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The differences between Post and Page

Post vs. Page in WordPress: What are the Differences?

As a WordPress user, you must have asked yourself this question at one point: “What are the differences between Post and Page in WordPress?”. In reality, not many people can give a comprehensive answer to this question, even the more experienced ones.

If you are a beginner and want to solve this question once and for all, this article is exactly for you. We will explain what Post and Page in WordPress are and how to use either of them effectively to create compelling content.

What is Post in WordPress?

First and foremost, Post is individual pieces of content on a website. All posts are listed in chronological order, or in simpler words, the newest content appears on top. Post is very familiar to us – usually, posts are listed on the front page of the website, and on the search engine result page like that of Google. In fact, this article you are reading is a post itself!

In case you are still confused, let’s take this example:

Your website is like a book of short stories. In that book, every short story is like a post. Post may be written by different authors, at different dates, just like pieces of short stories.

Let’s look at what a real post looks like in the WordPress Dashboard of your website:

The Add New Post screen in the WordPress Dashboard

The Add New Post screen of a sample post

In the marked area of this picture, you can see that you can use the Post menu in your Dashboard to see a list of all your posts, as well as add a new one. The rest is the Add New Post screen, with the written content in the middle and other settings on the right sidebar. In that right sidebar, you can see the Categories and Tags sections, which are essential to group Post together and keep your website organized.

Meanwhile, a post on a website normally look like this to visitors:

A typical post in WordPress

A typical post in WordPress

You can see a big picture on the top, which is called the Featured Image, just above the Title of the post. Below that, we have the last updated date of the post, next to the Category that the post belongs to. Sometimes you may even find the name of the Author next to this information.

If you want to learn how to create and edit a post in WordPress in detail, refer to the article on how to write and add a post.

What is Page in WordPress?

After knowing what Post looks like, let’s look at Page in WordPress. Page is static content that does not have a publish date.

In WordPress websites, often there are Policy, Contact, About Page. The similarity between these is that you don’t need to care about their “published date” – these pages have a particular function and they are assumed to always serve that function.

To clear up your confusion, let’s go back to our earlier example:

We have agreed that Post within a website is like short stories in a book. However, in that book, you will find more than just stories. You need Page that serves functions like the Table of Content, Foreword, Appendices, maybe even Section Page that separates between groups of related short stories. These pages are just like Page in WordPress.

Now, we can look at a real page in the WordPress Dashboard:

A real page editer in WordPress Dashboard

The Add New Page screen in WordPress Dashboard

Similar to the Post menu, you can use the Page menu in your Dashboard to see a list of all your Page, as well as add a new one. At first glance, the Add New Page generally looks the same as the Add New Post screen.

However, there is an important part missing from the right sidebar: you will not find the Category and Tag sections. This is because unlike Post, Page does not belong to any Category or Tag. Although you cannot group Page together using those, Page can be hierarchical – in other words, you can have sub-Page (“child Page”) of other Page (“parent Page”).

Next, how about we look at a real-life page together?

An About page will look like this

An example of an About page

In this one, you don’t see any information on the Upload date or Category, right? And you probably don’t miss them either – the content on this page does not need to be dated or categorized, and it always has just one single purpose. In this case, the purpose is to introduce you to the business and the team behind it.

Post vs. Page: What are the Similarities?

From all the examples we have looked at above, you probably can already see quite a few similarities between Post and Page.

First and most importantly, Post and Page in WordPress are both used to create and manage your content. Therefore, they both share very similar components: Titles, Featured image, URL slug, custom fields, … Depending on how the website builder wants these content to appear in front of the readers, these components can either be shown or hidden.

Secondly, as a result of having the same general purpose of managing content, the actions you can do to Post and Page are very similar: Edit, Preview, Publish, Schedule, … This is reflected in the similar Post and Page Edit screen in the WordPress Dashboard.

Post vs. Page: What are the Differences?

So with all the similarities aside, what are the differences between Post and Page? There are 3 main differences that you should know:

Post is Listed in Chronological Order When Page is Not

Page isn't listed in chronological order

This list shows Post in reverse-chronological order

This is pretty self-explanatory: All posts have a published date, and this information is used to sort them into order – usually from newest to oldest. In theory, this order is only applied when there is more than 1 post on your website.

