Archived Comment Thread

Please visit the new AZIndex Website for all the latest on the AZIndex plugin.

I have preserved the old comment thread below in case some people are still linking here, or coming back to find answers to old questions.

For new questions, comments, and feedback about AZIndex, please use the new Feeback page.

  • #1 written by
    about 5 years ago


    I really like this plugin and I was wondering if I could add it to the Sidebar (Widget) to show all my post in alphabetical order. If it’s possible, can you please guide me? It would be nice if you email me, I have included my email in the Comment Form.


  • #2 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    I just replied to the question about putting an index into the sidebar. It turns out that you can indeed do it, it just takes a little bit of theme tweaking to do it. I will add a post to my blog explaining how in the next day or two.

  • #3 written by
    about 5 years ago

    Thanks very much, I have received your email and replied to it. I got it working thanks to you, It’s Perfect and it doesn’t seem to get the load high in my server(but it’s been optimized). Thanks.

  • #4 written by Crystal
    about 5 years ago

    After installation, I get the following error message when trying to activate: Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error.

  • #5 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Hi Crystal, I just went to your site and it looks as though you are using WordPress v2.2.2. If that is the site you’re trying to run the AZIndex plugin on, then I’m afraid that it won’t work. You need to be running WordPress v2.5 or v2.5.1. Are you testing it on

    If you are running it on WordPress v2.5.x then I’m not sure I can help without more information. Do you know what versions of PHP and MySQL you are using? And if possible, could you try disabling the other plugins you are running to see if that helps (I know that might be difficult if you are using it with a live blog). Sorry to be so vague, but so far you’re the only one who’s reported this problem so without more info I’m a bit stuck.


  • #6 written by Lionel Chollet
    about 5 years ago

    Always count on me for weird requests: ;-)

    I’d like to *sort* by the heading — so far, nothing unusual — but to *display* the subheading first — ahem, er, yes…

    The heading is a custom field (a reference number), the subheading is the title.

    By the way, the numeric_compare function is working great; thanks a lot, Mike!

    Additionally, how do you customize the pagination links to make them look like, say, “Page Navigation” links?

    As for caching, maybe such a plugin as Plugin Output Cache — — might help.

  • #7 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Lionel — congratulations on being the first ever person to have a post held up in moderation on this blog :-) (I think it was the two links that did it — I’ll up the number so that it doesn’t happen again!)

    Now, as for your weirdness — I mean, weird requests:

    1) Why don’t you make the post titles the headings and the reference numbers the subheadings then modify your sort function to sort on the ’subhead’ field instead of the ‘head’? I think that should give you what you’re looking for. The only caveat is that the grouping option will probably not work, but I suspect that you do not use that.

    2) I’m not quite sure exactly what you want — the boxes around the individual links or the “Page 1 of 5″ bit. You can almost do the first one if you add a CSS style for “.azpagelinks a” but the problem is that there is no way to style page numbers and arrows that are not links. As for the second, well, it’s a nice idea, but I’m not sure if I want to add yet another option at this point (!), because I am sure that not everyone will want it.

    I have updated the page link code in the next version so that it will display “<<” and “>>” if you have more than a certain number of pages. (You will be able to modify that number by changing the value of AZ_MAXPAGELINKS in the az-index-admin.php file.) I will add a bit of HTML code to wrap all the items in the links (page and alpha) so that people can better modify the appearance to suit their needs.

    Thanks for the tip about caching — I already have caching finished, but there is always room for improvement. I currently cache the data from the index not the HTML of the index pages which has its advantages when it comes to rebuilding the cache quicky, but there is no reason why I couldn’t add another layer of caching by cache the HTML as well. I will bear it in mind as a later upgrade.

    So, apart from the “Page 1 of n” thing, I think you can do everything (or will be able to in v0.5) you’re asking for.

    Does that help?


  • #8 written by dirk husemann
    about 5 years ago

    just updated to 0.5.1, when deleting pages i’m now getting the following:

    Fatal error: Call to a member function acquire() on a non-object in /var/www/ on line 446

    any clue?

