There are some specific differences between pages and posts, which we will visit shortly, but the conceptual difference is:
These are your static pages. Those that don’t change unless they are edited. Examples of your pages would be: About, Services, Contact, etc.
Posts typically appear in a blog. They are written on a regular schedule and one of their key purposes is to keep your site fresh with new content. Posts can also be post types. For example, if you are running an event plugin, the event pages you create are post types and therefore are technically considered posts.
But remember, there are ways to use the blogging function without having a blog. Check out this post titled Do You Need a Blog for more insight.
Posts vs. Pages
In this lesson I want to show you the differences. If you look at creating a page or post side-by-side, you will notice some differences that I have highlighted.
The only technical difference between pages and posts is found in thing Page Attributes.
Parent – This is where you can set pages as a child page of another page, which basically means a sub-page. You will only see the effect of this option when viewing all pages in your dashboard. It will not affect the navigation as you need to set that up in your Appearance > Menus.
Template– Every theme has a set of templates. Here you see two of the basic templates: Archive and Blog. You might choose the blog template if you want an inside page to be your blog posts, rather than your homepage. You can learn more about that in this post or this podcast.
You may see more templates than this screenshot shows you. Often themes have other templates, such as portfolio or landing page. A landing page template would likely remove the header and the navigation to create a simple landing page. I would recommend testing and viewing the templates available with your theme. Of course, the default template is what you will be using most.
Order – This is how you can order your pages. Again, this has no effect on your navigation menus. Like the Parent option, you will only see this on your All Pages dashboard view. By default, on that page they are listed in alphabetical order. You can, of course, list them in any order you would like.
There are a few options that are specifically for posts only.
Categories and Tags
Posts will use categories and tags, but pages don’t. There are plugins that do allow you to use categories with pages, but likely you will just need them for your posts. You will learn more about categories and tags in another lesson.
The excerpt option lets you create a brief description of your post. It can be very useful. How it displays will depend on your theme.
Here is an example would. Often you will find on your blog archive page that the full post isn’t listed. It might instead be a photo, the title and a short blurb that encourages people to click through to read the rest of the post. This is much better for your readers because they scan blog posts on your archive page without scrolling. By default, most themes will pull in the first few lines of the post. But if you add an excerpt, it often replaces those first few lines. Readers like it because it gives them a short synopsis of your post’s topic.
Note: there is a plugin that let’s you add Excerpts to your pages and also other plugins and themes may add that as a feature.
Trackbacks are a way to let someone on another WordPress site know you are talking about them. Let’s say that I am referring to another blogger’s post in my post.I would put in the URL of that specific post, and they would then be notified that I was talking about them. Cool, huh? But unfortunately trackbacks have become a source for spammers. So read up on the pros and cons a bit more to get a better idea of whether you should use them.