If you’re new to WordPress or publishing online it can be confusing to know the difference between content types like posts and pages and navigational features like categories and tags. In this short guide I will clarify the differences and show you how to add content to a WordPress based website. First some clarity and definitions:
Post vs Pages
In WordPress there are two different kinds of content types. Posts, which are designed for blogging purposes. Typically posts are blog entries and are loaded on the same page. Usually in the order they were published starting with the newest at the top.
This is dynamic content and can be used for more than just blog posts. If you’re going to be updating your site regularly with new content, say for news, using this content type will probably be best.
Pages are known as static, and unlike dynamic content are generally used for content that is updated infrequently like your about page or terms and conditions. Pages do not show up on a blog page full of posts. Instead they generally have there own direct links from the websites navigation menu. Although it is possible using a WordPress Plugin to exclude such pages from your websites navigation. Using other plugins, it’s even possible to embed ‘posts’ on any ‘page’ you create. In the same sense blog entries are embedded on the home ‘page’ of a blog.
Categories vs tags
Categories are a way to label and group content together and make it easier for visitors to find your content and know what it’s about. Categories only apply to ‘posts’ and each new post you add must have at least one assigned category, but can have more than one if you like.
Categories can be displayed in your website main menu, in your sidebar, or at the top and bottom of posts. They provide your content and website with an easy to navigate structure.
In WordPress categories have their own tab in the admin panel where you can create or delete as many as you wish. New categories can also be created on the fly directly from the post editor as you create and publish new blog posts.
Tags are more like keywords for when you want to describe a post with more specific terms. Since tags do not show up in any menus you can have any number of tags without causing any navigation issues. As opposed to categories which are broader and used for site navigation, and therefore should be limited in number.
Tags can be added during the process of publishing a post with the post editor. A post can have any number of tags, including none if you do not wish to use them. Tags can also be used for website search or tag clouds allowing users to find specific content on your site for their specific needs.
Adding a Post
To publish a new post just go into your WordPress admin panel and hover over the the ‘post’ button and click ‘add new’ from the sub menu.
This should take you to the post editor.
Next Start adding the details of your new post like below:
Steps to publishing a post:
- Add your post title
- Add your main body content
- Add images using the add media button (more on this later)
- Select or add one or more categories for the post
- Add tags to post (optional)
- Add a featured image. Also optional (but highly recommended)
Now you have all the essentials of a blog post you can either save it as a draft or publish it immediately and make it available to the world. You can of course also use the preview button before publishing and as often as you like to see what your new blog post will look like published.
Adding a Page
To publish a new page just go into your WordPress admin panel and hover over the the ‘pages’ button and click ‘add new’ from the sub menu.
This should take you to the Page editor. Which is just like the post editor but with fewer options.
Next Start adding the details of your new page like below:
Steps to publishing a page:
- Add a page title
- Add page body content
- Use the add media button to add images to your page (more on this later)
- Select a page parent. This is to select page hierarchy. If you don’t want your new page to be under an existing page just leave this as ‘no parent’
- Select a template, some themes have custom page templates that may include non standard features. Use this menu to select which template you wish to use for your new page, or leave it on default template for the standard page set-up.
- Select page order, this is to select where your page will appear in your website navigation relative to other pages. For example typing in ‘1’ will make this page first in the menu, but only if your other pages are ordered ‘2’ ‘3’ ect.
- You can also add a featured image for pages.
Now you have all the essentials of a page you can either save it as a draft or publish it immediately and make it available to the world. You can of course also use the preview button before publishing to see what your new page will look like published. Just like with posts.
So now you know the difference between posts and pages, categories and tags, and how to use them all to publish and organize your content.