WordPress, although started as a blogging platform, is now well-known as a robust content management system (CMS). In other words, WordPress helps us manage and organize our website’s content easier and faster, if not almost effortless. There are 2 ways to create content for your WordPress websites: posts and pages. At first glance, they look more or less similar to each other: both posts and pages have a title field, a content area (with a WYSIWYG editor) and a featured image as part of their structure. They also share a few other characteristics too:
- You can create and publish as many posts and pages as you’d like to. There is no limit on the number of posts and pages that you can create.
- There is virtually no advantage or difference in terms of SEO (and even the way they’re structured behind the scenes on WordPress) between posts & pages
These similarities between posts & pages sometimes confuse WordPress beginners: “What are WordPress posts? When should I use them? How are they different from pages?” Those are very commonly asked questions when you first start using WordPress. Today, let’s go through the key differences between WordPress posts and pages. Understanding these differences will help you create more appropriate content for your website.
What are WordPress Posts?
Posts are ideal for sequence- or time-based content such as news and blog entries or anything that tells stories in sequence or chronological order. This is due to the fact that by default WordPress displays all of your posts in reverse sequential order by time (latest posts first) on your homepage. For example, if you have a blog about traveling, “A recent business trip to Rome” will appear before “My first trip to Rome” post.
While listing posts in chronological order is great for your readers to get your latest posts and updates, it can be difficult for them, particularly new readers, to find your older posts, especially when you’ve already blogged for a while and there are hundred of posts on your website. This is when archive, categories and tags come in handy.
Posts can be archived based on months and years as well as categorized into categories & tags, which basically group all your related posts together, and therefore, make it easier for your readers to find them. We will talk about them in details in another post.
How about WordPress Pages?
Pages are usually meant for “static and unique” type of content such as About, Contact, Terms and Conditions page. Although you may want to bring your content up to date once in a while, you probably won’t have something like “About Me 2015” and “About Me 2016” page, will you? This is quite contrary to posts where you could have “My first trip to Paris (in 2010)” and then “My third visit to Paris (in 2015)” article.
Pages are not part of your date-driven post sequence (as per what is displayed on your home or archive page by default) and can’t be categorized or tagged either. However, You can organize your pages in hierarchies (parent-child relationship). For example, you could have “My Life Milestones” and “My Achievements” page (children pages) under your “About Me” page (parent page).
Besides, you can customize your pages’ design and layout using “custom templates”, which means that you can literally have a totally different look and feel for every single page. This is particularly useful when you want to create various landing or product offers pages.
Many WordPress themes display pages in tabs as navigation at the top of your website. Pages with lower “order” will be displayed first.
- Posts are usually date- or time-sensitive; Pages are not
- Posts can be archived, tagged and categorized; Pages are hierarchical
- Posts generally look similar to one another; Pages’ design and layout can be customized
When to use Pages and Posts?
Based on these key differences, you can now decide when you need to use posts or pages for your content. Need a different design for new content? Use a page. Need an update? Use a post. Nowadays, website owners usually make use of both posts and pages for their content. This website, for example, uses posts for its WordPress tutorials, and at the same time utilizes pages for its About, Contact, landing & offer pages.
Another question may pop into your mind is that “Should I use more posts or pages?” Well, it actually depends on the nature of your website. If you’re running a blog, your website would only have a few pages such About and Contact page while the rest of the content will be created through posts. On the other hand, if you’re running a corporate website, the majority of your content would likely be created through pages.
To recap, posts are useful for:
- Sequential tutorials or lessons
- Timely & date-driven content
- Status updates
- Blog posts
While pages are useful for:
- Static content & navigation pages: home, about & contact page
- Custom layout/design pages: landing & offer pages
- Hierarchical-structure pages
Insider’s Tips & Tricks
- By default WordPress includes your posts’ ID (number) or published dates in your website URL (link) like this:
However, for SEO and usability purposes, it’s recommended that you use “Post name” for your website URL structure (which applies for both your posts & pages) so that it will become: http://yourwebsite.com/your-post-or-page-title/ instead. You can change its structure under:
WordPress dashboard > Settings > Permalinks
- Search engines such as Google or Yahoo love fresh and unique content. So it’s highly recommended that you publish your content frequently and follow that frequency as much as possible. For example, if you decide to publish new content 3 times a week, you may want to follow that frequency almost every week. By the way, don’t just copy & paste others’ articles content into your website. First, it’s unethical; second and most importantly, your website will likely be penalized by search engines for content duplication.
- Whether you use posts or pages, ultimately you may want to create and publish as much timeless content – content that stays relevant or useful for a long period of time, as possible for you website. The best question you can ask yourself is this: “Will people still read my articles years later?” If you’re good at and confident about what you’re doing, the answer should always be: “Yes, of course”. Do you think this article will still be useful 3 years from now? Yes, it likely will unless there will be major changes from WordPress. In short, your content must not only unique but also valuable.
- Keeping all of that in mind, my last tip for today is this: timeless & quality articles are far more important than the number of articles that you publish. Length wise, a 1,000- or better yet 2,000-word high quality article is worth more than 6 or 7 300-word average quality articles. Remember, quality always trumps quantity!
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. If you enjoy the above explanation about the similarities and differences between WordPress posts and pages as well as the tips and tricks to optimize your website, please share this article with your beloved ones. Share is Caring!