  • #9 written by dirk husemann
    about 5 years ago

    well…it happens with every change to a page :-( (

  • #10 written by dirk husemann
    about 5 years ago

    turns out that the global variable name “mutex” seems to be used by another plugin/part of wordpress. just renaming it to “az_mutex” solved the problem.

  • #11 written by kalcha
    about 5 years ago

    Hello Mike,

    U r a genius man… Thanks for this great Plug-in. I have been searching for this kind of tool since long and am really thrilled that AZindex is extremely easy to work with.

    I have a Blog that deals with some Indian celebrities. I wanted to have an easy navigation to the huge number of celebrities pages in a list. Thanks to your plug-in, my problem is solved. Now I can have indexes of everything…

    I know it is too much of an ask, but I saw an interesting feature at the CELEBS page of (POPSUGAR) I liked it very much. They used the indexing of the celebs along with a thumbnail for every item (celeb). I use OPTIONS theme by It has a nice Thumbnail generation script… and I plan to use it extensively. I was just wondering, whether I could some how display a thumbnail for every celeb along with the title via custom fields or something else?

    This was just an over the top request… I know that… But as I am a complete novice in technical things, I just thought to ask you… Thanks for your time and effort on this plug-in.

  • #12 written by Lionel Chollet
    about 5 years ago

    Hello Mike,

    your neat additions, technical responses, and dedication to your users certainly help! Thanks! Yet I have other questions ;-)

    How would I place a post image before the heading text?

    How would I place the tags and other custom field metadata after the subheading text?
    I tried to insert “php the_tags” in the plugin source code, but while inserting plain text strings worked OK, putting php code in there triggered an error.

    Actually, I want to order archives by the reference numbers of the products/works, not by date, as “ultimate recency” is not the most important point for this sort of catalogue (recent additions to the catalogue are featured/presented in news announcement on the home page anyway).

    I’d like to have the same presentation for the articles than that I set up for my unwanted-regular-WordPress-by-date archive, only ordered by reference number… Ahem.

    Perhaps, a “before/after” thingy could be implemented for the elements of your plugin, like the one in Scott Reilly’s c2c_get_custom —

    Also, is there an easy and monetary way to thank you for your work? I don’t see a Paypal button or anything on your site.

  • #13 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Hi Dirk, thank you very much for the bug report (and solution!). I can’t believe I left off the “az_” prefix from a global variable after I’ve been so careful to use it everywhere else (even the CSS styles have “az” prefixes!!).

    Ah well, it gave me the excuse to add a couple of other fixes and update the code to version v0.5.2.

    Thanks again.


  • #14 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Hey Lionel. I only have time for a brief comment at the moment — and it might be the end of the week before I can get full answers to you since I don’t have the time at the moment to test anything out.

    1) Images — I managed to embed images (well image links) in excerpts, which I then used display as the Description field in the index. I know this is getting kind of kludgy, but you could try making the Heading your excerpt, the Title your subhead, and your cat. no. the description, sort on the ‘desc’ field (as discussed before) and then fiddle with the custom CSS to get it to come out the way you want it (if it’s even possible).

    2) Tag — yeah things like “the_tags()” wouldn’t work anyway since I don’t use a regular post loop (for performance reasons mostly). You would have to use something like “echo get_tags($postid)” for it to work (Note: I don’t think that’s the name of a real function). I think the question is — how do I include post metadata in the index? I don’t have an answer for you at the moment (other than “you can’t at the moment”).

    3) Before/after is an interesting idea. I will have to think about it.

    4) Now the paypal link is the best idea of the lot :-) Thanks for the prompting — I do have a paypal account, I just haven’t gotten around to setting up the link. Look for it again in few days.

    Sorry I can’t be more help just at the moment. Life is kind of getting in the way.


