For those of us who work with WordPress daily, concepts like the difference between WordPress pages and posts seem obvious, but then I go to a networking event, blogging event, or conference, and I am reminded that what we as professionals see as obvious is often seen as complex and confusing to new users. This is especially true with WordPress posts and pages — and when custom post types are thrown in the mix, it gets even more confusing.
Just a couple weeks ago, a new client was asking new to explain the difference between WordPress pages and posts. I grinned, told them that I had already written an entire blog post on this very topic, and went to grab the link and email it to them. But I couldn’t find it. Had I really never clicked publish on this post? Did it get buried under newer posts and forgotten about? Yep. It sure did. So needless to say, I’m publishing it now and hoping it sheds some light on this topic for you too!
WordPress Pages vs. Posts
WordPress has two default content types, pages and posts. If your website will have a blog, you’ll use both pages and posts to publish content. There is no limit on the number of pages or posts a WordPress website can have, but how you use the two content types is where the differences come into play.
Characteristics Of WordPress Pages
WordPress pages are used for typical, static pages on your website that don’t change very often. All content on a basic website is created using pages.
- Pages are timeless, meaning the content on pages rarely changes.
- The date that a page was created or updated is stored in the site database, but is not published on the site.
- Pages are typically not social, meaning they don’t have social sharing, comments, or an author bio included on the page.
- Custom templates can be created for pages to create complex page layouts and page builder.
- Pages are hierarchical, which means a parent page can have sub pages assigned to it, grouping the pages together.
- Pages are not included in the RSS feed of your website, used to syndicate blog content on other platforms.
- Because pages are not included in the RSS feed, visitors can not subscribe to get page content delivered to their inbox.
Characteristics Of WordPress Posts
WordPress websites use pages to publish traditional content and posts as part of a blog to publish additional content. A blog is like a filing cabinet for a website. It stores a variety of content — articles, audio, video, graphics, and more — all published as blog posts. The posts are then organized by categories (file cabinet drawers) and tags (folders in the drawers) to make finding a specific piece of content easy and fast.
- Posts are timely, meaning new content is published regularly and often references time-sensitive or time-relevant material.
- The date a post was published or updated is usually published on the site and posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order.
- Posts are inherently social, including social sharing buttons, links to social profiles, commenting options, and an author bio attributed to the post.
- Posts are included in the RSS feed of your website, used to syndicate blog content on other platforms like social media sites.
- Because posts are included in the RSS feed, visitors can subscribe to get posts delivered to their inbox.
- Posts are archived by categories and tags, month and year, and any other number of custom taxonomies assigned.
- Posts have a date and author.
Parts of a WordPress Website
When working on the strategy and design of a WordPress website, we take into account four critical yet different parts of a website…
Pages make up:
- The money part of a website, or the part of your website that makes up your sales funnel — Home, Services, Portfolio, Testimonials, Project Inquiry, etc.
Posts make up:
- The educational and engagement part of a website — Content that is meant to teach, help, and empower your audience, to be shared across social media, and to spark a conversation or comments, all while positioning yourself or your company as an industry leader.
- The persuasive part of a website — content meant to compel a visitor to take a specific action, often by driving them directly to a sales page or opt-in page.
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