Pages, Posts and Categories in WordPress Explained

I saw an interesting question today: What is the difference between WordPress pages, WordPress posts and WordPress categories?

Being able to use these three elements in the way they are intended can make a big difference to how your site will fare in the search results, so here’s a description:

WordPress pages

Pages in WordPress do not appear in archives. They contain important information that needs to be found easily and, traditionally, they appear in the navigation menu.

Pages on Blogs

If you’re using WordPress as a blog, you would use pages for information that does not change often, such as your ‘About’ page, ‘Privacy policy’ page and ‘Contact’ page.

You would have these pages in your main menu so they can found from anywhere on your site.

You can’t take comments on your pages (although it is possible to do so).

Pages on business websites

If you’re using WordPress as a company or business website, then Pages would be the main way you present your company’s information.

Individual pages would be used to contain information such as ‘Our team’, ‘Terms and conditions’, ‘Office locations’, ‘Products and services’ and so on, and these would all appear in the navigation menu.

If you are operating a shop on your site then you would place the shortcode for the shop plugin on a page, which would then also appear in the menu as ‘Shop’.

These would all appear in the navigation menu so site visitors could easily find their way around the site from wherever they are.

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WordPress posts

Posts are dynamic. This means that as you write each new post it gets listed at the top of the category and blog, pushing all the other posts down by a position each time a new one is added.

Posts are organised into categories and tags (see below), but pages are not.

Posts on blogs

If you’re using WordPress as a blog then your content will mostly be created in posts.

Posts stem from the original concept of a blog: a weblog, which was basically a diary online.

Many active blog sites publish new posts each day, covering issues of the day, or other contemporary information. Some posts are short – in fact they can be little more than a thought – while others can be long, detailed articles.

You can write a post on any subject and many blogs have hundreds, if not thousands, of posts on a range of different subjects or interests.

Clearly, it would not be possible to link to all these from the navigation menu!

Therefore, posts should be arranged or organised into a number of different categories, to group related subjects together.

Posts on business websites

If you’re using WordPress as a business or company website then, as I said earlier, most of the content will be presented as pages that appear in the navigation menu.

However, one of those pages could be called ‘Latest news’, or ‘Blog’. This would be a page that you had assigned (in WordPress settings) to contain your posts.

Example of a company site menu with integrated blogThat page would appear in the navigation menu, giving a link to the latest news items or updates from the business.

These ‘Latest News’ items would use the WordPress blog functionality and you would publish press releases or other news items as posts.

As each new press release is published it would appear at the top of the list of previous press releases, ensuring that the latest one is always the first one that’s seen by visitors.

Using WordPress’ blog functionality like this is a great way to have a company blog (or latest news items) seamlessly incorporated into your company website.

Posts can be organised and arranged into categories so as to group related items together.

Categories

Categories are WordPress’ filing system.

They only affect posts, and they are a way of grouping related articles together.

So, for example, you could have a food website on which you’re writing posts on a regular basis. Typically, people who read articles on curry dishes would like to be able to read other articles on curry dishes.

So you would have a category called ‘Curries’, and you would assign all posts you write on curries to this category, making it easier for your site visitors.

You could have another category called ‘Vegan dishes’, to which you would assign all articles written for vegans.

Here’s a more detailed description of how to use categories effectively.

Summary

So, to sum up:

Pages are static. They appear in the menu, contain information that does not change often and are not organised into categories.

Posts are dynamic. They do not appear in the menu, are organised into categories with the latest post always at the top.

Categories are WordPress’ filing system and organise posts, but not pages, into groups on related subjects.

For more information on categories read this explanation.

Leave me a comment below if I need to clarify anything.

Cheers,

Martin Malden

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