When you first install and setup your new WordPress site, you'll notice there's menu tabs in your Dashboards left hand sidebar for both posts and pages.
So which one's do you use?
In this tutorial, i'll show you the difference between posts and pages and give you some valuable tips based on my experience when it comes to adding content to post and pages in WordPress.
When should you always use pages for your content?
The most common uses for pages are these:
- Blog (Yes this is a static page listing your posts)
- Privacy & TOC
Generally, you wouldn't add posts to your main menu however you should add a link to your blog page which contains your posts. You may also add links to your different post categories under your blog page link, in a drop down menu.
When you create a page in WordPress, you also have the ability to add your page to a parent page.
This means you will be creating a child or sub page linked to the parent page.
This is called heirarchy and can be completed using the drop down menu located under the page attributes module on all your Edit Page screens. See more in the screenshot below.
One of the main advantages of uses pages over posts is the ability to select which type of page template to use for your content.
Different themes offer different templates for this purpose and you can also install a plugin to use page templates on posts as well.
Some common examples of page templates are:
- Default template
Different page templates display your content in a different format or page layout depending on the styling of the template.
Some themes also offer additional Layout Settings which can be used to:
- Remove sidebars so your content is displayed in full width
- Change the location of the sidebar from the left or right of your main content area
This determines what order your page appears in your menu.
If you want the page to be displayed as the second menu item, simply enter 1. This will display that page next to your home page in your main menu.
You can also leave the order number at the default which is zero and manually move the order of your pages by going to Appearance > Menu and changing the order there.
You can also use different navigation menu's on differen pages and posts.
After clicking the Pages > All Pages links, you'll find a list of all the pages you have created and published or saved to drafts.
Here you can edit, delete or view each page easily.
You can also bulk edit or delete pages as well.
Posts differ from pages in many respects.
When you publish a post, you can assign it to a category and add post tags for better navigation.
Posts should generally include time sensitive content unlike pages which are static and include timeless content.
Posts will be displayed on your blog page which lists your posts from newest to oldest. Your blog page can be your homepage or you may choose to add a static page as your homepage and create a blog page for your posts.
Creating New Posts
Simply navigate to the Posts tab in your Dashboard and click Add New.
Add a descriptive title and write your first blog post. You can also insert media like images, video and audio.
You can also create links to other posts and pages within your own website's domain or externally.
Adding content to a new post or page is very much like using the MS Word document editor.
The WordPress editor offers a range of different tools which you can use to style your content.
You can add more features to the default WordPress editor by installing a plugin like TinyMce Advanced.
Assigning Posts To a Category
Unlike pages, every post needs to be assigned to a category otherwise it will be assigned to the default uncategorized category.
Before you start publishing posts for your blog, its best to create categories which are a little like the table of contents in a book.
Categories help you manage your content better and help your readers navigate to the content they want to read.
Its best practice to only create no more than 8-12 categories and less if you can get away with it.
Need to make changes to your categories?
Here's an excellent post about how to change, move and delete categories in WordPress.
To fine tune the navigation to your posts further, you can group highly related content together using tags.
You can add tags to posts but not pages which is also true for categories.
Publishing, Saving & Previewing Posts
Once you added content to your post, you can either:
- Save it as a draft and publish it at a later date
- Preview to see what it looks like on the front end
- Publish your post so it can be viewed by the public on your website.
You'll find the Publish module with all the above options located to the right of all your Edit Post and page screens.
These modules can be moved around and displayed or hidden from your Edit screens by using the screen options.
Both posts and pages enable you to add a featured image.
When adding a featured image to posts, it will generally be displayed on your blog archive page next to an excerpt of your posts content.
This screenshot shows a featured image which is a screenshot of the Page Atributes module in WordPress.
Here's a post about some of the different web design tools for creating images in WordPress.
Once you've published a post, it will be displayed at the beginning of your blog or home page depending on which you choose as your blog page.
Your next post will then be displayed above it meaning the more post you publish, the less exposure your old posts receive as they're further down below the visual fold.
If you want to keep one or more of your posts at the top of your blog page, you can simply make it a sticky post.
Changing Posts To Pages & Vice Versa
If you've created a post and want to convert it to a page, you can.
If you're created a page and want to convert it to a post, this can also be done easily using a plugin.
Here's a post about 3 ways to change different post types to and from pages.
Posts are more flexible than pages however you don't get to use different templates to format your content unless you know how to customize your files.
Once you've learn't the basics of how to use posts and pages, you may be interested in custom post types.