Everyone knows it’s easy to publish content to your WordPress website. Just login to the WordPress Admin and add a new Post… or should that be a Page? This is one of the most common questions that baffles WordPress beginners. This video explains the differences between the two post types and provides some general guidance on when to use each. Watch this short tutorial and you’ll never again find yourself wondering whether you need a Post or a Page.
In this video I'm going to explain the difference between posts and pages and show when you would use one or the other.
So when you log in to WordPress you start at the Dashboard and you're greeted with the starting page and over on the left admin menu you've got both Posts and Pages. When you click on Posts you get a list of your posts. And when you click on Pages you see a list of your pages and they look very similar at kind of a high level until you actually dig in to the posts or the pages, there are some key differences between the two formats.
Posts are primarily date-driven. When a list of posts is displayed on your site you'll see them displayed in descending date order. They can also be organized with categories and tags. That is, when you create a post you can put it into one or more categories and give it one or more tags. Those category and tag assignments will be collected on an archive page - and there are several different kinds of archive pages. You might have a date archive, you might have a category archive, or a tag archive. On those archive pages you will always see a collection of posts that are relevant for the date period or the category or the tag that is selected. And posts also appear in your RSS feed.
By contrast, Pages are quite a bit different. They're not part of that date-driven post stream that you would see on an archive page or your homepage if it's a blog. When you see a list of posts that are organized in date ascending order, you would never see a page mixed in with those. Pages are outside of that mode of organizing posts by dates. Additionally, the pages have no categories or tags so you will never see a page listed on an archive page. So an archive page would list posts by category, or tag, or date. Pages would never be a part of that.
Pages can be organized hierarchically. So you might have a page that is the head of a section, and then you might have some subpages underneath that are related as child pages. This can be a very powerful way of organizing traditional web content if you’re using WordPress as a content managing system to manage like a corporate website or a business website that has a blog component but is mostly static content. In addition, Pages are also hidden from your RSS feed. So if you want your content to show up in the RSS feed, make sure you publish it as a post and not a page.
Now here are some examples of when you would use posts - blogs, news stories, status updates, basically anything that's time sensitive or date sensitive. Obviously if you want it to appear as a new update for the readers who will follow you by RSS, that has to be a post.
Pages are for more traditional web content - things like an About Us page or a Contact page. Also for navigation pages - pages can be very good starting points when you’re building out the navigation of your website. If it's a traditional website as opposed to a blog, you're going to be using pages for that sort of content. And anything requiring a hierarchical structure - so that's more of a traditional website structure where you might have a page for each department in your company, and then you might have subpages for each division in your company.
So just to put this all together you can see how this looks in real life. Let's take a look at a WordPress website. This is the blog page here and if you scroll down you see all of the recent posts as of the recording of this video and it's just sort of an endless stream of content in date ascending order. And these are all posts, and all these posts are categorized and tagged as well. So in addition to showing up on this blog view, I've got archive pages as well. So all the posts tagged "administrative" are on this page in date descending order, as well. And as well there is a category archive, and these are all the posts tagged with this particular category. And what you're seeing are posts, not pages. Pages would never show up on any of these archive views or date views.
But what I have done is I’ve used Pages for the top menu items, for most of the top menu items. ‘Blog’ is a menu item that goes to a blog archive, a post archive. Everything else here goes to a static page. So the About page, the Contact page.. these are all pages but they are never going to show up on any of the archive pages. They'll never be mixed in with posts. They serve an entirely different purpose.
So that's just a quick example of when you would use posts and pages. Hopefully this has helped you sort out the difference between the two and you'll get a lot more detail on some of the things I've talked about in this video particularly related to tags and categories. In the hierarchical structure of pages, watch the individual videos related to creating posts and pages. It all explains these topics in more detail.