One of the questions that new WordPress users usually have is about the difference between the pages and posts in WordPress. At first glance, both pages and posts are very similar: they allow you to create the same type of content and use the same editor. So, what’s going on here?
Posts in WordPress
As we’ve told you many times, WordPress was born in 2003 as a platform for the creation of blogs. Today, however, it’s way more than that, and it’s possible to build almost any type of web with WordPress. But blogs still play an important role so… What is a blog? Well, basically a website where content is published periodically.
A WordPress post is, precisely, each of the publications we make on a blog. We find all the posts in our blog on the WordPress Dashboard, under the Posts menu:
An intrinsic characteristic of a blog is its temporality. Posts are usually listed on the blog in reverse chronological order (that is, most recent posts appear first), so the date on which a post is published is (or usually is) important.
Another very common feature in WordPress posts is their classification. By default, in WordPress, we can organize blog posts in categories and tags. If you don’t know what they are, I recommend you read Antonio’s post on the subject. In essence, categories and tags allow us to classify our blog posts to facilitate navigation and allow the user to find related content more easily.
Blog posts play a very important role when it comes to position our content and connecting with our audience. On the one hand, publishing new content with a certain periodicity is something that search engines like, especially if we generate quality content. On the other hand, posts encourage our readers to comment and discuss the topics we write about in our blog.
Thus, the social part of posts is obvious. The comments allow our blog to be a bidirectional channel in which to talk with our readers. Furthermore, as a blog usually deals with current issues, it’s easy for the content generated in the blog to end up being shared on social networks, expanding, even more, its scope and reaching a larger audience.
Another interesting feature of posts is the ability to generate mailing lists to keep in touch with our followers. Taking into account that our blog will have fresh content periodically, we can use it to send emails to our readers and keep them updated.
Pages in WordPress
Pages are “static” content that “never gets old.” Although internally both pages and posts are the same and, therefore, share multiple features, there are certain things that behave differently. For instance, pages, like posts, have an author and a publication date, but these data is usually not shown in the front-end (as it’s irrelevant to our readers).
Typical page examples include the privacy and cookies policy, a contact page, the “about us” page, and so on. Other examples may be landing pages, such as the main page of our website or the main page of our Nelio Content plugin:
Another characteristic of the pages that makes them different from a blog post is the fact that they don’t have a strong social component. Thus, for example, they don’t usually include mechanisms to ease their sharing on social networks nor have a comments section.
As I mentioned before, the blog is designed to contain new content periodically. As a result, the size of our blog increases as time goes by (for example, in Nelio we have more than 550 published posts, but only 50 pages in total).
Precisely for this reason, posts can be classified using categories and tags, and pages offer no mechanism to classify them whatsoever. However, we can organize pages hierarchically. That is, in WordPress we can make one page the subpage of another.
Consider, for example, the main page of our social media plugin, Nelio Content. Nelio Content is a premium plugin, which means we need a page where users can see the prices and features, as well as subscribe to the service. To do this, we created a pricing page for Nelio Content and set it as a subpage of Nelio Content. With this, Nelio Content’s landing page is
…/content/ and its pricing page becomes
Another unique feature of pages is the possibility of changing their template; that is, their appearance. The idea behind this functionality is that pages are elements of our website that are usually visually more attractive and complex than a post and, therefore, a theme could provide different templates that radically change the look and feel of a certain page.
Wait, There’s More!
Pages and posts are the types of content that appear by default in WordPress, but we can obviously have other types of content. The most common example is a Product, a content type we’d have if we install an e-commerce plugin like WooCommerce.
As we have seen, pages and posts meet different objectives:
- Posts have an important temporal component. Pages don’t.
- Posts are usually written with the social component in mind: they are shared on social networks, commented on, used to generate a newsletter, etc. Pages tend to focus on content that is always relevant: a product or service, the contact page, the price page…
- Posts are organized into categories and tags. Pages are hierarchical.