Here’s an interesting question I saw today: what’s the difference between pages and categories in WordPress?
Categories and pages are both powerful elements of WordPress, but they’re very different.
One is part of the WordPress filing system, the other is for displaying important (but static) information to your visitors.
Here’s the answer I offered:
A page is where you would put information that won’t change over time. For example your ‘About’ page or your ‘Contact’ page. Pages will appear in your menu by default.
On this blog I also have a Tools and Resources page which contains brief reviews of, and links to products I’m promoting.
Your pages will be crawled and indexed by the search engines in the same way as posts are – but they remain static, which is why they appear in your menu.
If you’re promoting a product you could write a page for it, exactly as you might write a landing page in a traditional website.
It will remain in your menu (and, therefore, in front of everyone who visits your site) and you could drive traffic to it via all the usual channels – exactly as you would for a normal sales or landing page.
You can also write reviews (and updated reviews) as blog posts and link them through to your product page to keep it fresh.
A category is part of the ‘filing system’ for your blog – specifically your blog articles.
You should use both tags and categories to link related articles together.
For example on this blog I have a category called WordPress, into which I place every article I write on WordPress.
But within those articles on WordPress I have some articles that discuss plugins, some that discuss themes, some that discuss ‘how-to’s’ and so on.
So I use different tags for those.
Therefore, all articles that discuss WordPress themes would be in the WordPress category and tagged as ‘themes’.
And all articles that discuss WordPress plugins would also be in the WordPress category, but they would be tagged as ‘plugins’.
Structuring your site properly like this will not only help people find relevant and related articles it will help the search engines do so too.
Which is all good.
Update: November 13th, 2018
I’ve just published some more information on the relationship between posts, pages and categories – you can find it here.