At The WordPress Helpers, we love WordPress. No surprise there. But we don’t love how complicated the simplest of ideas in WordPress can become when you start examining them. The simplest WordPress ideas. The WordPress Basics. Forget the issues users have with themes, plug-ins and the way they interact for a moment; we’re talking about the most basic of WordPress basics: the difference between WordPress posts and WordPress pages.
There’s a curmudgeonly guy named Bob Dunn who writes some pretty decent WordPress tutorials, and we’ve happened across a new on he’s posted on this very topic. At The WordPress Helpers we’ve got our ear to the ground for you on all topics WordPress, and we happen to know of Bob Dunn; he’s one of the folks who took exception to the way we announced ourselves to the WordPress Community. We see Bob’s musings on WordPress posts and WordPress pages the same way we see Lorelle VanFossen’s thoughts about writing a WordPress post; great information, but … not quite complete enough to get most folks comfortable with the idea. So let’s deconstruct Bob Dunn on WordPress Posts and WordPress Pages.
WordPress Posts and WordPress Pages
Bob Dunn hits the main point on how WordPress Posts and WordPress Pages differ square on the head; pages are for static content like your “about us” page, while posts are for what is best described as “content”. The post you’re reading right now is content; we’re putting it together as a piece of helpful information for readers, will be both promoting it to our followers and using it to get new ones, and have made it as magnetic as we can to search engines so the Googles of the world like it.
Those are the prizes you need to keep your eye on for posts/content. And it really is almost as simple as that and you don’t need to go any further if you believe your present content is the only content you need to achieve those goals.
But we promise, that isn’t how content works; news organizations and websites with extremely large follower bases might be OK stopping now, but if you end your comparison of how WordPress Posts and WordPress Pages work there, you’ll be leaving traffic and money on the table.
The subject gets interesting right at the point where Bob Dunn stops. He describes the difference between WordPress Posts and WordPress Pages accurately; as long as you don’t go further, tweaking things to create special post types, or adding plug-in software to—for example—add categories to pages in conflict with this statement:
When creating a post, you will find that Categories, Tags and Excerpts are only available for posts
This point is where WordPress starts getting tricky. Bob’s right; in addition to them having differing “purposes” out of the box you can do different things with WordPress Posts and WordPress Pages. But WordPress is so much more than a set of rigid rules. In fact, even the idea Bob puts forth about Parent and Child pages and the way they’re ordered will very likely have nothing to do with how you have WordPress display your site to the world.
We said it in the first paragraph of this piece and we’ll say it again: the difference between WordPress Posts and WordPress Pages starts out simple, but quickly evolves into something far more interesting—and if you approach the issue right, more useful, too.