  • #15 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Oh, just one other thing, Lionel. If you haven’t done so already, take a look at the output source code for an index page with links on it and you will find the css styles I added for the links — I believe they are “azlink” for the page numbers and alphalinks — “azlinknav” for the navigation links, and “azdisabled” for the disabled page numbers/alphalinks/navlinks.

    I will add these to the User Guide when I finally get to the CSS section (which could be a while off yet!)

  • #16 written by kalcha
    about 5 years ago

    Hello Mike,

    I am really sorry for my last comment containing some links. But I hope you understand that they were not at all related to me in anyway. Slightly sad that you deleted my comment… but extremely happy that you answered Lionel almost on the same topic. i will try your suggestion on Images and let you know the status… Have a nice evening…

  • #17 written by kalcha
    about 5 years ago

    Hi Mike,

    I implemented the excerpt idea… and it worked like a charm. I used a plug-in to produce excerpt for pages and added a URL for the thumbnail. And used the title for the title and excerpt for the subheading. If I use thumbnail for the title, it is causing the alphabetical listing to go weird… But working fine with the thumbnail (excerpt) as subheading. The title and the thumbnail are showing in the same row. So, is there anyway to make the THUMBNAIL come directly below the TITLE? It would be nice if it does and in any case this thumbnail listing would greatly enhance the AZindex plug-in.

  • #18 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Hey kalcha — sorry about your previous comment — for some reason it got held up in moderation, and since yours is only the second that happened to, I don’t think to look for them all the time. I’m a little busy at the moment, but if you will bear with me I should be able to take spend some time on your questions later this week (probably not before Friday).

    In the meantime, to move your thumbnail below the title, try turning on the “custom CSS” option and modifying the “.azindex .subhead” style by adding “clear:left; float:left;” (as in the grouped items CSS below it).

    e.g. change:

    .azindex .subhead {clear:left; float:left;}


    .azindex .subhead {clear:left; float:left;}

    That should put it below the heading, and you can use padding-left to move it to the right a bit if you want.

    There are some other tricks I showed Lionel in the comments above about creating your own sort routine to sort on the ’subhead’ field if you want to put the photo first — but that involves creating your own sort function which may be a little tricky for you. I may get the chance to look at it in a few days.


  • #19 written by kalcha
    about 5 years ago

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks a lot for the suggestion. It worked perfectly. I think your plug-in deserves first place in any competition for its usefulness. And your tutorials are very tightly written. Kudos for your efforts… Will give some feedback in the future…

  • #20 written by paul
    about 5 years ago

    just thought idd rop by and say what a great plugin was looking for soemthing like this for a while and just found it tonight was easily setup and had no problems kepp up it up

  • #21 written by Jeff
    about 5 years ago

    I really like this plugin much better than wp-snap, but is it not possible in AZindex to ignore leading articles like “a, an, the”? That options exists in wp-snap but I prefer the way azindex handles other things, yet creating custom fields for titles without the leading articles is a pain. Still trying to decide whether to stick with wp-snap or move to azindex. Any way to ignore those letters w/o resorting to custom fields?

  • #22 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Jeff, thanks for the feedback. I understand your reluctance to use custom fields, and option to ignore certain words at the front of a title is certainly something I will consider adding to the plugin. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get around to it — the summer vacation is arriving fast — but I can certainly look at doing a stop-gap measure, perhaps allowing users to add their own filtering function which would allow users to modify titles any way they want before they are sorted. Try checking back here in a few days.

  • #23 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    kalcha, it turns out that there is a way to display images to the left of the titles. This is how I did it:

    1) Set the headings to “Title”.
    2) Set subheadings to “none”.
    3) Set description to “Excerpt”.
    4) Add your thumbnail links (using the usual HTML) to the excerpts of your post.
    5) Turn on the option “Use customized stylesheets for the index”
    6) Edit the “ungrouped” style sheet as follows:

    .azindex .head {float:right;text-align:left; width:75%}
    .azindex .subhead { }
    .azindex .desc { float:left;}

    You will have to play with the “width” style so that there is enough space for the thumbnail alongside the title. If the “width” is too large, the thumbnail will appear below the title, if it’s too small, there will be a big gap between the thumbnail and the title, but it should not take you long to find the correct value. Note: it would be best if your thumbnails were all the same size.

