WordPress Content Organization: Posts vs Pages

Cynthia Bartz • December 8, 2015

There are two main types of content in WordPress: Posts and Pages. Before diving into all the details of what the difference between posts and pages in wordpress is, I think it is helpful to give a background on WordPress. WordPress was originally developed exclusively as a blogging platform. This means that many of the core functions and features in WordPress are centered around blogging. In the last eight years or so it has expanded to a full blown website content management system.

Using WordPress makes it easy to manage your content, moderate comments, and update your website without ever getting into code. There are many facets to WordPress, but we are going to focus on only two areas of the WordPress Admin: posts and pages. After reading this article you will better understand the difference between posts and pages in WordPress.

difference between posts and pages in wordpress admin dashboard

What’s the difference between posts and pages in WordPress?

And why is it so confusing?

Pages and posts often get confused because they look very similar in the WordPress Admin. If you are not familiar with the organization of WordPress it would seem like it wouldn’t matter which one you used to build your website. Pages and posts are separated because they are two different types of content. Where you put your content will depend on what type it is.

very little difference between posts and pages in wordpress admin editor pages

If you are unsure if you are in the right place there are two places to check. The first and easiest way to check is at the very top of the editor, if you are editing a post it will say “Edit Post” and if you are editing a page it will say “Edit Page”. The second is to look for “categories” on the right hand side. If there is no “categories” menu it is most likely a Page. If there is a categories menu then you are editing a post.

Posts

Posts represent the content that updates and changes frequently. Traditionally posts are used for blog articles, but they can also be used for news updates, announcements, portfolio entries, and more. Posts are also dated and appear on your website in reverse chronological order. Bottom line: posts are time sensitive content that is updated constantly.

Depending on how you are using your website you may not have a need for any posts at all. I completed a website earlier this year that is what I call a “brochure” website, meaning that it is just a landing place for basic information about the business. There was no need for the business owner to post updates, she just needed a place to point people to learn more and to collect Request for Quotes.

For some websites the posts represent the majority of the content on the website. I listened to a talk recently from a librarian that uses a WordPress site to keep students informed about changes to university policy, system outages, new features on their education portal, etc. For this university their WordPress website is only posts.

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This is something you have to decide for yourself, whether or not you will maintain a blog or news feed. I always tell my clients that maintaining a blog is an excellent way to boost your SEO and connect with your prospects. But, if you are not going to be able to keep up with posting at least once a month then it is better to just leave it alone. There is nothing more discouraging to a prospect then to land on a dead blog. Even if your business is active and prosperous it looks like you have closed up shop when you go more than six months without posting.

 

Pages

Pages are your constants on your website. Pages are things like “About”, “Contact Us”, “Home”, etc. It is the content that more or less stays the same on your website month after month. The main difference between posts and pages in WordPress is time. Is the content that you want to publish something that stands as a pillar on your website, or is it more like an article. If the content is not an article it is most likely a page.

If you are building a traditional website for your business the majority of your content will go into Pages. Each page will have its own dedicated url (web address), for example my “About” page is www.cbgraphics.net/about and my “Contact” page is www.cbgraphics.net/contact. WordPress will automatically generate the address based on the title of the page.

Even if the majority of your website is blog posts, I highly recommend having at least one page that explains the purpose of the website, who you are/what your business is, and how they can get in contact with you.

Custom Post Types

Now that we understand the difference between posts and pages in WordPress, I have to explain that there is a third type of content. Some themes in WordPress have what are called “Custom Post Types”. Custom Post Types are used to separate different types of content. How that content is used will depend on the theme, but most of the time it is not dated like regular posts are.

For example, a theme might have a custom post type called “testimonials”. The posts inside the Testimonials post type might appear on the home page in a rotating carousel or a random testimonial might appear at the bottom of each page. Or your theme might have a “Portfolio” post type which generates a portfolio page with links to individual projects.

All Custom Post Types appear with a pin next to them and often appear directly under “Posts” or “Comments” in the WordPress Admin. Most of the time the name of the post type will make it really clear what type of content you should be putting in that section.

The purpose of Custom Post Types is to keep content organized and add extra functionality to your website. Ideally, a post type will make it easier for you to maintain a beautiful website, not harder.

Summary

Pages are constant, Posts change. The question to ask yourself is: Will my visitors need to link to this information frequently? If the answer is yes then it probably should be a page. Understanding the difference between posts and pages in WordPress will make using the WordPress admin much easier and less confusing.


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