Does anybody have a way of using the channel:month_links tag (to create a list of links to monthly archive pages) that takes it's date point from a custom date field rather than the entry_date field? I have a channel where the user can enter details of journalistic articles that they have written; one of the channel fields is {publication_date}. I want my month_links to be in the vein of:

Articles published in...

  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • etc

so I need the tag to hook into the publication_date not the entry_date. So far I can't find a way.

I realise that I could insist that users use the entry date field as the publication date, but the downside of that is that I can't change the field name (and 'entry date' is not a good label for the field, it's misleading), nor can I add field instructions.

Any ideas?

  • 1
    One possibility might be to use an “event” plugin such as Low Events or EEvent Helper, peruse the ‘events’ tag at devot:ee for enlightenment…
    – 3Easy
    Oct 14, 2013 at 9:59
  • Thanks 3Easy. Yes, I guess that would be a way to do it. Indeed, I'm already using Low Events on a different part of the site, so it's already in the mix and ready to roll. I just wondered if there was a way of doing, natively, what seems like it should be easy. I guess I just have to accept that it needs third-party help and go the Add-On route after all. (And plop a feature request over to EllisLabs).
    – RickL
    Oct 14, 2013 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


If you can overcome your objections to using the native Entry Date I'd definitely opt for using that... However, if you want to essentially rebuild the month_links functionality yourself, you could do this with Stash (yet again!).

Try something like this, using two nested get_list tags: (if you're using an embedded view template you won't need the stash:parse tags, but they're handy here when setting and getting in the same template...)

{exp:channel:entries channel="articles" dynamic="no"}

    {exp:stash:append_list name="months-to-output" trim="yes"}
        {stash:month-num}{publication_date format='%m'}{/stash:month-num}
        {stash:month-title}{publication_date format='%F %Y'}{/stash:month-title}

    {exp:stash:append_list name="articles-by-month" context="{custom_date format='%m'}"}


{!-- ==============================
=================================== --} 

{exp:stash:parse process="end"}
    {exp:stash:get_list name="months-to-output"}
            {exp:stash:get_list:2 name="articles-by-month" context="{month-num}"}
                <li><a href="{the-link}">{the-title}</a></li>
  • James, I think that since I've already got Low Events in place on the site and since I can co-opt it into this particular task, I'll go that route this time. But your Stash solution (oh, Stash, is there anything you can't do?) is very interesting -- even if it does make my head hurt -- and I'll keep it in a drawer for a time when I'm not using Low Events (and don't want to spend the cash on it just to get the Archive links I want). Cheers.
    – RickL
    Oct 14, 2013 at 22:38
  • BTW I take on board your recommendation to use the native entry_date field, but my objections still stand: the name (Entry Date) is a misnomer that is likely to mislead and confuse the site editor, and I can't mitigate that by adding field instructions. Also, I have several other channels that either use a native custom 'date' field or a Low Events field for date-related channel data, and thus the editor never actually has to bother explicitly setting the entry date. To require it in this one case would create some UX dissonance I think, so I wish to avoid it..
    – RickL
    Oct 14, 2013 at 22:43

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