If you want an easy tool to manage your content online, then you really should consider building your website with WordPress.
WordPress provides site owners with two main content publishing types: Posts and Pages.
In this tutorial, you are going to discover the most important differences between WordPress Posts and WordPress Pages and which type to use when publishing content to your web site.
First, we’ll help you understand the main differences, and then we’ll focus on when to use Pages and Posts on your web site.
An Introduction To Pages And Posts
With WordPress, you can publish content online using either Posts or Pages.
Although your blog readers and site visitors may not really care whether you are using Posts or Pages to display your content, it’s important that you understand the differences between these two features, in order to know when to use one or the other whenever you have information to publish online.
Let’s take a look, then, at these differences, starting with Posts.
What do you think about when you hear the word “blogging”? Most people associate blogs with content related to personal writing, sharing latest news and updates, and so on.
Regular “blog” entries are typically written using posts. We refer to these as “blog posts.”
Posts can be used to publish all of the above content online, but there’s another reason for using blog posts, and that is covered in our WordPress Traffic Blueprint articles.
To learn more about this series, go here:
- Web Traffic Blueprint Part 1 – Learn How To Turn Your WordPress Site Into An Automated Traffic Machine
By default, Posts are entries listed by date and typically displayed in reverse chronological order on your home page, so that the most recently published entry shows above the older posts …
(Blog posts normally display in reverse chronological order, with the latest blog post listed the top)
How Posts Display
A WordPress Post can be displayed in a list of entries on your site’s home page or the blog page …
(Posts displayed as entries on a blog page)
And also in their entirety on a theme’s single blog page …
(Single blog post page)
To learn how to create a blog page in WordPress, see this step-by-step tutorial:
To learn how to create a new WordPress Post, see this step-by-step tutorial:
”Sticky” Posts feature before your other blog posts …
(WP Posts can be featured on your blog)
Note: Making a WordPress post “sticky” is covered in more detail in another tutorial.
Where Posts Show On Your Web Site
Posts can appear throughout different sections of your WordPress site like Archives, Categories, Recent Posts, and in a number of widgets …
(Posts display throughout various sections of your web site)
Posts also display in your RSS feed, which makes your content easier to syndicate …
(Posts automatically appear in your RSS feed section)
A post can display a comments section below the main content area, allowing visitors to comment on your post …
(WordPress Commenting Section)
Posts can be organized by Categories…
(WP Category Archives)
And posts can be grouped using Tags …
Note: To learn more about WordPress Categories, Tags, RSS Feeds, etc. see our other tutorials.
Now that we have explained some of the unique characteristics of Posts, let’s take a look at what makes Pages and Posts similar.
Posts And Pages – Similarities
posts and pages have some things in common:
- WordPress pages and posts both share the same functions and methods for adding titles using title fields and adding and editing content using the WordPress Editor.
- WP pages and posts both use theme template files to help keep the look of your site consistent.
- WP pages and posts both let you use search engine friendly URLs
- Pages and posts are both seen by search engines as indexable content.
- Depending on the theme and plugins you have installed, posts and pages give you control over SEO settings like Title, Meta Description, and Meta Keywords.
- Depending on the theme and plugins you have installed, content from or links to posts and pages can display in your widgets and menus.
Although posts and pages can be very similar in many respects, pages have several key distinctions that separate them from posts.
Pages typically can be found outside the blog chronology and are mostly used for presenting content to visitors that is unlikely to change over time, such as:
- Company Information Page
- Contact Information
- Services And Products
- Reprint Permissions
- Site Map
- etc …
WordPress Pages are not listed by date and don’t use categories and tags.
Pages can be used, however, to help you organize and manage your site content hierarchically.
