A standard WordPress installation offers two different post types: Posts and Pages. If you’ve never worked with WordPress before, you may be asking yourself, “What’s the difference?” Both posts and pages have nearly identical editing interfaces, and at a glance, it is not obvious when to use each post type. If you find yourself asking these questions, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’re going to break down the differences between WordPress posts and pages and give you the confidence you need to know when to use each one.
Posts are the most basic post type that WordPress offers. Nowadays, 34% of all websites on the internet use WordPress; it’s an incredibly popular and versatile Content Management System for building almost any type of website. However, when it first premiered, WordPress was a tool for building blogs. The humble post reflects these origins and serves as a reminder of WordPress’s humble beginnings as a simple blog platform.
Keeping this in mind, Posts are meant to act as articles for your website’s blog. WordPress is designed to take all Posts and display them in feeds and archives based on when they were posted, how they are categorized, and which author on your site wrote them. There are a couple of key features that differentiate Posts from Pages:
Taxonomies provide ways to group and categorize Posts. WordPress will automatically create Archive pages where visitors can view posts grouped under a specific Taxonomy, making it easier for them to read all of your Posts about a specific topic that interests them.
There are two default taxonomies that WordPress includes for Posts: Categories and Tags.
Posts also take into account the date and time that they are published. The default blog feed on your WordPress site will display your Posts in the order that they were written, with the most recent Posts appearing at the top. Each individual Post will also show the published date near the title of the article.
If you have several different writers working on your blog, Posts can also display the author. WordPress will automatically create individual Archive pages for each author, so your visitors can find more posts from their favorite writers.
Unlike Posts, Pages can have hierarchies and parent-child relationships. Your site’s “About Us” page may provide a general overview of your website or company, but you may want to create more specific pages as well. Pages such as “Staff,” “History,” or “Values” are all examples of Pages that would fit well as children of the “About Us” page. By default, Child pages will incorporate the URL of their parent, reinforcing the hierarchical relationship between the pages (eg example.com/about-us/staff). We make use of child pages to organize our web services page.
Making the Right Choice
Now that you know the unique features of Posts and Pages, you should be much more comfortable deciding which one to use when adding new content to your site.
There may be additions that could work as a Post or a Page; in cases like these, it really comes down to personal preference. The best advice we can provide for ambiguous cases is to be consistent and don’t get too hung up on making a decision. In the end, the most important thing is that you keep your site active and growing.