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 and Pages: The Main Differences
Before we look at when you should use either a post or a page, it’s essential that you first understand their main differences. On the first inspection, there doesn’t appear to be much to separate them from each other. Both options include a title 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:
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
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
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.
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.
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.