Go here to learn how to create a new WordPress page:
WordPress Parent & Child Pages
For example, you can organize content topics into “Parent” pages (where each of your top-level content topics gets its own page), and then add nested pages (called “child” pages) to each of your secondary sections …
(In WordPress, main pages and nested pages are also called “parent” pages and “child” pages)
You can add as many subpages as you need to organize your content within “topic hierarchies”, as shown in the example below …
(Organize Your Content Using Parent & Child Pages)
Pages can also be displayed in the sidebar of your website using the Pages Widget …
(Display A List Of Your Pages Using A Pages Widget)
In the above screenshot, a “Pages Widget” is used to display links to five parent pages and three “nested” pages.
In addition to displaying pages through sidebar widgets, most themes also display pages in menus within the header and footer sections of the site …
WP Page Templates
Pages can also use different page templates. These page templates can include template files, template tags and other PHP code that allow unique, complex or sophisticated elements to be added to your page.
This is useful for creating different page styles, such as:
- Sales Pages
- Opt-In Pages
- Video Pages
- Membership Pages
For example, below are just some of the different sales page templates used in a very popular theme for marketers called OptimizePress …
At its simplest, “pages” should be used for publishing “non-blog” content and “posts” for promoting your business. In fact, if you were to remove every post from your WordPress site, you would have something that resembles very closely your typical “non-blog” website (i.e. a site comprising only of the standard web pages found in most business websites.)
What WP Pages Are Not
Another way to understand the difference between posts vs pages is to look at what pages are not:
- Pages are not posts. Pages are not processed by the WordPress Loop, which is PHP code used by WordPress to display posts and to cycle post data (like time, category, etc.) through your blog’s main page. Note, however, that some defaults can be changed by using various plugins or customizations.
- Pages cannot be associated with categories and cannot be assigned tags. This means that pages can only be organized according to a hierarchy where you specify and assign main pages and subpages, not from referencing tags or categories.
- Pages are not static files. Unlike traditional websites that are built from a collection of static pages saved as separate files on your server, pages are created, managed and stored in tables inside a WordPress CMS (just like Posts).
- Pages are not included in your website’s feed. Earlier, we explained that posts automatically display in your WordPress RSS feed. Pages do not. Note: there are WordPress plugins available that will display pages in your site’s RSS feed.
- Pages (or a specific post) can be set as a static “home” page. In separate tutorials, we explain how to set up a page to be the home page of your site, and show you how to create a blog page (where your most recent blog posts display in a separate blog page).
Because posts and post content can be referenced from different areas of your WordPress site (e.g. archives, searches, tags, categories, RSS feeds, custom menus, etc.) than content published using pages, many SEO experts will argue that it is generally better to publish content designed to attract more visitors from search engines using posts instead of pages.
What Types Of Content Can You Add To WordPress Pages Vs Posts?
With WordPress you can easily add and edit the following types of content into Posts and Pages:
You can add plain, formatted and/or hyperlinked text in a variety of fonts and styles to posts and pages …
(Add text to WordPress)
WordPress lets you use both a Visual Editor and an HTML Editor (or both) to add content as text into pages and posts.
Depending on how have configured your site’s settings and plugins, you can also add “meta” text to posts and pages (e.g. titles, keywords and descriptions that let you specify how you want your posts or pages to appear in search engine results), create custom excerpts, etc.
Add Media-Based Content
You can add or embed media content into posts and pages, such as videos, audio files, Flash presentations, images, photos, graphic elements, banners, etc …
(Add media to WordPress)
Add Scripts And Applications
Many scripts also allow you to control the content that appears on your site from a remote location. This is useful for managing things like site-wide banner ads, subscription forms and time-sensitive content (e.g. special pricing), or adding information such as foreign conversion rates, feeds, etc …
(Add content to WordPress via externally-managed scripts and applications)
To learn more about adding scripts to your posts and pages, see this tutorial:
Content can also be added to posts and pages by inserting code directly into your file templates. Please note, however, that in order to be able to add and edit file templates, you should have at least a basic understanding of code languages like HTML and PHP.
As you can see, WordPress posts and pages have a number of significant differences, and knowing about these differences can help you choose which type to use to publish your content.
Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the differences between WordPress Posts and Pages.
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