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Posts versus Pages?

New WordPress users may find data management very confusing at first. Posts versus pages…  It’s not readily apparent whether one should use a system of categories and posts for articles or place each article on a separate page.

Which Way?

The decision 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.

The Rules

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 variable 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” (if using posts) and “My Page Order.”

There are other plugins that may be even 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.

As for WordPress posts versus pages, you really need to make a choice between them and decide which will be your dominating system.  Some of my websites only use pages, and that has worked quite well for me.

I like to put the more mundane menu items across a top “page bar” menu (like Contact Me and Privacy tabs) — and then create a site menu for the more interesting items in my website sidebar. This seems like the most intuitive solution, and it also avoids needless duplication.

Many people write to inquire about which theme I am using.  All of my websites use the Atahualpa theme, which is free from wordpress.org.

 

 

20 comments to Posts versus Pages?

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  • hospedagem php

    this post will help me a lot for my work in college.

  • What you have said is pretty right on target and I am with you on this….keep up the great work. Will visit back soon for more ideas. Glad I stumbled on your site

  • I got my confusion cleared with regard to posts & pages. Thank you.

    • admin

      Thank you, Amanda. It’s nice to know I was able to clear things up, as this topic is pretty confusing! 🙂

  • Well I sincerely liked studying it. This article procured by you is very useful for correct planning.

  • This is a great article that clears most of the confusion on posts and pages, which is encountered by most WordPress newbie. Even me who uses WordPress for quite a while still benefit from your information.

    Thank you and keep it up!

    Regards,
    Robert

  • Kris

    Thank you! Now things start to make much more sense.

    • admin

      I hope I made this confusing topic a little more clear. And let’s all pray that WordPress will make this whole topic easier in the future! 🙂

  • Hi, your advice has benefited me, however I am still confused on how I would go about putting more than one post on my page. I am blogging about movies, and I want multiple pages labelled with various genres so that I can have multiple movie reviews in each one. However, I am having trouble in putting more than one post on a page, so could you please guide me in the steps that I should take in order to be able to publish more than one post on a page please?
    Thank you.

    • admin

      Basically, Japleen, you have two choices:

      1) I suggest that you forget about posts, and do everything on pages. Your section guide is a separate page, like a Table of Contents. Your subsection guide is another Table of Contents page (if needed). Each review is a separate page. This method is the simplest to understand and execute. It also gives you the greatest control over how a page will look.

      2) Your other choice is to dump all posts into one directory on your website, and then use categories for your review sections. When the reader selects a category, wordpress pulls all posts you have tagged with that category name onto one page. Most people organize them with the most recent post first (in wordpress settings) — but this can still be quite cumbersome since you could have hundreds of posts in that category.

      Just pick one of these two approaches, and stick strictly to that.

      Then you can get a little help sorting all your posts or pages into the proper hierarchy faster with the MyPageOrder plugin or the MyCategoryOrder plugin, both free from wordpress.

      Remember, a post will not appear on your desired page unless you have categories, and have assigned that specific post to the specific category page where it belongs. Once you have done this, look at your site, select your category, and your assigned posts will be there.

      Hope that helps!

  • Thank you for this article.

    I apologize in advance if you have already explained this topic.

    I am new to Word Press and am not that technical. I’m having a hard time understanding how to have three pages as post pages.

    I have a main blogging page.

    I would like to have two more post pages — Baking Fails & Chow. They are on the nav bar.

    Currently Baking Fails and Chow are set up as pages.
    How do I make them as blogging page just like my homepage is set up?

    Help.

    Thank you so much,
    Meena

    • admin

      Hi Meena,

      I suggest you just do everything on pages, with comments allowed after each article you write. It’s way more confusing once you get involved with posts. Everything on this site has been done using Pages, except for the Welcome post on the home page.

      It’s easy to have a hierarchy of pages (like an outline of your web site) by using the My Page Order plugin.

      If you feel you must have posts, here’s how to do them. Define a category called Baking Fails and one called Chow. Write a new post, and assign it to that category. You can only have one page designated for blogging posts, which are usually shown with the most recent post first (from all categories). You cannot have three different pages that collect your posts.

      If you need to convert a page to a post or vice versa, you must create a new blank and manually copy your content into it.

      If you have more questions, just ask! 🙂

  • Thank you so much for the fast response.

    I will try the above and let you know how it turns out.

    Thanks!

  • I have enabled comments on the Baking Fails and Chow page.

    What I do not understand is how to allow comments after each article I write on those particular pages.

    On my home page, the main blogging page, you can leave a comment on each article and after each article there is a “pin it” button and a “share it” button.

    Also on my home page, when I edit it, I am able to tag each article with the appropriate words and each article has it’s own link. So that when I put the photos on Pinterest, I can link back to that article directly. The user clicks on my photo on Pinterest, and it takes them directly to that photo/article.

    That is what I want for my Baking Fails page and Chow page.

    When I do put up a photo from either of these pages to Pinterest, all I can do it is add the link to the beginning of the page and not that particular article. It takes the user directly to the page and then they have to search for that specific article/photo themselves. I cannot tag that specific article either with specific keywords.

    I feel like you are my only hope, Obi Wan Kenobi. Hahaha.

    I have been searching for days upon days to figure this out with no avail.

    Thank you again!

    • admin

      Each article needs to be on its own page. This is how I do everything on my sites.

      If you should need additional comment capabilities for posts, then look for one of those plugins that allows you to share an article on facebook, close comments for that article, etc. But I suggest you just do everything on pages and not even use posts.

  • Ah. Each article needs to be it’s own page.

    Thank you so much.

  • admin

    You’re welcome, Meena, glad I could help.

    This issue illustrates how WordPress needs to be more intuitive. In the meantime, I’m sure your questions will be helpful to others.

  • I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I’m now not positive whether this submit is written through him as no one else recognize such unique about my trouble.
    You’re wonderful! Thank you!

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