  • #24 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Jeff — I just updated AZIndex to v0.5.3, with a new feature that will allow you to alter the headings in the index as you requested. I will probably provide a nicer way to remove words from the front of headings in a later version, once I have more time to do it properly, but using the new filter should work just as well for in the meantime. Take a look at the latest blog post to see what you need to do (and I even wrote the filter code for you!).


  • #25 written by Jeff
    about 5 years ago

    Thanks again. This is fantastic! Enjoy your vacation!

  • #26 written by Lionel Chollet
    about 5 years ago

    Hello Mike,

    I put the Paypal button to use: it works!

    Now if I could just find a plugin to automatically sort posts by the criterium I want, without using extra CSS, and displaying all the metadata…

    Nevertheless, your plugin is fantastic, and your work and kindness deserved compensation!


  • #27 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Thanks, Lionel — that was very generous of you, as are your compliments. I have some ideas for making the plugin more flexible regarding the order in which the elements are displayed and those other things you are yearning for, but as I mentioned, it’s going to be another month or so before I can get to them. Of course, I’m beginning to wonder how much functionality I can squeeze into the plugin without making it too complicated for the, er, less demanding users to use :-) . And there’s all that documentation left to write….

  • #28 written by Alex
    about 5 years ago

    I love the concept, been looking for something like this for some time. However it doesn’t appear to work with the 2.6 release. I get the following error constantly when trying to add/update entries.

    Warning: unserialize() expects parameter 1 to be string, array given in /home/bookbarb/public_html/website/wp-content/plugins/azindex/az-index-cache.php on line 65

  • #29 written by Alex
    about 5 years ago

    Ok so I downgraded and installed it on 2.5 – RC2. Installed perfectly and I can add entries. But when I try to preview them I get the following error – AZINDEX ERROR: Invalid az-index short-code found. A non-zero id parameter must be specified.
    Please notify blog/site administration of the problem.
    (Message from the AZIndex plugin)

    Any ideas?

  • #30 written by Duane
    about 5 years ago

    Same here… seems a lot of plug-ins are having trouble with the unserialize() parameters under 2.6… seems to work fine except for that warning…

  • #31 written by Duane
    about 5 years ago

    BTW…Truly Awesome PlugIn!!!

  • #32 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Hey guys — I’ve just seen the comments — thanks for the feedback. I will take a look at the 2.6 issues today, though it could be a few hours before I have a fix — please bear with me.



  • #33 written by pinzaru
    about 5 years ago

    I’m staying tuned for the fix… (I have 400+ post category)

  • #34 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Ok – I just put up version 0.5.4 with a fix for the unserialize error under WP 2.6. I have very limited testing facilities where I am at the moment, so please, if you have any other problems with 0.5.4 running under WP 2.6 let me know today if you can. After that, it will be a couple of weeks before I can work on the plugin again.

  • #35 written by pinzaru
    about 5 years ago

    Thank you. I just installed the “ultra” new plug in and… so far…so good… (i mean… no unserialize errors)

  • #36 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Thanks for the confirmation, pinzaru!

  • #37 written by Alex
    about 5 years ago

    Works brilliantly now.

  • #38 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    This is probably the last time I’ll be logging in for a couple of weeks. Feel free to continue posting questions and feedback (bug reports, etc) but I likely won’t be able to respond until the beginning of August. After that I hope to finish up the to-do list with AZIndex and the documentation. Until then, happy blogging!

  • #39 written by Henrik Sundholm
    about 5 years ago

    I truly love this plugin! However, I have a suggestion to make.

    I would like a feature that allows me to set topics depending, not upon tags, but upon searchwords. Let’s say I’m running a movieblog, and that I’d like to make an index of all the posts featuring the name “Morgan Freeman”. At present, I would have to manually re-tag all older posts, right? How about just making the index use searchwords instead? Then all posts including the name “Morgan Freeman” would automatically show up in the index.

