An introduction to WordPress Pages, Posts & Categories

A brand-new website can be daunting. WordPress generally makes web content pretty easy to edit, but the difference between WordPress Pages and Posts can be confusing at first. We’ve boiled everything down for you, so you can get started quickly!

So what’s the difference between WordPress Pages and Posts?

Great question! The easiest way to understand the difference is to consider how much that section of the website will change. In general, Pages are used for static content, while Posts are often dynamic areas, like blogs, news updates, or other areas that are going to see a lot of new content (ie: more Posts) over time. Both are edited in the same way, but they are displayed in very different manners.

WordPress Pages:

Wordpress Posts Pages and Categories View All Pages from Backend Wp-Admin
Notice the lack of structure/organization. WordPress Pages generally stand alone in their content.

You’re generally going to use Pages for a lot of your initial content, like your first few menu links. Pages are best used for content like your Contact Us page, or information like your Privacy Policy. The content may get updated periodically, but they rarely have to be grouped with other content.

Pages are best used for one-way communication to your users. If you’re expecting users to comment on the page, or delve deeper for more information, you might be more interested in posts.

WordPress Posts (and Categories):

You’d use a WordPress Post when you want new content to automagically appear in an area of your website. It’s typically grouped with other information (ie: Posts) on the same topic. You’ll see Posts usually displayed chronologically in those topics, as new content is added.

Wordpress Posts Pages and Categories Category View Showing a Nested Category
Notice the WordPress Guides category has a hyphen on the left, indicating it’s a child category of Technology

These “topics” are called Categories in WordPress. A post can be placed in at least oneĀ Category, and Categories can be nested (meaning Categories can have sub-categories, and so on).

Using this article as an example, this is a WordPress Post we’ve organized under the “WordPress Guides” category. When you click that link, it brings you to a list of all the Posts we’ve made on this topic. You may also notice that this category (WordPress Guides) has a Parent Category (Technology), which lists our WordPress Guides and other posts we’ve made & categorized as Technology-related.

Gotcha! What’s the Home Page then?

In the screenshots above, you’ll see Home Page listed as a WordPress Page. However, this one depends on a lot of things, mainly:

  • Your theme
  • Your intended content on the Home Page
Wordpress Posts Pages and Categories Editing an empty Home Page
Why is this page empty?! The theme takes care of everything!

Believe it or not, it’s actually a completely empty page! Most WordPress themes will ask you whether you want a static page (in which case, you would indeed edit that WordPress Page for the desired content), or to show recent Posts. This goes beyond the scope of this particular article, but it is worth acknowledging that the Home Page is often a gotcha and the truth is dependent on how each site’s theme is configured. User beware!

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