One question I find new bloggers often wondering about is when they should use posts vs pages in WordPress. This is a somewhat heated debate by many. Before you decide if you are going to use a WordPress Post or Page, it is important to understand the key differences between the two.
Let’s take a closer look at these two different ways to present content, and which way is best for you and your needs.
WordPress Posts vs Pages – The Great Debate
Both posts and pages in WordPress are capable of displaying whatever you want them to, but displays your content in different ways with different properties. Some people are sticklers for one or the other, but I believe each has its place.
For the sake of our story, let’s look at these two examples here at TechStarZone:
- Page Example – How to Use Pinterest
- Post Example – Reaching 1000 Pinterest Followers in Just 94 Days
We are going to take a look at what they are used for, and how they are different.
Anatomy of a WordPress Page
There are a number of pages that most WordPress sites have by default:
- About Us
- Contact Us
Do you see something similar here? These are all pages that we are not updating on a regular basis.
On this site I also have a page about How to Use Pinterest. I created this page to have a static reference point for all of my different Pinterest guides.
You can see on the menu here at TechStarZone I have a link to this page. For other things, like posts about WordPress and Productivity, I just have a link to the category, which then displays all of the posts in a category when it loads.
The reason I picked a Page for my Pinterest content was I wanted to provide some more context about what was included in my content. Some may call this a Landing Page.
In this case, I also promote this Page on social media to point people to a source of valuable information.
The page itself is pretty sparse beyond my content, which is a brief desecration of each of the Pinterest guides I have written.
Anatomy of a WordPress Post
As I mentioned, I of course also have WordPress Posts on my site.
For Example, my post about Reaching 1000 Pinterest Followers in Just 94 Days has a ton of useful information on the topic I wrote about, and there is a link to it on my How to Use Pinterest Page.
My post also has a lot more information than just my content. It has social media sharing buttons, information on related posts, and a section to leave comments. It also mentions when the post was published as you can see here:
When you load a Page in WordPress, it does not have any of these extra bells and whistles.
In the navigation bar of my web browser, you can also see the permalink to this post:
Permalink Structure of WordPress Posts and SEO
One of the most important things you will configure on your WordPress site is a Permalink. This is the URL of your post or page.
In the past, people have said that Pages are better for SEO because of their permalink structure, but that is just not true.
The truth is you can configure your Permalink structure right in WordPress. First click on Settings, then Permalinks:
Then you will see the options for the permalink structure:
The best option is the one I have selected called Post name. It pulls the information from your post title to create your permalink. You can also edit the permalink before you publish the post.
Post vs Page Permalinks and SEO in WordPress
Permalink are an important aspect of your site’s SEO.
Don’t be scared of these three little letters. Just read the guide we have to easy and natural SEO here:
When it comes to your Permalink structure, Post name is the best option because it keeps the relevant key words as closest to the websites URL as possible, showing Google it is relevant information.
The default option is Day and Name, which is not the greatest.
The first thing I do when I create a new WordPress site is switch it to Post name.
If you do not do this before you publish blog posts, you will need to enter 301 redirects for each and every post. A 301 redirect tells people and computers that they need to go someplace else for the information they are looking for – in this case to the new URL format of your site.
Beyond your permalink structure, be sure to follow all of the SEO practices you use on posts on pages as well.
These are thing like:
- Putting your target keywords in your Permalink
- Filling out Title and Meta Description using your keywords
In All In One SEO Pack, you can decide if you want to do SEO on pages, posts, categories, tags, and more.
All in One SEO Pack is my go to WordPress SEO Plugin because it is light weight and gets the job done. You can read my review about All in One SEO Pack here.
When to Use WordPress Posts vs Pages
It really depends on what you are trying to accomplish.
Here are a couple of different things to remember:
- Posts display more information than pages (Author, Date, Social Sharing).
- Posts with a proper permalink structure have the same “SEO juice” as Pages.
- Pages won’t show up in blog layouts.
- Pages can be linked in your menu.
I have been blogging across a number of blogs for a while. Here is how I like to use Pages:
- As Landing Pages for a specific topic if pulling posts from a Category does not provide enough context (like the How to Use Pinterest Page)
For everything else, I use a blog post.
For New Bloggers
For new bloggers I have some specific advise.
First, make sure you change your Permalink structure before you even add any content to your site! If you only have a few pieces of content, it may be worth changing your Permalink structure anyway and setting up 301 redirects.
Next, use Pages sparingly and for a specific purpose. Remember, they won’t automatically show readers things like related posts and social sharing buttons. WordPress pages can be a powerful tool if used correctly, but can also lead to missed opportunities and are more difficult to manage than a simple blog post.
Finally, remember to keep SEO in mind for your pages, as well as your blog posts.