WordPress Posts vs. Pages: When To Use Each

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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.

Video Transcription

One of the challenges new WordPress users frequently have is understanding the difference between posts and pages. In fact this is sometimes challenging for experienced WordPress users as well.

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.

Comments

  1. KichiKaen says

    Thank you for this VERY useful information because I was going to go mad if I didn’t find this out, wordpress is a very complicated, simple thing… =D

  2. says

    I’m using WordPress for the first time on a couple of upcoming projects.

    This video is a great start, and has confirmed that I have made the right choice by choosing WordPress.

    Looking forward to the next ones on the list.

  3. Bob Howell says

    I am new to word press. This video cleared a lot of questions, that I had about post and pages

  4. W says

    Hi I started using pages for a wordpress site I help run. I haven’t used posts before but I’m coming round to the idea that it might be best to create 301 redirects for article pages linking them to posts instead.

    In part this is due to being able to do more with posts… do you think this is a good idea – are there any benefits to having posts instead of pages?

    thanks

  5. Kirk says

    It really depends on the nature of your content and what you’re trying to accomplish. Pages are typically used for static content that doesn’t change much, including pages that are prominently featured on site-wide navigation (contact, about, support, etc.). If you’re using WordPress as a CMS system for a regular website as opposed to a blog, then chances are most of your content will be pages.

    If, on the other hand, your content is more blog-like — you need the most current article displayed first, or you want to organize by categories and tags — then posts are the way to go.

  6. says

    Thank you for this video, I found it very useful and in particular I learned that Pages don’t show on your RSS feed. I still have to learn how RSS feeds operate but I am a way from there yet. Does that mean that if I want a page to show up in my RSS feed I should create a post using a link to point to the article/page?

    Do pages have less SEO value than posts? I didn’t think so but now I am wondering…

    thanks again!

  7. Kirk says

    Gayle,

    It’s important to keep in mind that Posts and Pages are designed to meet very different needs. Posts are timely updates, Pages are perennial content. If you’re running a blog, then most of your content will be published as Posts and you’ll have just a few Pages. If you’re using WordPress as a CMS, then the entire structure of your site will be defined in Pages (and child pages) and Posts will be reserved for news updates and blog posts.

    With this in mind, it makes sense that Pages wouldn’t be included in an RSS feed. Since Pages usually serve as perennial content, they would quickly vanish from the feed as new Posts were published.

    Having said this, you should know that there are plugins that will allow you to add Pages to your RSS feed — but, before you consider using one of those, it’s likely best that you think a bit about what you’re trying to achieve and use the most appropriate content type for the information you’re publishing.

  8. says

    Very informative video and clearly presented information, thank you.

    Cleared up some confusion for me particularly that pages can be used in a hierarchical fashion and tend to be more static whereas posts are date and time sensitive and are organized by categories and tags.

    Rob

  9. Lauren says

    thank you for this information! I’m new at this whole wordpress thing and your video was VERY helpful.

  10. Conagan says

    Very efficient video and great tips! Just started using wordpress, figuring out best how to use posts vs pages and this helped!

  11. says

    Great video… I also wasn’t sure of the difference between posts & pages, but this video explains it perfectly. I had to pause the video multiple times so that I’d have time to write down notes. Appreciated that you also mentioned how each type (post or page) is used… posts for blog posts and pages for traditional web content/static pages. Thanks!

  12. Gary says

    Very nice – cleared up confusion for me.

    However, can you please suggest how to do this:

    I’d like various kinds of pages, eg.: products, services, rants & raves.
    Then, I’d like to write posts in each page (and each page would have its own categories; for example, products page would have categories such as home, health, finance, etc. and services page might have categories such as insurance, debt, etc.)

    Right now, I just have a blog page. I’d like to be able to target blogs to go into these pages instead. So, I wouldn’t like a reader who came to my “products” blog to click on the calendar and see my blog post on maid service.

    Is it even possible to do this? Or do I have to just create different WP installs into each subfolder on my site (like root/products/blog, root/services/blog)? If the latter, then it is going to be terrible because then I have to recreate all my plug in settings and services, right? (eg., my onlywire plugin has around 50 services!)

    Please advice.

    Thanks,

    Gary

  13. Kirk says

    @Gary Without knowing more about your site or your content, I suggest that you consider using Categories and child Categories for your posts. Using your example, your Home category would have child categories of Health and Finance. Posts from all three categories (the parent category and two child categories) will be displayed on the parent category’s archive page. If you want more control over formatting you can create custom templates for each parent category.

