New WordPress users may find data management very confusing at first. Posts versus pages… It’s not readily apparent whether one should use posts and categories (for your articles) or use pages (which also contain content, but on a separate page).
It would be much simpler if you could simply use categories on any old page — and not just your main blogging page — but that is not possible. So here are some simple guidelines which should help to clear things up.
You always use a system of pages for regular static items that never change — such as About Us, Contact Me, and Privacy.
Use the system of posts (articles) for all stories that should be accessible under the umbrella of a category label or “recent stories” label. A category is actually a page of collected articles —
but it is not called a “page” in WordPress
because it is created on the spot whenever your reader selects a certain category.
And “recent stories” is basically just another category page (err, non-page).
If desired, you can strictly use pages and not even bother with categories. This is much simpler and much less confusing. And there are plugins that will let you easily create a hierarchy of pages (in outline form) for your WordPress site menu.
The only drawback to “ignoring posts and categories” is that you won’t have an automatic section that pulls together all of your “recent posts.” Some people get around this issue by making most of their website with static pages, and then adding one page to serve as a “blog” area and show off some additional “posts” which are created just for this purpose.
There is a place in the general WordPress settings (under Settings, Reading) to designate which specific page you want to use for “collected” or “recent” posts. This special page can be any page you want. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the home page.
Keep in mind that posts and pages are not integrated.
You can have a section for all of your articles, but they will not appear on your “pages” unless you physically copy them over there.
The reverse is also true. All those articles you have pasted into pages will not appear under a recent posts section — unless you also add the articles as posts into the posts section.
Finally, you need to consider how things will look on your website menu. Thankfully, there are a couple of good WordPress plugins that can help you order your menu items in specific ways, and exclude any items that you want to hide. They are “My Category Order” and “My Page Order.”
There are other plugins that may even be more elegant, which can address this vexing issue. But these two plugins are great if your needs are simple, and they are very easy to use.
It works quite well to put the more mundane menu items across a top “page bar” menu (like Contact Me and Privacy tabs) — and then to create a site menu for the more interesting items in your website sidebar. This seems like the most intuitive solution, and also avoids needless duplication.
As for WordPress posts versus pages, you really need to make a choice between them and decide which will be your dominating system.