The main goal of WordPress is to publish and manage content on the internet. That means a website with lots of different types of content. And WordPress does a spectacular job of making it easy to publish and manage content. That’s why it’s the #1 Content Management System (CMS).
There are four main types of content built into the core of WordPress.
They allow you to manage your website from static content to dynamic content. Media and Comments are both self-explanatory in what they are. There’s no gray area, and they’re pretty easy to understand. Media lets you upload images, documents, etc. Comments are attached to the website’s content and are posted by visitors.
But what about Posts and Pages?
There is more gray area between Posts and Pages, though. It’s not as clear what each one is for and how you need to manage what types of content goes into each. For an advanced WordPress user here’s not a lot of confusion. But for someone beginning to work with WordPress, it’s difficult to understand what types of content should go where.
Before going too much in-depth comparing the two types of content, first they need to be defined.
The Definition Of WordPress Posts & Pages
On the surface there’s not a lot different between Pages and Posts. Many newcomers to WordPress confuse the two and create content interchangeably between the two. On the surface this doesn’t seem like a big issue, but it can be.
Defining Pages and Posts will help clarify when and why to use each one in different circumstances.
The official definition of Posts on the WordPress website is as follows.
Posts are entries listed in reverse chronological order on your site. Think of them as articles or updates that you share to offer up new content to your readers.Post vs. Page from WordPress Support
So, posts are often time-based or at the very least may be updated over time, and they’re listed in reverse chronological order. That means all posts are typically displayed on one page (a blog page) and the newest posts are at the top. Posts are even tagged with the published date in the metadata which search engines can sometimes pick up and display in search results. Posts don’t have to have the published date metadata, though. It can be removed and search engines won’t display it.
This is what that looks like in Google.
That means posts are often listed on a main blog page and new posts show up as you post them. You can even do things like make a post sticky, so it stays at the top of the blog page.
Posts are entirely associated with the blog even though you can actually name them whatever you want (news, videos, images, etc.)
You’ll even find that posts have unique features such as Categories and Tags. That means you can organize posts into categories which are similar to chapters in a book. You can also add tags to a post which are similar to an index in a book. That also means there are many ways to interlink posts that are automatically updated as you post, categorize, or tag posts.
The URL of posts can be changed to fit your websites needs too. They can be categorized by date (/2022/01/16/post-name/) or with the category attached (/category/post-name/) or even just like any other content on your website (/post-name/ <- our favorite by far). The URL of a post can even be changed dynamically across your website instantly (from a URL with the date in it to no date).
Posts also don’t typically have a lot of fancy formatting and variation in the look. They’re informative and typically based on a single piece of information whether it be text, an image, or even a video. Each post has a single topic and focuses on that single topic which then are interlinked with related topics through categories and tags.
That sums up what a post is. But what about a page?
Pages are not time-based, and they aren’t typically updated often. That’s not always the case and pages can be updated as often as you’d like, but the general rule is pages aren’t published as often, and they’re more static content.
WordPress officially defines a page
Pages are static and are not affected by date. Think of them as more permanent fixtures of your site — an About page, a Contact page, and a Home page are great examples of this.Post vs. Page from WordPress Support
Posts are displayed on a page! Yes, the blog page isn’t update very often manually but it does show realtime what you publish in posts. Pages are static parts of your site that aren’t time-bound and they consist of the main building blocks of your website.
Pages that you are likely familiar with that are on most websites are Home, Contact, About, Services, etc. Those are the main pieces of content on your website and should have no date attached to them. Pages are also typically in your website’s navigation, though not always. Pages might consist of landing pages, promotion pages, and anything else that aren’t in your navigation but still fit better into the page category.
The URL of a page can be defined as nearly anything such as /about/ or even /this-is-a-website-page/. A page can have any URL you’d like, and you can nest pages beneath pages (ex. /about/team/).
The formatting of pages can be extremely complex also. There isn’t necessarily a relation between one page and another and pages don’t need to follow any sort of template. That’s why pages are great for creating landing pages.
No single page has to follow any template of another page, so the way they look is versatile, including excluding the website header and footer entirely.
Know When To Use A Post Or Page
Now that you know all about pages and posts, when do you use a page vs. a post?
Deciding whether you should use a post or a page can be as simple as asking the following questions
- Is the content you’re adding is dynamic (time or date bound) or static (time and date irrelevant)?
- Does the content require relationships to other content through categories and tags
- Does the content require great control over the URL (either extremely simple or complex nested URLs) or not?
- Does the content require complex formatting or simple formatting?
Depending on your answer, you could end up needing a page or a post. Here’s type of content your answers will lead to:
Create a page if your content lends itself best to:
- Standalone content
- URL control
- Complex formatting
Create a post if your content lends itself best to:
- Dynamic and/or date bound
- Related to other content through categories or tags
- No need for complete URL control, just basic
- Simple formatting focusing on the content
Knowing the correct type of content to create for your WordPress website is essential to a successful website. A website can easily get cluttered and look bad if content is created as both a page and a post without discerning between the two.
When a new website is being created, most of the content will likely be in pages because the static content is the first thing to be created. Along with the static content, there will likely be a blog page, which is also a page that holds a list of all the posts.
Once all the pages are created with the majority of the website content, future date-bound content and information will almost all be posts. Occasionally the need to create a new page will arise but it’s not nearly as often as the need for a new post.
There are also many other post types that can be created on WordPress with the help of specialized plugins. WooCommerce (an eCommerce plugin), for instance, creates products which is a post type in addition to posts and pages. You can even create your own post types with plugins that allow you to generate your own custom post types (CPT UI for one).
Most small websites will only have a need for posts and pages, but more complex websites sometimes require more post types. Our eCommerce website design for local small businesses and those websites have a product post type in addition to the standard pages and posts.
If you’re not sure what the best post type is for your content, you can always ask a skilled website designer.