WordPress is a user-friendly platform for novice and professional webmasters that helps you quickly create and launch a website. However, there are some basic concepts to learn before you can start building your site. If you understand what WordPress pages and posts are, you’ll understand a basic part of WordPress architecture.
In this article, we’ll delve into that topic, show you how to create them, and discuss the other types of content the platform has to offer. Let’s get to work!
Introduction to WordPress pages and posts
After installing your new website on WordPress and then logging in, you’ll see the admin panel, which looks like this:
The left sidebar contains various tabs that direct you to the most important features of the platform. You can choose a WordPress theme, change the site’s appearance under Appearance, and customize the default settings under Settings.
There are two important sections in the sidebar: Pages and Posts. This is where you’ll create the content that actually makes up your site – what visitors see. There are other types of content, which we’ll talk about later, but these two are the most fundamental and universal.
As the name implies, under “Pages”, you create static web pages for your site. These can be your home page, contact page, “About” page, etc.
Although pages can be updated and changed, they are for static information, i.e., that does not change over time.
Posts are the same pages but designed for a different purpose – dynamic and time-sensitive content.
An example of an entry is this post you are currently reading.
By default, WordPress posts display the date of publication. The summary page that displays entries in reverse chronological order is called the index and archive, and the entry itself is often called a “Blog Post” or simply “Post”. The posts often add comment functionality and your visitors can react and start discussing your content.
From the history of WordPress, it’s clear that it was originally positioned as a blogging platform and it has a very powerful mechanism for organizing this type of content. It saves you from having to update a bunch of pages every time you write a new piece of content.
That’s how things work behind the scenes, even though your theme can set up your pages and posts to work in a completely different light.
If the main purpose of your site is to create a blog, WordPress automatically generates an “Index” of your entries on the home page or creates an archive list on any other page you specify.
WordPress also automatically generates other archives:
- Archive by Author.
- Separate archives of all categories and tags.
- Archives by time (year, month, day).
It is very important to understand that the archive of entries can depend on several parameters at once. For example, you can display all entries of the author “Ivan” in the “Instructions” tag “SEO”, and even for the month of “May”!
Even the search results page, which WordPress creates dynamically, is a type of archive. Think how long it would take you to change all that every time you publish a new post!
Note that some WordPress sites have pages but no posts at all, some have posts but no pages, and some have both.
Now you should be able to tell the difference between WordPress pages and posts, but let’s summarize in between:
Entries in WordPress, unlike pages – appear in various automatically generated lists (archives), usually displaying the date, author name and categories they belong to. On the other hand, we usually don’t want pages with static content to display the date or author’s name. And sometimes, on the contrary, we want them to contain some archive or archives. As an example, look at the home page of our site. Yes it is a “page” in terms of WordPress, but it consists of various archives of entries.
Just to confuse you completely, let’s say that there is some overlap in terminology in the use of the word “page. We often talk about “web pages” in a general sense when referring to a Web site. For example, we often refer to an “archive page” because it appears as a page on your website, even if it has nothing to do with them in terms of how WordPress works.
How to create WordPress pages and posts
Understanding the basic differences between WordPress pages and posts is a good place to start, and as you go deeper, you’ll understand how to create them and what options you have for customizing them.
Now, let’s look at how to set up the first few pieces of content on your WordPress site.
1. Creating a page in WordPress
To create your first WordPress page, go to the Pages → Add New tab in the toolbar:
This takes you to the WordPress block editor that you use to create your default page, using blocks that represent different types of content, as well as customizing the page itself. We’re not going to talk about working with content in this guide, but we do have a great article about the block editor in WordPress. We encourage you to check it out.
Let’s take a look at the options for setting up and managing your page. Click on the “Document” tab in the right sidebar, and you’ll see settings related to the page as a whole, as shown in this screenshot:
You can customize the page URL (its “permalink”), add a favorite image, and include comments.
At the top of the editor, use the “Preview” button to see what your page looks like in the site interface.
When your WordPress page is ready to run, click the “Publish” button to launch it. Otherwise, it will automatically be saved as a draft. Either way, you can come back later and make changes.
