first, and let the other posts appear in the order that you posted them.


How to make your posts appear in reverse order, using dates

1  Give your first Post a post-date (eg today), AND remember that date.

2  Give all other posts (even ones that you write next week, or next year) a post-date that is earlier than the post-date you picked in Step 1.
  • If you want your posts is strictly reverse order, you need to give each one a date that is earlier than any existing post.  This is quite easy:  just look at the list of posts in Posting > Edit Posts and scroll to the bottom of the list to see the oldest date used so far.
3  Turn off the post-date display on your posts (since the post-date won't make sense, because you're manipulating the dates).

  • To do this, go to the Layout tab.  
  • Choose Blog-posts (edit).    
  • Un-tick the date under "Post Page Options".

4  Remember to make the same date change for every post you write from now on.


Also, if it might be relevant for your readers to know when you wrote a post, make sure that you always manually put the date into each post.


Risks of this approach

If you follow this approach, you will give a far-in-the-past date to pages that you never want to appear first.  There is a risk that Google might convert the data behind older posts at some time.   If your post-dates get too far into the past, then it's possible that they might not cope well this.   This could be for reasons that seem logical, or because of things that are totally to do with the internal workings of Blogger's database, and make no sense to you at all.

Also, be aware that Google might choose to force the post-date to appear on posts at some time in the future.  At the moment, they don't:  it's your choice.   But you cannot guarantee that they won't change their minds about this, one day.   (Personally I think they probably won't, and I've built a couple of "real" websites that make use of the technique described here.   Just remember it's not guaranteed.)




An Alternative Approach

Adam of Too-Clever-by-Half has suggested a totally different way to display your posts in reverse order.   I haven't used it, but think that it has a lot of potential in some situations, provided you are comfortable using Yahoo pipes and RSS feeds to display things on your blog.

He has also recently shared another approach he found, which uses a script to manipulate elements within Blogger, and so is more robust than his first approach.




Related Articles

Changing the post date for any post

Giving your blog a home page

Using a gadget instead of a post as your home page
 
Stopping certain pages from ever appearing on the home page

Blogs, Blogger and blogger, Posts, Pages and Screens - understanding how blogger works.

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5 comments:

  1. Actually this can be achieved dynamically by using java script
    you have to place the javascript code above closing body tag

    I have posted a blogger hack to change post into reverse chronological order.........

    http://myfundoo-blog.blogspot.com/2010/04/reverse-order-of-your-posts-blogger.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't tried it, but I hear that the suggested approach doesn't work any more now Google have introduced Auto-pagination.

    When you develop a work-around that relies on on some related aspect of a product, there is always the risk that the company might "fix" the very tol you're using.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I found another approach, as detailed in this thread:

    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/blogger/thread?tid=1eae01cc67d59449&hl=en

    Rock

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed - I really like what Adam has worked out there - a direct link to his work is: http://too-clever-by-half.blogspot.com/2010/05/first-blog-post-order.html

      It's not for the faint hearted though: it involves passing an RSS feed through Yahoo Pipes, and then using a 3rd party feed-to-javascript application to turn the output into post-able code.

      Delete
  4. Great post. Really changing the post date is good enough for me. thank you.

    ReplyDelete