  14. Danny Zelko says

    Hi Kirk.
    I’m still just beginning to understand the difference with these two. What I’m wondering is whether it is common practice to use pages like a category and then have posts for that page exist only on that page?

    I’m guessing that if I wanted to do that i would need to use categories as page tabs then posts for that category would be displayed on that page tab which is actually a category archive?

    Does that make sense? Is there a better way?

    Basically i want to create a blog for a team of people to use for communicating and collaborating on a project which involves a new website. So I want discussions to be split into the categories of “website ID (including layout/logo/name of site)” with another category for “marketing” and another for general discussion. I thought it would be possible to create pages for these categories then each page would have a blog that is specific to that page. I’m finding this a little tricky to say the least.

    Can you suggest anything that would help me get something close to what I’ve described?

    Cheers,
    Danny.

  15. Kirk Biglione says

    Hi Danny,
    What you’re describing is a category archive page. WordPress creates those automatically for each category.

    You can add categories to your site menu (take a look at the lesson on custom menus). I’m pretty sure that will accomplish what you’re trying to achieve.

  16. Helen Bettle says

    Hi Kirk. What I am trying to do is open a small homemade jewelry site. It would only be selling say up to 10 pieces of jewelry at a time. I would like a “Home” page to tell a little about me, then a “My Jewelry” page, which would have under “My Jewelry” a sub-page called “Necklaces” and also a sub-page called “Earrings”. On the Necklaces page, I would have what would look like a photo gallery that you could click on each necklace with a description, price and Paypal button. Same with the Earrings page, a photo gallery with description, price and Paypal button. Any idea how to accomplish this with the core WP 3.5.2? I really don’t need a big fancy ecommerce plugin just want to keep it simple. Thanks… Judy

  17. Kirk Biglione says

    Hi Helen,

    The page structure you’ve described will work, but you’re in for a lot of manual coding if you don’t use some sort of ecommerce plugin to manage your products and generate the checkout links. Each of those products needs to be created somehow. If you add them all to a single page, you’ll need to manually add the HTML and CSS to get the layout just right. I think you’ll have a much more satisfying experience if you use a theme that’s designed for ecommerce. Ideally one that will let you enter each product as a unique item. Even with a small number of products manual coding is no fun.

  18. Linda Willis says

    Kirk, a quick question: are the posts you showed in your examples found in the Blog tab in your menu? Wasn’t clear on only that one small point.

    Thanks.

  19. Kirk Biglione says

    Hi Linda,
    Yes, one of the lists of posts is on the Blog page listed on the top menu. I moved posts to that page using the Reading Settings (more information in the Reading Settings lesson). I also show a list of posts on an archive page. WordPress creates those archive pages automatically for every category and tag you create.

  20. Roger says

    Hi,

    I am planning on converting a static html site (with over 750 pages. The main topic is HIstory and Wars) to WordPress. I found plug-ins that can let me convert my post/pages names to .htm and.html endings to exactly mimic the current URLs of my old site (for backlinks, SEO, etc. I do not want new names for all of my pages), but I wonder if I should make each new page into a Post or into a Page in WP.

    I like the idea of Categories and Tags to connect all of my content (for example, individual categories on American Wars, British Wars, etc.), so I at first thought of just making posts for my content and then using plugins to give them the URLs I want, but then I found a plugin that will let me put WP Pages into categories and tags. So the basic question is: Is there any inherent disadvantage for putting my content into Post format, or Page format? Another thing I like about Posts is the Ping updates when posting, and the rss feed for publicizing my content.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!

  21. Kirk Biglione says

    Hi Roger,

    For 750 pages I would definitely use Posts. They’re much easier to manage and organize than page. Remember, pages are organized in relation to themselves (child pages), while posts use categories and tags. In practice, that makes posts much easier to manage in large quantities.

    You can add “.html” to the end of your permalink settings to get the desired results without using a plugin. Use the custom permalink setting like so: “/%category%/%postname%.html” (this appends .html to the
    generated permalink)

    I would also use the Redirection plugin with logging enabled: http://wordpress.org/plugins/redirection/
    You don’t want to redirect all of your pages, but with logging enabled you’ll be able to quickly identify 404 errors generated from inbound links. Then you can either fix the broken link by adjusting your page slug or creating a custom redirect for any problem posts or pages.