Pages vs Posts in WordPress

This can be one of the most confusing ideas to get your head around when you first start using WordPress. So I will try and explain it in this article.

WordPress is basically a blog, and out of the box, that is how it behaves. To make it behave more like a standard site , you need to change a few settings. But lets start with the default behaviour.

Default Setup

So in the default setup you have a homepage that will display all your posts, starting with the most recent. This is how a blog works. You can set a few different things on the post, like categories and tags, but blogs will appear on your home page.

In the default setup you can also add pages. The way to think about a page vs a blog is this: a blog is a small entry that will be on the homepage only a few weeks (if you are an active blogger) before it vanishes into the archives and will need to be actively looked for by site users.

A page is a permanent part of the site that will always be available from the front page of your site as a menu item. It will not appear on the front page as a blog. An example of this is an About Us page, a Contact Us page, or a Prices page. These would not be blog entries.

However if you don’t want blog entries to vanish you can pin them to the home page, for instance if you have a bulletin board and want to pin the site rules, this is something you might look at.

Changing the default layout

This is relatively simple, but there are a couple of things you have to do first. Create a home page and a blog page, they don’t need to have anything on them, just exist. Then goto settings and click on ‘reading’. This will take you to the settings above. here you can choose to set your home page (which you have just made) into a static home page. This means it will behave like standard website, not a blog. However you also need to change the posts page to point to the new blog page you just made. In this way you can have a separate blog and a static homepage with all your site introductions etc on that doesn’t change. This is the way I like to setup most of my new WordPress sites, unless it’s a Blog!!!

Hopefully that all makes sense, and now you understand when to make a page, and when to add a new post !