WP Writers: please date your posts

A number of high-profile bloggers (mostly the ones who blog about how to blog) recommend that you turn off date stamps on your posts and in the site URLs. Write “evergreen” material, they argue, and your posts will show up high in Google search pages even if the searcher asks for recent results.

If you are writing about WordPress — or indeed, any software program or system — this is bad advice. WordPress is constantly being updated and improved. Old code is deprecated and new function hooks and features are added with every release.

The WordPress code hack or snippet that you feature today may not work in future versions. The plugin you recommend now may conflict with the next release — and will the plugin’s author maintain and update it for compatibility?

Please, WordPress bloggers: put dates on your posts so that future searches will indicate whether it might be relevant to solving their problem at that time. (There’s nothing worse than finding the exact solution you need — written for WordPress 2.2 and never updated.) If you want to be really helpful, tag your post with the WordPress version current at the time you write it. Yes, your time- and version-sensitive posts will drop from future search results (as obsolete information should), leaving opportunity for you to write new material.

WordPress users and developers will bless your name and come back to your site for continuing authoritative and useful information.

Practicing what I preach: WordPress all versions; current version 3.3.1.

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