How to…know your posts from your pages

So, you have a shiny new website designed by someone like Fiona Storey. You have tweeted, facebooked and pinterested it. You now want to add some of your own content. But how do you start?

This is the first of a series of articles in which I will explain how to create posts on your website. In this one I explain the difference between a post and a page. Later I will cover getting the text in, adding images and videos and, for those (such as most of those with Fiona Storey designed websites) using the Catalyst or Genesis theme, how to enhance your post to impact on the search engines.

First of all, what is a post?

Image of an example of a post.

An example of a post, in this case a testimonial. You may be able to see that date is displayed at the top of the content under the heading.

WordPress was originally designed for blogging. A blog is a series of written articles such as news items, diary entries or pieces of interest, and these are otherwise known as “posts”. In WordPress you can create categories for your posts. For example, if your blog is a personal diary and your main interests are theatre, football and baking, you might want to categorise your posts according to what they are about, so that those followers who are also footie fans can easily find those articles and not have to wade through the ones on baking scones. Categories create great opportunities, for example you can limit content in the main body of the page or in the sidebar to a certain category. Posts are often listed showing the author and publication date, although these may have been removed in some or all of your categories if they are not relevant.

What is a page?

Image of an example of a page.

An example of a page. You may be able to see that this page is listed on the navigation menu.

A page is very similar to a post, but do not have categories assigned to them and generally don’t show the author and publication date.

A page generally displays more “static” material. On a blog the latest post will generally be displayed at the top, pushing earlier posts further down the screen. But sometimes you want information to remain in sight for your visitors. For example, if you write an “About me” article to go on your blog to introduce yourself and explain the purpose of your blog you would probably want that to be visible to visitors in the future. This would therefore more likely to be a page and not a post.

What material might be displayed as posts?

Image of an example of a post category page

Example of a post category page, in this case a list of posts categorised as testimonials. You may be able to see that each post displayed in the category is dated.

Blog and news items would always be displayed as posts. Similarly articles related to a particular topic are ideally published as posts. For example, this post which is the first in my “How to…” series is a post categorised as “How to…”. This means that I can publish all the posts in this category under a dedicated tab in my navigation menu, and I could also list them in a sidebar in another page on the website if it seems relevant.

But posts have proved useful for a range of applications on websites we have designed. For example, on this website the testimonials are posts, categorised as testimonials and sub-categorised as to whether it is a testimonial for a logo, print media or a website. On the Grapevine business networking group’s website we used them for member details as well as for news items, whilst on the Agroserve website posts display details of the dealers who stock the products. This means that the information can be readily displayed both in a category page and as sidebar content without having to duplicate content entry.

To summarise…

Posts and pages have a similar function in a WordPress website. Pages work best for “static” material – specific information that you want to be readily accessible to your visitors, probably via the navigation menu. Posts are great for material that is one of a series that can be categorised according to its topic.

The post and page editors in WordPress are very similar, so once you know how to create or edit a post you will be able to do either. Creating a new post and adding text will be the topic of the next article in the “How to…” series.

Comments

  1. Well written and very informative!

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