WordPress Pages vs Posts

What is the answer? There is much confusion on the part of new WordPress users about the difference between a post and a page. Does it matter which one is used? When should posts be used versus pages? Do I need both? These are just a few of the most common questions asked.

Let’s start off with posts. If you are blogging through WordPress then posts will make up the majority of your contents. These posts are your blog; the meat from which your blog is made up of. They are little glimpses of your thoughts and ideas as they happen. That’s why posts are dated and listed in reverse chronological order, so they are timely and follow the progression of your creative and productive thinking. Think of the post as a historical record of knowledge you have shared with the world.

To better understand what a “post” is let’s take a look at the origin of the term. First we need to understand where the term “blog” originated. Without going into too much detail, the word “blog” is a shortened version of the expression “weblog” or web-log. Thus the blog is a log of one’s thoughts and ideas posted into the World Wide Web. The origin of the word “post” is a little more interesting. In medieval times a system of roads was developed in Europe to speed messages from governing officials across the kingdom. These “post” roads were labeled as such since mounted riders on horses were “posted” at equal distances along the road in order to serve as a relay system. These messages were then recorded and dated for posterity. As you can see the word “post” is indeed a fitting description for messages documenting ideas and knowledge at intervals in our web-log histories.

Part of the purpose of a post is to encourage conversation on a particular topic. This is why there is usually a comment feature enabled on a blog. After all, who wants to be involved in a one-sided conversation? The goal of a successful blog is to invite conversation, be though provoking, incite emotion, spur debate; all of which require a response from the reader. Usually the better you are at developing and posting content that invites a response the more successful your blog will be. This success can be aided by the ability to communicate your posts through RSS(Rich Site Summary) feeds so the reader can subscribe and receive email updates whenever a new post is updated. There are several email broadcast services that enable the blog author to accomplish this. You can also share posts with followers through other media such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

What about pages; what purpose do they serve in your blog? Pages are more about the blog itself than your content. Pages include such information as what kind of content is in your blog, pages give information about you and your blog to each visitor or reader that expresses an interest. They also carry such information as legal disclaimers, privacy policy, and even mission statements. Pages are timeless and ever present. They are always available up front to your blog guest. There is no time stamp, no comment link, and no expiration. They can be updated by your in case changes are necessary over time but for the most part they are constant.

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Pages are meant to provide info about your blog itself much the way a table of contents serves as a reference for the reader of a book. Most blog themes include templates that are used to format your pages so that they are organized and more easily accessible to the reader. These templates serve as an outline for the blog author so it is easier to determine where certain information about the blog and its author would be better placed on the page.

So what are the key differences between a blog post and a blog page?

There are several: posts are time stamped and entered in reverse chronological order; pages are ageless. Posts are a means of interacting with and inviting interaction from the readers; pages are not. Posts can be broken down into categories; pages are listed in one particular order. Followers can be updated about posts through RSS feeds; page updates are for blog visitor’s eyes only. Pages often come with a template that can be used to create them using an appealing format; with posts its anything goes.

Okay so you know the difference between blog posts and pages; now what to do with this information? My guess is that the reason you are reading this article at all is because you are knew to not only WordPress but the blogging world in general and even if you aren’t a refresher can’t hurt. A big question would be when to use pages and when to use posts. My answer would be-use both. A combination of eye catching and mind bending pages can draw the attention of a reader while the content provided by entrancing posts can hold them prisoner with mesmerizing intensity. Well maybe that’s putting things in too serious a perspective. A blog with a catchy, witty, and humorous collection of pages can attract a reader and then entertain them with the content made up of posts that are pleasurable to read. Either way you can see the synergistic relationship of the two. Pages and posts are meant to be together and used together as tools for successful blogging

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