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WordPress Pages vs WordPress Posts, Common Sense, and SEO

WordPress pages vs WordPress posts

When you are in charge of a WordPress website – either updating it or producing content, or designing or developing – you come upon a major distinction: WordPress pages vs WordPress Posts. What does the difference come down to? Why is there such a separation? How to use both post types? Does it matter to the site SEO?

WordPress dashboard - pages and posts

Read on, we have the answers to all of these questions plus some useful insight regarding content, pages, and posts.

Pages vs Posts, Technical Differences

In WordPress CMS, Pages and Posts are the two main “post types”. That means they were not created equal. Technically compared, WordPress Pages and Posts differ in the following ways:

  1. Static vs Dynamic Content – By definition, pages are static one-off publications while posts are chronologically listed entries.
  2. Publication Date – The publication date is of utmost importance for posts and they are organized by it. But publication time does not matter for pages and is irrelevant to how pages are organized on the site.
  3. Site Navigation vs News Feeds – Pages are usually included in the site menu while posts are streamed on the blog page and in an RSS feed.
  4. Taxonomy – Only posts have categories and tags, pages don’t.
  5. Hierarchy – Only pages have a hierarchy – one page could be “a parent” to another, which shows in the page URL (https://example.com/parent-page/child-page)
WordPress Pages vs WordPress Posts Infographic

Key technical differences between WordPress pages and WordPress posts

Why Are There Posts and Pages?

Probably the most important reason why there are two major post types is TIME: with information, time is of absolute importance. That is why you want to have content that is on your site for good and another that is added periodically. Everything else comes as a consequence and is related to how you organize content according to its purpose.

Another explanation is related to WordPress origin as a blogging platform. With blogs, you need to post news periodically and that is your main reason for creating a blog. Even now, when WordPress is used for building websites of all type and size, the very first WordPress setting is whether the home pages show a static page or your latest posts.

WordPress dashboard reading settings: latest posts or a static page

A choice of primary importance in the WordPress admin panel: Does your website open to the latest blog posts or to a static page?

WordPress Pages vs Posts, and SEO

Do search engines make a difference between pages and posts?

The answer is very simple: NO, they do not. It is all content to them and the same indexing algorithm applies to both post types.

However, there are other considerations that are related to the choice between pages and posts and eventually influence the site’s organic ranking. When distributing your content between both types, remember that:

  1. Engines like structure – Your pages have to be well-organized with regard to hierarchy and menus, and you should use sitemaps.
  2. They also like taxonomy – It helps them sort out content with regard to topics and semantic categories. So posts taxonomy should be well chosen and distributed between pages and posts, with regard to the keywords you want to rank for.
  3. User experience is also a leading factor – If your site visitors are happy, Google is happy and you rank higher. User happiness is measured by metrics for engagement and conversion (like time on site, pages per visit, bounce rate, etc.).

So if you do not distinguish between the use of pages and posts, and apply the same SEO and content rules, you might do well in Google but how about your site visitors?

WordPress Pages vs Posts, and Common Sense

If search engines do not care which post type you use, pages or posts, it all comes down to the good old common sense. That means you should focus on the ultimate goal of satisfying customers and serving your business objectives. And let algorithms follow that.

This is actually good news – with regards to pages and posts, every publisher is free to choose the post type, without search engines dictating the rules. And it is only natural because Google is there first to serve people. Content should be created for people, not for Google. Engines’ algorithm should imitate and support the way people search for information and content creators will always be safe if they follow the way people think.

When to Use a WordPress Post and When a Page

Let’s imagine you have to build your website from scratch. It all starts with placing on the table everything that you want to publish. And then sorting out what goes where, dividing content between pages and posts, setting taxonomies and building menus.

Following the common sense principle, we suggest several questions and some more differences between WordPress Pages and WordPress Posts to make it easier for you to distribute your content and build your site:

What Is the Content Main Purpose?

Pages have to include your main story – who you are, what you do, and what you offer. They are as permanent as a book, compared to the newspaper character of blog posts.

WordPress Pages vs WordPress Posts - content purpose

WordPress Pages vs WordPress Posts – content purpose

How to Create the Content? What Style to Use?

Pages are the place to brag about what you do, they should sound more like an advertisement. Strong headlines, catchy texts. This is what visitors will expect. While on your blog, they will want to learn something for themselves. Blogs are traditionally considered PR tools.

Some part of the site will tell your story, others will be remotely related to it. Some stories will include you and your company directly, others will be more about your customers and their pain points.

When searching for a solution to their problem, visitors will come upon your site. They will read about the solution you suggest on the blog, which will confirm that you are an expert on the topic, and then they may go to your service pages and request help. That’s how content marketing works, in short, you build upon your knowledge and prominence.

WordPress Pages vs WordPress Posts - copy and style

WordPress Pages vs WordPress Posts – copy and style

How Do You Want Users to React?

There will be topics and texts on your site that you want your visitors to read in full so they remember you and your business. And there will be other content that you care less about. Also, there are certain actions that you want from visitors – to like and share posts or to subscribe and register as leads.

You are free to experiment where on the site to put the contact forms and the requests for proposals. They can be more permanent like pages or related to campaigns like posts. The common sense here hints that clients buy because of who you are and what you do (pages core content), and are attracted to the way you think and speak about it (blog posts).

WordPress Pages vs WordPress Posts - marketing

WordPress Pages vs WordPress Posts – marketing

Some More SEO Tips

For pages and posts, you should have a different strategy with regards to their length, updating schedule, chosen keywords and link building. For example, there is no single answer about the best length for a page or post, so you should also think about quality and purpose first, not only quantity.

WordPress Pages vs WordPress Posts - SEO

WordPress Pages vs WordPress Posts – SEO

WordPress Pages vs Posts, Some More FAQ

How many posts and/or pages can I have?
There is no limit. Just keep them well organized, structured, categorized and logical for the user.

What are sticky posts?
Because your posts are chronologically organized, you may choose to feature some of them to give them more attention. When marked as “sticky”, posts appear before the other ones on the page.

How are portfolios related to pages and posts?
Portfolios are something permanent so they should be part of the static(pages) content. But because they could utilize attributes and customs fields like posts (for example, categories and tags), portfolios are often built with blog posts functionalities.

What is cornerstone content? Should I use only pages for it?
Cornerstone content is the core of your website that you want everyone to read, starting with search engines. These are either pages or posts that you especially identify as your most important content. The challenge is to keep them around five so you can write and design them in the best way you can. They should be updated often, and rank for your most important keywords.

To Wrap It Up

The differences between WordPress pages and posts are originally technical and related to logic and purpose, not to SEO. Pages and posts have different attributes and functions, and structure and taxonomy are important for search engines. The choice between pages and posts should also be a common sense decision to satisfy your communication and marketing goals, and customer expectations.

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