WordPress is one of the more popular self-hosted blogging platforms, not just in the United States, but also in the world. WordPress has a variety of international users with diverse interests and blogging methods. Aside from blogging, WordPress is also a popular resource for hosting websites because it’s user friendly and comes with its own powerful momentum. Many people combine the two, using pages to set up navigation for a website, and using posts to fuel an ongoing blog or updates. Before you jump in with both feet to build your website, there are some rules you’ll need to know in order to create a comprehensive, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and customer-friendly web presence on WordPress. Understanding the difference between posts and pages will allow you to maximize your content for exposure.
WordPress Pages vs. Posts
WordPress allows you to publish two types of content – posts and pages. In layman’s terms, WordPress posts are akin to the normal, typical blog post. The posts are what you publish regularly for the world to see as updates. WordPress pages serve a different function. Pages are static and show up in your website’s navigation. Posts are timely, while pages are standalone, static parts of your website that hardly change throughout the life of your website.
Posts are content entries listed from newest to oldest on your site’s home page. Due to their order of newest to oldest, your posts are meant to be timely. When a viewer visits your blog, they are anticipating recent entries. Posts are an important tool when interacting with your readers and online customers. Viewers want content that is fresh, relevant and adds insight to current trends related to your niche or business. Blog posts are archived by month and by year, and become searchable on your website. Older posts are pushed to the bottom, and newer posts are at the top so viewers always have an easy view of what’s new. Older posts can be harder to locate as they are “buried” by the new posts, but when organized by month, category and/or tags, finding older posts becomes easier.
WordPress posts are published with timeliness in mind, so they are syndicated through RSS feeds. RSS feeds allow your readers to be notified whenever you update your site with a new post. Bloggers can harness RSS feeds to broadcast content through various means, such as email. Alternatively, you can boost engagement metrics by creating a newsletter for your readers to follow, to which they can subscribe.
Posts encourage interaction – conversation, comments, and are highly “shareable” by way of buttons that link to social networks. The posts hosted at WordPress can be customized with sharing tools and comment section, which you can enable or disable in each individual post or collectively across all of your posts. The more interaction a post receives, the more successful that post becomes. You can use myriad sharing plugins and tools to allow users to easily share your posts.
Pages do allow sub-pages. This feature allows you to organize pages together. You can even assign specific template changes to certain pages. By default, WordPress comes with a feature that allows you to create custom page templates. In most WordPress themes, posts and pages look the same. But when you are using your WordPress platform to create a static page, you will find custom page templates to be a welcoming feature.
- Pages are unchanging and posts are time sensitive
- Pages are standalone, posts are socially interactive
- Pages work via hierarchy, posts can be organized by category
- Pages are not shared via RSS, posts are.
- Pages can be customized with templates, posts cannot.
Proper Categories and SEO
WordPress Posts are effective due to their freshness factor. Posts are organized in such a way that they are meant to be timely. New posts are presented in the front (at the top) while older posts are stored in intuitive archives that grow with you. You can update an old post to “dig the post out” when it grows older, as a form of recycling your content. Recycling posts is a good way to maintain the overall freshness of your website, which is extremely important in the eyes of the search engines. Google considers the frequency of updates to your website to measure relevancy and establish authority. Google is more keen to put a website in the first page of the search engine results page when it is routinely updated. Websites that are not updated as frequently tend to fall by the wayside – not just for Google ranking, but for viewer interest as well.
Pages are for static content (content that won’t change and will last forever), and may behave as navigation links. Posts are temporary content that you want to be properly categorized, departmentalized and archived. Once you have published a post, that post is linked within categories, tags, archives, recent posts and other multiple-post pages. Pages do not get archived because they are static content not meant for recycling. The post has more favorable features for distribution than a page.
Understanding the difference between a page and a post is paramount in the WordPress community. Knowing how to set up your initial static pages, and then bring your blog to live with timely posts will get you off to a powerful start in your WordPress web presence.