WordPress users tend to get confused about whether to use a post or a page. They look almost identical, until you take a closer look.
So what’s the difference, and when should you use each?
What is a Page?
Pages are used for evergreen (timeless) information, such as the Home page, the About page, Contact page, etc. Static pages are not date-sensitive, are created once, and often remain untouched for longer periods of time.
They should be accessible from anywhere within your site. This allows your viewers to easily explore your site. Many themes automatically list pages in the main navigation menu.
Pages are hierarchical (posts are chronological)
You can create sub-menus or drop down menus, by creating pages using a parent/child relationship. For instance, you might have a Services page, which displays like this:
The sub-pages/services will display like this:
Service one and service two will be displayed in a drop down menu.
Search engines, e.g. Google, like structure, so this is very helpful in getting ranked. Equally as important, your viewers will be able to easily navigate your site.
Pages are organized using Menus
By adding your most important pages to the primary menu, you can ensure that your visitors will find what they’re looking for.
Pages of lower importance can be positioned on secondary menus.
In the WordPress Dashboard, you can add a page by hovering over Pages and clicking on Add New.
When publishing a page, we can effortlessly change a page into a subpage by choosing a Parent Page from Page Attributes section in the right sidebar. If you don’t select a Parent Page, a new parent will be created.
What is a Post?
Posts are used for blog posts, news articles or other date-sensitive content. They are designed to encourage social interaction and sharing.
Posts appear in reverse chronological order; as you publish new posts, older posts get pushed down the page.
Blog posts can be displayed as excerpts and the number of posts showing per page can be limited. The posts don’t disappear from the site, they simply go out of view. The beauty is that they get indexed by search engines as if they were separate pages. This means they can be accessed directly by someone searching for the information in that post.
The blog page can be set as the home page, or your home page can be static. In the latter case, the blog page is a completely separate page and is most commonly displayed in the navigation menu as Blog or News, etc.
Unlike pages, which are organized hierarchically, posts can be organized using categories and tags. If you blog a lot, it helps your viewers if you utilize them.
When to use a Page
Use a page for timeless contact.
- Content that needs to be regularly accessed.
- Information is static, ie doesn’t change much
- Any content that is organized hierarchically, ie products, services, legal pages, about the business, staff
When to use a Post
A simple business website, with a home page, about page, products/services page, does not need to use posts. However, blog posts provide fresh content, which keeps your audience coming back. It is critical if you want to rank well in the search engines. Remember that if you only have five pages, that is only five opportunities to get found on the internet (stuffing key words is considered black hat SEO and can cause your site to get banned from the search engines). If you blog, every post is another opportunity for your audience to find your business and your products and services.
That said, choose to use a post rather than a page for these things:
- Blogs, news stories, event announcements, and anything that’s time sensitive
- Company events, announcements, conferences attended, etc
- Press releases
- Content that will appear in an RSS feed
Should my home page be a static page or blog posts?
If the primary reason for having a website is to blog, then that’s what your home page should show.
If your site’s main focus is to promote, educate or sell a product or service, you probably want to use a page.
Some themes allow you to do both – include information about a product or service, as well as showcase a handful of recent blog posts.
To set the home page, go to Settings > Reading. The default is Your latest posts. If you want a static page, select A static page and then choose the Home page. Next, select the Posts page (hopefully you already created it).
Pages and posts have several things in common.
- There’s no limit to the number of either that can be created
- They both have a page title
- You can add images and/or embed video on both
- Content can be previewed on both before going live
- You can schedule content to publish at a later time
They have several things that are different.
- Pages are hierarchical; posts are chronological
- Pages are organized using menus; posts utilize categories and tags
- Pages are static; posts are dynamic
- Posts utilize RSS feed; pages do not
Think about your website and the information you’re publishing. Is it timeless? Does it describe your business, your services and your mission? In other words, is it core information? Then it should be a page.
Choose a page or a post based on what’s best for your audience. You want them to find information easily.