If you have a website with large archives, current WordPress archive widgets are not adequate to display that. Widgets output will get too long and it is not very useful to website visitors. Four navigation widgets in GD Clever Widgets will show only parts of the archives lists and use AJAX to load more data. This also works for deeper levels in the archives hierarchy.
The Widgets Available
Use any taxonomy (preferably hierarchical, like Categories) to show the tree of the taxonomy terms archives. Set optional root term, detect terms, mark current term, set sorting, display posts count or filter using post type to narrow the terms displayed.
The plugin can generate hierarchy from date-based archives using Decades, Years, Months and Days. You can set sort order, the number of items displayed and other things. The plugin can mark the current date archive if the widget is displayed on such an archive page.
Posts and Pages
Generate hierarchy from any default or custom post types posts (preferably hierarchical, like Pages) and display pages tree with options to set root page, detect page, mark the current page, sort using different criteria and control how they are displayed.
If you use WordPress Menus, you can build a hierarchical navigation menu and use it with this widget. You can set up the root item from the menu and only show that part of the menu, or use detection based on the current page (limited precision).
All 4 available widgets have similar interface allowing for content selection or filtering, with options to control display and few more things.
And on the frontend
Here is how the typical navigation works. The plugin uses AJAX to get the inner levels, so when the widget is loaded on the page, it takes less processing power, because only the first level is rendered. The important thing to know is that at this time plugin can’t remember the tree state, so when you navigate away, on the next page widget will be again folded to the first level.