Page, on the other hand, does not follow chronological order no matter how many you have on your website. This is simply due to its timeless nature – you probably don’t need to write an About page in May, then another in June to update. You just keep one version and that is the only About page you need.

Post Usually Comes with Social Features, When Page Usually Don’t

Page rarely comes with social features

The Comment section below a post

As you can see from the image, you can often find the Comment section at the end of a post. This is because Post is usually published regularly and contains informative content to encourage visitors to stay on the website, read a lot of Post, then come back again later for more. Readers love to have a way to interact with the author and other commenters to converse about what they just read.

Because of this same desire to socialize about the content of the post, Post in WordPress often has social sharing buttons to encourage readers to share the post with their friends on social media.

Meanwhile, when it comes to Page, these social features are often missing. Pages like About, Contact, Policy, or Pricing contains very specialized content that people do not usually discuss or tell their friends about. Unless the content of the page really stands out in some ways, you wouldn’t go around talking about the Policy page of a random website, would you?

Post and Page Have Some Technical Differences

When it comes to technical aspects of Post and Page, there are some key characteristics that distinguish one from the other.

Page is Hierarchical While Post is Not

First and foremost, as stated earlier, Post can be grouped together using Categories and Tags, when Page cannot. One reason for this is that posts are relatively equal to each other in terms of importance. You can link Post together with internal links, but no Post is the parent of another child Post.

Meanwhile, there are parent Page and child Page – for example, in the About Page of your business website, you want to give information on both the Company and the Team members. You can actually create two child Pages for these under About, as shown in this picture below:

You can see in this image: the About Page has the “Our company” and “Our team” as its two sub-pages

Post is Included in RSS Feed While Page is Not

The next technical difference that separates Post from Page is their presence in the RSS feed of a website. The RSS feed contains all your posts in chronological order and is formatted in a way that is standardized and computer-readable.

Applications like Feedly, Google News, or Flipboard can read your website’s RSS feed, get your Post, add it next to the Post from other RSS feeds of other websites, then show everything from all the websites in a nice list. Some email providers also utilize the RSS feed to generate automated newsletters to send to subscribers.

Meanwhile, Page is static – they do not truly need a “published date” – and therefore are not considered “news”. With the updated nature of the RSS feed, you can probably guess why Page does not get included.

Post is included in RSS feed

The RSS feed of CNN International

When to Use Post vs. Page

From all the similarities and differences that we have addressed above, I can generalize when to use Post instead of Page and vice versa as follows.

Please take notice that although this is only a recommendation, it is based on a detailed technical analysis of what Post and Page have to offer. You can rest assured that by applying this guideline, you can avoid headaches when managing your content and deliver it to your readers efficiently. This is also a logical approach in case you want applications like newsreaders and search engines like Google to index your website properly.

Use Post for These Cases

Post should be used with contents that are supposed to be up-to-date. This may include news, guides, reviews, case studies, …

Another use case for Post is when you want to publish large amounts of content that can be grouped because they are related and of a similar level of importance. For example, educational content may not have to be “up-to-date” in order to be useful – yet when the archive of content is large, keeping it in the form of Post is more efficient.

This is because you can put the Post in Categories, Tags, and sort them based on the published date. Another reason is that Post can be formatted uniformly and easily with WordPress Post Formats, when it is more difficult to do so with Page, even with the help of Page Templates.

Use Page for These Cases

Page should be used for contents whose usefulness is not time-bound. This type of content includes the rarely-updated About, Contact, Policy Page, and others. Sometimes you can make your “evergreen” content – content that is useful for a long time and never expire – into Page. Imagine those eBooks that some Page put into a separate Page instead of a simple post.

Page is also what many businesses use for product listings. Some information about a product may be updated frequently, like availability, but generally, those updates are not supposed to be taken as “news” like new blog posts.

Final Words

Page and Post in WordPress are both incredibly versatile forms of content management. Despite what we just discussed, the question of when to use which still does not have a concrete answer. What I would recommend is for you to truly understand the key difference between these two, then figure out what characteristics would be useful for the content you are going to publish.

However, the aforementioned use cases of Post and Page are most suitable in most cases. If you are still a beginner WordPress user, you can stick to the proven way of using Post and Page and your content will surely be delivered in a most efficient manner.

Whatever you may choose, good luck on your journey creating and managing content with WordPress!

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