For those who are new to WordPress, the difference between posts and pages can at first be confusing, but this article will shed some light on the two, and the novice WordPress user will very quickly be able to tell which type of method they need.
When WordPress was originally conceived, it was as a Blogging tool. For those not in the know, a Blog is an online version of a diary, but with the added advantage of the writer being able to post photos and much more to their online diary.
Because WordPress was conceived this way, the posts section of the Blog is where the writer puts their thoughts for that particular time and day -much like a conventional diary. A prolific Blogger may put many post many times a week, or even many per day, and each new Blog post would be positioned at the top of their most recent posts.
This means that when reading Blog posts, the most recent is always towards the top -unless the writer has chosen a particular post to be ‘sticky’, in which case this would be the top-most entry, with the most recent Blog post directly beneath it.
By their very nature, posts are transitory. They are the latest thoughts, images, videos, even weblinks of the author. Examples of this may be reaction to current events and news stories, or opinion pieces on various subjects. Posts are how the author may be feeling at any given time.
Posts can also be placed in Categories. For example, for a personal Blog, categories may include ‘recipes’ and ‘inspirational quotes’. As a Blog post is written, it can be assigned to one (or more) categories simply by ticking the categories box down at the right hand side of the post entry page.
Where a post is usually a transitory thing, a page is much more static. It is an entry that is written once and very rarely changed. Rather than being ‘current’, or ‘immediate’, pages are meant to be used for longer-term, so an example of a page may be a ‘Find us Fast’ or an ‘Opening Hours’ page if the WordPress site is for a local business.
When setting up the WordPress site using the menus and widgets options from the ‘Appearance’ menu, the user may select different pages to sit within menus as options, and even select post ‘categories’, but unless the user has plug-ins that override the settings, posts cannot normally appear in menus or widgets. This is definitely something to think about when first laying out the new website on paper before committing it to bits and bytes. ‘Newbies’ will often confuse the two, resulting in a total mess of a website, with sometimes vital information scattered all over the place.
When a fresh installation of WordPress has been uploaded, and the user is sat before a blank screen, the temptation to just ‘sit and write’ may be huge, but a little time spent with a pencil and a pad, sketching out the website beforehand will be time well spent. Then, the user must decide which pages should be classed as ‘page’ and which as ‘post’ before anything is written.
Yes, it is possible to convert between the two different types, but this takes extra time and patience. A little time spent in planning will save a lot further down the line.
In general, if the user is planning and writing a simple company’s website, then the vast majority of the site will be in page format. The only ‘page’ items should be for a company Blog.