In WordPress, each piece of content can be either a Post or a Page. Have you ever been unsure about which to go with?
The intended use for Posts is news – in other words, content that becomes less relevant over time.
- You should continue publishing more and more Posts on a regular basis.
- You don’t need to update your old Posts.
- As you add new Posts, your old Posts become less relevant.
The intended use for Pages is permanent information whose relevance does not diminish over time.
- You don’t need to publish more and more new Pages on a regular basis.
- You should keep your existing Pages up to date.
- Your Pages’ relevance does not diminish over time.
Differences between Posts and Pages
Based on the intended uses for both Posts and Pages, there are many subtle differences between Posts and Pages, both in your admin area where you create and edit them and on your public site where they are displayed.
Posts: Categories and Tags
Posts allow you to add categories and tags. These are both groupings that you can use to organise your posts.
The differences between categories and tags are minimal:
- Categories can be nested inside other categories; tags can’t
- Tags are a bit quicker to create than categories
For an example, look at the bottom of this post to see the categories and tags assigned to it.
Pages: Order and Hierarchy
Pages don’t have support for categories and tags – instead, they are organised by order and hierarchy. This means that you can control the order they are listed, and you can make Pages ‘children’ of other Pages.
If you choose to take advantage of Page hierarchy, it will usually be most noticeable in your permalinks. For example, I have a Page on this site called About Me:
Posts: Loops and Feeds
In WordPress, Posts are famous for a feature called loops. This is where a series of Posts is displayed one after the other in reverse chronological order.
One part of your site (often the front page) is usually reserved for displaying a loop your latest Posts. Also, your Posts are looped over in your category, tag, author and date archives.
On the other hand, unless your site is highly customised, your Pages only display on their own and never together in a loop.
Similarly, all your Posts are added to your content feed, but your Pages are not.
Many of the differences between Posts and Pages on your site are actually controlled by your theme, or are configured in your site settings. Since every theme and configuration is different, I can’t mention them all, but here are some of the most common ones:
- Posts allow comments but Pages don’t
- Posts display the date along with the content but Pages don’t
- Post permalinks include the date but Pages don’t
- The sidebar may be different on Posts and Pages
Many of these things are customisable. Contact me if there’s a certain thing you’d like to change.
Should you create a Post or a Page?
Let’s suppose you have an idea for a piece of content you want to add to your site, but you don’t know whether to make it a Post or a Page.
The first step you should take, of course, is to look at the information above about the intended uses of Posts and Pages, and the tangible differences between them, and decide which of the two best suits the needs of this piece of content.
For example, if you want it to be included in your content feed, you should probably make it a Post. Or, if you want its permalink to indicate that it’s a spin-off of another piece of content, you should probably make it a Page and set it to be a child of another Page.
What if the way that Posts and Pages are set up doesn’t fit your needs? For example, maybe you want to publish a piece of content that you can assign categories to, but you don’t want its publication date to show.
As I said above, many of the differences between Posts and Pages are customisable, but it can take a lot of work. In cases like these, it’s best to consult an expert.
Contact me and we can work together in deciding how your content should be structured.