This step-by-step tutorial explains the most important differences between WordPress posts and WordPress pages and which type you should use when publishing content to your site.
If you want an easy way 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 will learn about the significant differences between WordPress Posts and WordPress Pages and which type you should use when publishing content to your site.
First let’s explain the main differences, and then I’ll show you ways to use Posts and Pages on your WordPress website.
Important Differences Between WP Posts And Pages
In WordPress, you can publish content online using either Posts or Pages.
Although your readers or visitors may not care whether you are using Pages or Posts to display content on your site, it’s important that you understand the differences between these two features, so you can choose whichever one you feel is the most appropriate type whenever you have new information to share online.
Let’s have a look, then, at these differences, starting with WordPress Posts.
What do you think about when you hear the word “blogging“? Most people associate blogs with content related to personal journals, sharing latest news and updates, and so on.
Regular “blog” entries are typically written using posts. I’ll refer to these as “blog posts.”
Blog posts can be used to publish all of the above content online, but there’s another reason for using blog posts, and that is discussed in our article series on driving more traffic to your business using WordPress.
By default, Posts are entries listed by date and typically displayed in reverse chronological order on your blog’s home page, so that your most recently-published entries show above the older entries …
(Blog posts typically display in reverse chronological order, with the latest blog post appearing above older posts)
How Posts Display On Your Site
A WordPress Post can display in a list of entries on the home page or the blog page of your site …
(Blog posts displayed as entries on a blog page)
An also as complete posts on a theme’s single post …
(Single post page)
Learn how to create a blog page in WordPress here: How To Create A Blog Section In WordPress
Learn how to create a new WordPress Post here: How To Create A New Post In WordPress
Sticky WP Posts
Posts marked as “sticky” display above all other blog post entries …
(WP Posts can be featured on your blog page)
Note: Making a WP post “sticky” is explained in more detail in a separate tutorial.
Where Posts Show On Your Website
Posts can display throughout various sections of your WordPress site like Archives, Tag Pages, Recent Posts, and in a number of widgets …
(Posts display throughout various sections of your web site)
Posts automatically appear in your RSS feed, making your content easier to syndicate …
(Posts automatically appear in your RSS feed)
A post can display a comments section below the main content area, allowing blog readers to engage with your content …
(WordPress Commenting Area)
Posts can be grouped by Post Categories…
(Post Category Archive Page)
And posts can also be grouped using Post Tags …
Note: To learn more about WordPress Categories, Tags, RSS Feeds, etc. see our other tutorials and articles.
Now that we’ve seen some of the unique characteristics of Posts, let’s take a look at the similarities between Posts and Pages.
Similarities Between WordPress Pages Vs Posts
WordPress pages and posts share some things in common:
- WordPress posts and pages share the same features and methods for adding post/page titles using title fields and adding and editing content using the WordPress Visual/Text Editor.
- WordPress pages and posts both use theme template files to help maintain a consistent look throughout your website.
- WordPress pages and posts both let you use keyword-rich URLs
- Pages and posts are seen by search engines as indexable content.
- Depending on the theme and plugins you have installed on your website, WP pages and posts both 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 menus and widgets.
Although posts and pages have many similarities, pages have a number of distinct features that separate them from posts.
Pages normally are added outside of the blog chronology and are mostly used to present content to visitors that is less time-sensitive than Posts, such as:
- Company Information Page
- Your Contact Information Page
- Information About Your Services And Products
- Legal Information
- User Testimonials
- etc …
A Pages is not listed by date, and doesn’t use tags or categories.
You can, however, order Pages hierarchically to keep your site content organized.
Parent & Child Pages
For example, you can organize the main topics of your content into “Parent” pages (where you assign each of your primary content areas its own page), and then add nested pages (called “child” pages) to each of your secondary topics …
(In WordPress, top-level pages and subpages are also called “parent” pages and “child” pages)
You can add as many subpages as you want to organize your content within “topic hierarchies”, as shown in the diagram below …
(Organize Your Pages Using Parent & Child WordPress Pages)
Pages can be displayed in the sidebar of your site using the Pages Widget …
(Display A List Of Your Pages With A Pages Widget)
In the example above, a “Pages Widget” is used to display links to five parent pages and three “child” pages.
In addition to displaying pages in your sidebar using widgets, most WordPress themes also display pages in menus in the header and footer sections of your site …
Templates For WP Pages
Pages can also use different templates. These page templates typically include template files, template tags and other PHP code that allow unique, complex or sophisticated features to be added to a page.
This is useful for creating different types of pages, such as:
- Sales Pages
- Landing Pages
- Video Pages
- Membership Pages
For example, here are just some of the different kinds of sales page templates made available by a popular theme called OptimizePress …
(Sample templates from OptimizePress)
In its simplest form, “pages” should be used for “non-blog” type content and “posts” for promoting your business. In fact, if you deleted all posts from your web site, you should have something that would resemble very closely your typical “non-blog” website (i.e. a website comprising of the standard web pages found in most business websites.)
What Pages Are Not
Another way to understand the main differences between WP posts and pages is to look at what WordPress 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 you can change this by using various plugins or customizations.
- Pages cannot be associated with post categories and cannot be assigned post tags. This means that pages can only be organized according to a hierarchy where you specify and arrange the order of parent pages and child pages, not by referencing tags or categories.
- Pages are not server files. Unlike websites that are built from a collection of static pages saved as separate files within your server, WordPress pages are created, managed and stored in a CMS (just like Posts).
- Pages are not included in your site’s RSS feed. Earlier, I explained that posts show up in your RSS feed. Pages do not. Note: there are plugins available that will display pages in your site’s RSS feed.
- Pages (or a specific post) can be set as a fixed “home” page. In other tutorials I explain how to set up a page to display as the home page of your WordPress site, and show you how to create a blog page (where a list of your most recent blog posts display in a separate blog page).
Because posts and post content are 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 WordPress SEO experts argue that it is generally better to publish content designed to attract more exposure from search engines using posts instead of pages.
What Types Of Content Can You Add To WordPress Posts Vs Pages?
WordPress lets you easily add, format and edit the following types of content into both Pages and Posts:
You can add plain, formatted and/or hyperlinked text using different fonts and styles to posts and pages …
(Add text to WordPress)
WordPress lets you insert content as text into posts and pages using either the Visual Content Editor, or a Text Editor (or both).
Depending on how you choose to configure your site’s settings and plugins, you can also add “meta” text to posts and pages (e.g. titles, descriptions and keywords that let you specify how you want your posts or pages to appear in search engine results), create custom excerpts, etc.
You can add or embed media content into WordPress pages and posts, such as videos, audio files, animation, images, photos, logos, banners, etc …
(Add media to WordPress)
Many scripts allow you to add and manage the content that appears on your site from an external location. This is useful for managing site-wide advertising banners, subscription forms and time-sensitive content (e.g. coupon codes), or adding information such as tax calculators, feeds, etc …
(Add content to WordPress via externally-managed scripts and applications)
Content can also be added to posts and pages by inserting code directly into your file templates. Please note, however, that in order to add and edit site templates, you will need to have at least a basic understanding of code languages like HTML and PHP.
As you can see, WordPress posts and pages have a significant number of differences, and knowing what these differences are can help you decide when to use one or the other type to publish your content about your business.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of issues that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you improve your business business online. To learn more about using the WP web site publishing software please click on links to visit other posts I have published.