Understanding WordPress Posts and Pages and Knowing When to Use Them For the Best Results

Understanding WordPress Posts and Pages and Knowing When to Use Them For the Best Results

Once you start using WordPress you will quickly notice that you can create both posts and pages. Although WordPress started off life as a blogging platform, it wasn’t long before people began to use this online publishing software to create a range of other types of websites besides blogs.

While posts in WordPress allow you to publish content in much the same was as you can do so now with pages, they both work in slightly different ways. The result of this is that each of the two options has its own strengths and weaknesses that make them better suited to publishing different types of content.

So to help you get a greater understanding of the main characteristics of posts and pages in WordPress, as well as highlighting their main differences, this post will give you a good overview of this key feature of WordPress. Getting a better understanding should ensure that you instantly know whether to use a post or a page when creating content, as well as helping to you use them to their full potential on your website.

Posts vs Pages

Posts and Pages: The Main Differences

Before we look at when you should use either a post or a page, it’s important that you first understand their main differences. On first inspection, there doesn’t appear to be much to separate them from each other. Both options include a tittle and the main content area which is populated by using the same content editor. They also both look very similar when they are published on your website.

However the few main differences can be described as follows:

    • Posts have a visible date and time stamp whereas pages do not
    • Posts are displayed in reverse chronological order on your website, from newest to oldest
    • Pages are left out of the main timeline of your blog
    • Posts can be organized using categories and tags
    • Pages can be organized in a hierarchal structure
    • Post are syndicated with RSS feeds, notifying subscribers when new posts are published
    • Pages can make use of custom templates

    Below is more detailed information about the main differences between posts and pages and how you can best use them to your advantage.

    WordPress Posts Explained

    Example Post

    As the main differences between posts and pages above has highlighted, posts are best used for publishing blog content. This is due to the fact that by default, WordPress will display the latest posts most prominently on your website’s homepage or blog post archive.

    As the publication date of the post is displayed to your visitors, pages are better used for timeless or non-date specific. The flipside of this is that posts are ideal for diary-type content, publishing news items, or telling a story in chronological order.

    While listing posts in chronological order is great for publishing news, it can make it difficult for visitors to find all but the newest posts. This is because the visitor will have many items to navigate through in order to find the older content they are looking for.

    However, as posts can be categorized and tagged, you can use this feature to connect and group similar and related posts together, making it easier for your readers to find them.

    Due to the above characteristics, posts are best used for your blog entries and publishing content that is time-sensitive, rather than content that stays relevant for long periods and doesn’t go out of date.

    While you can create blog post that are evergreen and then simply link to them from the sidebar or menu of your website for easy access by your visitors, WordPress pages are often a better option.

    WordPress Pages Explained

    Example Page

    As posts are displayed according to their date of publication, older posts can quickly get lost on a busy blog. To counteract this, the pages feature was added to WordPress in 2005, allowing you to publish content outside of the timeline used by posts.

    By using pages you can add timeless content to your website that isn’t part of your blog’s main story or narrative. This could include pages such as your contact page, an about page, or other important pages that won’t go out of date and are separate to the regular content of the blog.

    As the publication date of a page isn’t displayed to your readers, an old page won’t immediately look dated to your visitors. The impression that content is dated or old, can put off visitors, even if the actual content itself is still relevant or has been recently updated.

    The addition of pages to WordPress also means that you can build more traditional websites. In this scenario, the website would be made up entirely of pages, or with blog posts present as just a supplementary extra to the main website content. While posts can be organized using categories and tags – linking related posts together – pages can make use of parent and child relationships, creating a hierarchical structure.

    This structure system allows you to create subpages, making it easier for your visitors to find more related content on your website that has been published using the page format.

    Page Templates

    A more advanced feature of pages is that they can make use of custom templates. Some WordPress themes include multiple custom page templates that can be applied to individual pages.

    This means that you can change the appearance of a single page in terms of its layout and styling, to best suit the type of content it contains. This is something that can’t be done with WordPress posts by default, and is a great way to make the individual pages on your website really stand out from the rest of your content.

    By using the custom template feature for your pages, you can create landing pages or product pages that make use of a different design to the rest of your website, while still being a part of WordPress. As mentioned, some WordPress themes include a selection of page templates, or alternatively, you can create them yourself.

