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Menus, categories, and setting category archives as pages

  1. I have a large number of categories (152 and counting), and the category archive pages are really helpful - but I don't like the way the Category widget tries to list them in alphabetical order (I write about Motown, and my categories are individual artists and songwriters, but left to its own devices WordPress files "Marvin Gaye" under M, "the Supremes" under T and so on) - so I currently use a custom menu filled with links to the category archive pages. But lately it's been getting very, very slow to update, and now the biggest custom menu (Artists) won't save at all. I'm guessing, with no evidence, that this is because it's too big now.

    How can I get around this? I could set up 26 custom menus for each letter of the alphabet, but that's not much fun. I could just stick to the standard category listing and put up with the munged alphabet. My preferred option would be to turn the category archives into pages (e.g. somehow feeding the automatically updated content from the category archives into a (hierarchically-organised) page I manually create, so the theme would automatically generate a menu in the format Artists > A > Lee Alan, or something) but I've no idea if this is possible - is there any way to do something like that?

    Hopefully that makes sense, but if I'm not being clear do please let me know and I'll try and clarify what I'm talking about.

  2. I'm going to suggest you make a text widget and link to the category pages. The only problem is, you have to update it every time you create a new category.

  3. Duh, that didn't even occur to me for some reason. That will work fine! No worries about the extra effort, I already have to manually update the custom menu every time I do anything anyway (if you look at my blog, there's a "count" at the end of each item, mimicing the auto-updating Categories widget). Thanks!

    I take from your suggestion it there's no way to do the category archive>page thing? I was hoping there might be an easy way to somehow stream that content into a page by throwing in a few lines of code or something.

  4. In some themes I believe there is an Archive page, but it doesn't exist for Categories as far as I'm aware. You can just put all that info in a page anyway, and call it whatever you want.

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