When you are creating content on your WordPress site, you will have no doubt run into the option of creating either a page or post.
They are two very different elements of your site, and they both have their respective uses.
But if you are brand new to using WordPress or you are a beginner, you might find it confusing to differentiate between the two.
So let’s look at the differences between a WordPress Page and a Post.
What is a WordPress Post?
Posts are the dynamic part of the site which changes frequently, like blog posts, news articles, events, informational updates, etc.
This is time-sensitive content that tends to be displayed in a chronological order on your site with the blog page (more on that later) and can be categorised, tagged and archived directly on your WordPress site.
For those who like a bit of organisation on their site, you can categorise your posts using ‘categories’ and ‘tags’.
And depending on how your WordPress site is set up, they will also be created when you start creating posts:
- category archive
- tag archive
- date archive
- author archive
For this site, I don’t use the date and author archive as I don’t see it adding value to the site and the visitors.
However, they can be beneficial for other sites.
For example, if you have multiple writers for your posts, it may make sense for you to have an author archive page.
This is useful if you feel that each of your writers will regularly be posting and your audience will prefer a specific writer’s style to choose from.
For those who are more time-specific, like events organisers, you might want to have a date archive so that your visitors can organise your content and focus on events that are held on particular dates.
Others might also want to read up about events that are held in the past via the date archive.
In any case, each of these archive pages will display a list of related Posts in descending order by date.
It is also important to point out that WordPress Posts also make up your RSS content.
So this means that if anyone subscribes to your RSS feeds, it is your Posts that will be delivered to them when they are published.
What is a WordPress Page?
On the surface, it might seem like a Page is the same as a Post, but they are actually very different.
Pages are typically used for “static content” or timeless pieces of information which are not organised by category, tag and archive, nor are they displayed in a descending order.
And this means that you will (or should) definitely not see a Page mixed in with the list of Posts.
The most popular Pages many websites will have are those within the header menu, such as your Services page, Contact Us, About Us, etc.
Unlike the Posts, and due to the static nature of Pages, you will not see the latter within your RSS content as they are not required to be there, nor will they add any value to your RSS subscribers.
But just because your Pages are not Posts, doesn’t mean that you can’t organise them.
Organise Pages by hierarchy
Let’s use the About Us page as an example. This resides on your company.com/about-us/.
That Page will include the general information about your company, such as your backstory or history, the employees working there, your contact details and address.
But you might want to add more details about your history and the employees by creating new Pages for each of them.
These related Pages can then be grouped together under the /about-us/ page, and subsequently become subpages.
Depending on how your site is set up, WordPress will use the parent Page URL and add the subpage URL to it.
Not only will this provide structure and be easy for your visitors to navigate, but there are also some SEO advantages as Google can better understand the relation of each page.
Organise Pages by menus
You can also create your own menu to organise your Pages.
Most WordPress themes will allow you to create a primary menu that normally appears at the top of all your Pages and Posts.
The most logical thing to do is to place your most important Pages on the primary/header menu.
Your “lesser” important Pages can be added to the secondary menu, i.e. your footer or sidebar if your theme allows it.
Organising your Pages in this way will help your visitors to find the most important Pages they should visit, as they contain the essential information that your visitors will need to find with ease.
You should also consider including the blog page, not the blog posts, which normally resides at yourcompany.com/blog/.
This too is an important Page as it allows your visitors to find the list of your Posts in chronological order.
Unlike Posts, you will not find Pages within your RSS feeds.
And that makes sense because your RSS subscribers would not want to see your Home page and Contact Us page in their feeds.
Should the Home Page be a Page or a Post?
Now that you understand the difference between Pages and Posts, you may have already started to create and write content for these respective areas.
But there is another page which could make things a bit more complicated.
Your Home page.
You might naturally assume that the Home page will automatically be a WordPress Page, particularly as one might assume that the key word to “home page” is “page”.
But it’s not necessarily that straightforward, as it will depend entirely on the type of website you have and also potentially on the theme that you are using.
If you are running primarily a blog site, most people would have their list of recent posts displayed on the Home page, a common practice for the majority of the bloggers out there.
If you are running a business site, your Home page could have a few recent blog posts displayed, but it will also display information about what you do, what your mission is, as well as your products/services and a call to action.
Understanding the difference between Pages and Posts is crucial to determine the structure of your website.
Not only will this help with Google crawl and understanding your Pages, but it will also help make the user experience a lot smoother for your visitors.
Do you have any other tips that could help others to differentiate WordPress Pages and Posts?
Have you ever had difficulty telling the difference between the two?
Do share your comments below.
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