2. Creating a post in WordPress
To start, go to Posts → Add New.
The editing screen looks very familiar, doesn’t it? The way you create content for WordPress entries is identical to the process described above for pages. You’ll use the same set of blocks and have access to the same settings.
But, let’s focus on the differences. You may notice right away that the settings on the Document tab in the right sidebar are different. It includes two additional settings, categories and tags. These settings allow you to organize your entries for later filtering. For example, categories are a way to group similar content together. For example, in a blog about cooking you can create such categories as “Healthy Recipes”, “Cooking for Two” and “Family Meals” and so on, to learn more about this, no doubt important specifics of WordPress SEO, you can read our article about categories and tags as a way to filter content.
A significant part of WordPress posts are comments, by default they are enabled in Settings → Discussion. However, you can disable them if you want.
Choosing a WordPress site home page
If your site includes both WordPress pages and entries, you must decide whether you want the home page to display static content or an archive (index) of your most recent entries. The choice you make depends on the focus of your site. If you want to highlight your blog, news articles, reviews, or other similar and usually time-sensitive content, it’s wise to have your posts in the spotlight. This is the default setting for any new site on WordPress, revealing its origins as a blogging platform.
If you don’t have a blog or only want your WordPress posts to be part of a larger site, you can create a static home. page instead. This is a standard technique for business websites.
To choose the type of home page, go to Settings → Reading in the WordPress admin sidebar:
The first setting on this page is labeled “Display on home page” with several options. The first option, Your Recent Posts, displays an index (archive) of your recent blog posts, usually as excerpts with links to the full posts. If you choose “Static Page” select which page you want to use as your home (home) page in the “Home Page” field.
Selecting the “entries page” in the screenshot above is only necessary if you have at least some entries and you want to display a list (archive) of the latter on a page other than the home page. To do this, create a new page with a title such as: “Company News”, but without any content, then select this page in the “Posts page” dropdown list.
There are also a number of additional options on the Settings → Reading page. You can configure how many posts to display in the archives. This value is used to form page-by-page navigation through the archives. Don’t forget to click the “Save Changes” button when you’re done.
WordPress architecture of different post types
In addition to posts and pages, WordPress has other built-in “post types”. This architecture and the very notion of “post types” again points to the beginning of WordPress as a blogging platform. Pages were created as a different post type with different properties. Here is a complete list of the post types that WordPress includes in the initial installation kit:
- Attachments (images, files that are stored in the Media Files tab)
- Revisions – Used when working with posts and pages and other similar types, if any in your theme.
- Navigation Menu
- Custom CSS
- Changesets – Used when working with the built-in theme appearance editor.
Most of these post types work behind the scenes, and you don’t need to think about the properties of these posts types unless you’re a developer.
The newbies part is hard to understand why pages are a post type, and yet the posts themselves are also a post type! Just remember that the architecture of WordPress is made up of different post types, which include both pages and posts.
Custom Post Types in WordPress
WordPress also allows you to create CPT (Custom Post Type) and their organizational charts, which are called “Taxonomies” and function as categories and tags for standard posts (your blog posts).
It’s not hard to find examples of custom post types because many plugins and themes install and work with them.
The most common examples are e-commerce plugins such as the very popular WooCommerce. These plugins usually add a new merchandise tab to the dashboard. If you’re interested in eCommerce topics read this article on how to create an online store on WooCommerce, quickly, and more importantly completely free!
There is no limit when it comes to custom post types. For example, a podcast organizer plugin can add an “Episodes” post type, and a review plugin can add a “Reviews” post type.
Because CPTs are ideal for organizing and displaying structured information, they often go hand-in-hand with additional customizable fields that you can use to ensure that the same type of information appears for each item. For example, house listings usually require size, number of bedrooms, room types, age of the house, and so on.
If you’re building a website for the first time, you can’t go wrong with WordPress. After installing the software, you probably want to start creating content. Fortunately, setting up pages and posts in WordPress is quick and intuitive. And if you know how to create posts and pages, you’ll know how to work with almost any type of content in WordPress.
Do you have questions about how to customize pages, standard posts, or other custom post types in WordPress? Let us know in the comments below!