    When it comes to pages, its best to remember that they are most suited to publishing information that is timeless, as well as for publishing content that is separate or outside of your main blog timeline or story.

    Conclusion

    Posts and pages in WordPress might look very similar on the surface, but they do have a few key differences that make them better suited to publishing different types of content.

    As a general rule, any content that is timeless and not part of your blog is best suited to being published using WordPress pages. Content that is part of your blog or journal, and is more time-sensitive, is a better match for WordPress posts.

    If you have any questions about this aspect of WordPress, or using this software in general, please leave a comment below.

    By |2018-10-31T20:01:40+00:00February 24th, 2015|Tutorial|

    13 Comments

    1. DCG February 25, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Great post ! thank you
      could you comment on:
      1. custom post types (ACP) and how they have or not the features of posts
      2. which of the AVADA shortcodes is limited to either, Posts,Pages, Custom Post Types
      thank you

      • Joe Fylan March 1, 2015 at 11:46 am

        To answer your questions:

        1) Custom post types can have all the same features as posts, however you can define them when creating a new custom post type. For example, you could create a new custom post type which doesn’t have access to categories or tags.

        2) The AVADA shortcodes which are added to your site via the Fusion Core plugin, can be inserted into posts, pages, or custom post types.

        Hope this helps.

        Joe

    2. Jennifer July 30, 2015 at 12:06 am

      Hi, is there a way to have posts show up on separate pages? For instance, I would like to have a blog page and a separate page for other individuals’ personal stories (a stories page). I would like for the stories not to post to the blog page…I need them to post to different pages.

      • Luke July 30, 2015 at 12:38 pm

        Hi Jennifer,

        Not in the way that you are asking, unless you are using Avada. A post is it’s own page in theory, as it shows up on your site with it’s own unique URL. What you could do is copy that URL and place it in your menu as a custom link so it can appear to be a normal page. However with most themes it will still show in your blog feed. If you are using AVada there is a way around this as you can assign certain categories to show in your blog. So you would make a new category for this and make sure it is not set to show on your blog page. If you need help with that, post a ticket through our support enter and we will gladly assist. Thanks!

    3. Donald Hutchinson January 6, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      I would like to use both pages and post son the same (self hosted) site. The pages are somewhat permanent information≥ The Posts are transitory. I have problems with links. I suspect it messes up my database

    4. Thanasis February 24, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Hi,

      Does the theme-fusion has the ability to edit a template, so it can affect every post which makes use of this template?

       

      thank you in advance

      • Luke February 24, 2016 at 3:18 pm

        Yes you can edit a template for any theme, it will require coding knowledge. Once you make your edits, your changes will be used anytime you use that new template.

        • Thanasis February 24, 2016 at 3:51 pm

          Thank you for the immediate reply.

          To be more clear, I’m talking about the Theme-fusion Templates, not the WordPress templates.
          In that case your answer is still the same? 🙂

          • Luke February 24, 2016 at 4:00 pm

            Yes, any template file (html/php, etc) will work the same way 🙂

    5. amarschandl December 17, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Hi,

      Can I insert a post in a Page.Because for certain category there is some fixed text which didn’t changed with time much and some need to be updated regularly like related articles to that page!

      • Luke January 18, 2017 at 1:26 pm

        Hi,

        You can insert certain posts on a page, for example blog posts can be inserted onto a page that show the main image plus excerpt, that then lead to the single post page. But I’m not sure if that is what you mean. If you are using Avada, submit a support ticket and our team can help answer your questions.

        Thanks!

    6. ksacoupon August 2, 2018 at 1:16 am

      Dear,
      Thank you for a helpful article about pages vs posts.
      my question is if I have timeless content that I want creat for my website visitor, and at the same time, the content is updated and endless, for Ex ” Top online store sale beauty product, Top online store sale Authentic Perfume… Etc”
      Which best in this case Pages or Posts?

      Thank You

      • Michael August 2, 2018 at 4:41 pm

        Hi there. Not 100% clear on what you need but are you referring to for example a global set of text that is updated in one place and then updated in multiple pages/posts, wherever it has been added to?

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