    I hope you see where I’m coming from. Otherwise, thank’s for a really great plugin!

  • #40 written by Henrik Sundholm
    about 5 years ago

    Oh, and I have two more suggestions!

    1. The index doesn’t seem to support special characters. That is somewhat of a problem for a person like myself, who is Swedish, and makes use of “Å”, “Ä” and “Ö”.

    2. What if the front page could be made empty, and then you use the alphabetical list to navigate through specific indexes, so that you’ll only see one list at a time? For instance, you could click on the letter “F” and only browse through posts beginning with that letter. I think such navigation could be great for those who have really large indexes.

  • #41 written by Mike K
    about 5 years ago

    what a great plugin. this is exactly what I was looking for to create an alphabetical index of my movie review posts for my home theater site. Nice job. Also really glad you provided an option to use custom style sheets for the index. that was very useful in my case.

    One feature request: can you provide an option (ideally a check box setting) to reverse sort? the way I have my podcasts title “Show #1, Show #2, etc) the ability to reverse sort would let me have the newest entry at the top of the list. I’m sure I could do this with a custom field, but figured I would ask, just in case this is possible.

  • #42 written by psnoonan
    about 5 years ago

    When I first created the index, everything was great. But when I make a new post, it doesn’t show up in the index I created. Does this not auto-update?

  • #43 written by English Mike
    about 5 years ago

    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. I will be back in civilization in just over a week and will reply to your questions and suggestions then.

    psnoonan — have you checked to make sure that your new post has the right tags and/or categories? Otherwise I will try and help you when I get back to my own computer. (just on dial-up here at the moment).

  • #44 written by Richard
    about 5 years ago

    I’m using alaknors post thumbs plugin that renders thumbnails for post images with this tag ?php the_thumb(); ?

    Where would I put this tag to show a thumbnail of each post in the index. I’m guessing it will be somewhere in az-index-content.php where you start to render the output.


  • #45 written by Richard
    about 5 years ago

    Maybe I should have posted an image to demonstrate what I’m after This should be quite easy to do with this plugin. Maybe you have plans to do something like this. It would make a splendid archive upgrade!

  • #46 written by Richard
    about 5 years ago

    Ok, just saw this comment so thumbs seems to be a popular request.

  • #47 written by Richard
    about 5 years ago

    Using the excerpt to show images is not really the way to go for sites that already use excerpts as text prefixes. It would be better if you could create a new field that allowed tags for image displays, or defaulted to nothing with no input. That way users could use whatever thumbnail tag was available for their installation. I can think of a few, Alaknor thumbs, get_the_image, get_image Viva thumbs. I’m sure there are others, but they usually provide a wp-tag to render thumbs in php.

  • #48 written by TazaTek
    about 5 years ago

    Mike, You’re a busy man taking care of all these comments, and the plugin. I haven’t tried it yet, but will be here shortly.

    I am going to create a business directory out of this, and wanted to know if the following is possible:

    A user goes to a page, that has a listing of business categories (Plumbers, Electricians, Accounts, etc)

    Let’s say that they click on accountants, this would bring them to another listing that would be like:

    Accountant A
    Accountant B
    Accountant C

    Then they could drill into Accountant A, and see a page on them

    Is this possible with your plugin to create a business directory like this, or can you think of a way that could make this happen?

    It seems that your wonderful little plugin does 90% of what I need!!



  • #49 written by Roy
    about 5 years ago

    Let’s say I have 40 categories and there’s one that I don’t want in the list, it would be very convenient to have an EXclude option, rather than INclude. Is that easy to change, or can I put it in the ideas box for a coming version?

  • #50 written by Richard
    about 5 years ago

    TazaTek, that sounds more like the job of Directory plugin here BTW it is 2.5 and 2.6 compatible. I use it myself without any problems.

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