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Pages and posts in WordPress look very similar. In fact, new content creators and users of WordPress may accidentally publish new information via a page instead of a post. Or vice versa.
The two editors look identical besides the “Add New Page” line at the top. Aside from that many functions look the same. They are also very near each other on the dashboard.
What’s the biggest difference? There are different usages and theories out there, of course, on how to use pages and posts. Let’s dive into the differences.
The basics – WordPress Pages
WordPress pages typically contain content that isn’t updated as often, is less newsy and fits into a site’s sitemap. Some pages are top-level landing pages on specific topics and some have child pages, meaning those include information on a related/sub topic. The About page or Contact Us page are pages that most sites have and are examples. End-users don’t routinely subscribe to be notified when a new page is published – like the do for new posts.
WordPress pages can be categorized by parent and children pages. For example:
- Parent page: Christoph Trappe’s speaking page: Content marketing | Digital marketing | Change Management | Business change management
- Child page: Keynote: Drive attendance to your event with these storytelling and content marketing techniques
- Child page: Keynote or workshop: How to use VR, podcasting and other multi-media storytelling in a Create Once, Publish Everywhere model
From a sitemap perspective, I’m declaring that the child pages are related to the parent page and address a specific topic related to the parent page content.
Depending on your website look, breadcrumbs (links basically) are shown at the top of child pages that make the navigation easy to the parent page. That is especially helpful when you started your website visit on the child page.
Pages offer some similarities to WordPress posts, including:
- ability to schedule publication
- ability to add a featured image
- ability to do SEO via the Yoast plugin
Jordan Barta also mentioned that there can be design differences between pages and posts. Be aware of that as you are publishing content.
WordPress pages can also be pushed to be your homepage. (See below how).
The basics – WordPress posts
WordPress posts typically contain more timely content or content that is intended to be a blog post. On many WordPress themes posts automatically show up on the homepage, readers can subscribe to get an email when a new post is published and generally posts are viewed a bit more fluid than pages. That doesn’t mean posts can only contain timely content. In fact, many successful blogs share “evergreen content” – content that still offers value even weeks or months after it was first published as a post.
This site’s blog, which drives by far the most traffic through blog posts, the articles are currently not showing on the homepage, which is a page about my services.
You can turn your homepage to a static page OR the latest blog posts (WordPress posts basically) under Settings – Reading.
When you turn that to STATIC PAGE, WordPress also creates a /blog extension for you, which is where WordPress posts are now housed. So for me that’s authenticstorytelling.net/blog.
WordPress posts can also use different templates, as shown in the nearby picture. I can count on one hand how often I used a template other than the default one.
Pages can be structured via parent and child relationships. WordPress posts can be structured via categories. I asked on Twitter for opinions on how many categories are appropriate.
Most said 1-5 categories should suffice.
“One to five if you are only B2B or B2C. Double that if you are both,” said Jason Patterson. “Each is probably a different audience. You’ll have different things to talk about with each.”
I have way more categories than five on here. And it feels like I still miss some. How did I end up with so many? They were added over time. I didn’t start where I am now with my categorization.
When you start, pick a handful of categories that are high-level enough for them to cover the buckets of topics that you are planning on covering.
WordPress posts have a big difference to pages when it comes to automatic distribution. Using the Jetpack plugin, you can automagically push WordPress posts to:
- your email list
- social media accounts
Can I add WordPress posts or pages to my site menu?
In the past, only pages could be added to menus. That was a few years ago, though, and no longer is this deciding factor. You can now add all kinds of things to menus:
- Custom links
Use the technology to your advantage
Content Strategist Erin Schroeder recommends to use “posts for blog articles and news. Pages for foundational content” as that makes it “easier to keep them straight. And by using it that way you can display related or relevant posts on related pages.”
At the end of the day, remember what you are trying to accomplish.
For example, I run ad campaigns on here but ads only run on a few pages – the ones with the highest traffic over time. The declutters the overall site experience and still drives some revenue without making ads so prominent.
The plugin that I use for this allows me to run ads:
- By specific posts
- By specific pages
I cannot run it for some specific posts and some specific pages. If this was an important strategy I would have to think about how to group all those articles into one or the other. Of course, I could simply take the content from a page, move it to a new post with the same date and then redirect the page to the new post.
Keep in mind though that when you create a new post it also triggers an email to your email subscribers. I infamously did that when I imported 90-some posts from another site into this site and it triggered that many individual emails.
I use WordPress posts for blog articles – like this one. That doesn’t mean the content is thinner than a page, but it’s written as a blog post and then gets pushed to all the channels.
I use WordPress pages for more ongoing product-type pages like:
- About me
- A new book
- My podcast
- Speaking page
- Other services that you can hire me for
When I released my latest book on Content Performance Culture I accidentally published that content as a post. Since I didn’t realize that for a bit into the promotions, I just left it as a post. It was easy enough to still add it into the menu.
WordPress posts versus pages – SEO implications?
Is one or the other better for SEO? I’ve seen both of them rank on here. It seems like it’s mostly depending on the correct setup, relevance of content and relevant depth of content – among other SEO factors.
I’ve seen both types of content rank in search.
Do what makes sense for your strategy and go from there.