Last updated on July 2nd, 2018
Posts and pages are the front-end foundations of WordPress. I will explain, in detail, how to create a WordPress post and page in a few minutes, but first there are some basics to learn.
What is a WordPress Post?
In WordPress, we normally think of a post as a blog post. They are the main content type of WordPress and the only content you could publish when WP was initially introduced in 2003.
A WordPress post is an article, image, audio, video, or a combination of any content. Posts are divided into regular (blog or content) posts or pages. Even media is considered a post. In the backend, everything is still a post.
To give you some context outside of WordPress, a published comment or an uploaded video on Facebook or a tweet on Twitter are also posts.
Also, keep in mind not everyone uses WordPress to write blogs. WordPress is a fully loaded CMS platform to design many types of websites. As a result, many businesses use WordPress without ever publishing a post.
What is the Difference Between WordPress Posts and Pages?
One of the first things WordPress beginners need to learn is distinguishing the difference between posts vs pages. You will be creating or updating these objects so it is important to know.
WordPress Posts are:
- Published in an order.
- Organized by categories and tags.
- Organized by publishing date and time.
- Attributed to an author.
- Have comments enabled by default.
WordPress Pages are:
- Published as individual items.
- Organized by parent/child pages.
- Have hidden publishing date and time.
- Have hidden author.
- Have comments disabled by default.
Create a WordPress post if it is blog content, an opinion piece, article, image gallery, time dependent, or grouped by categories or tags. Posts are displayed in reverse chronological order on blog pages (page with several posts) with the newest on top. Other thing to consider is you want a post to be shared and discussed through commenting and social media.
On the other hand, create a WordPress page if it is static content and timeless such as an about me or contact page. In addition, pages are infrequently updated and are often used in WordPress menus for user navigation. In contrast to posts, normally you don’t want people commenting on pages. Pages are usually not displayed in a stream like blog posts.
Furthermore, the term WordPress blog post page or post page has an ambiguous meaning. So, let’s clear that up. A blog post page or (single) post page is the URL that contains a post or a series of posts like an online newspaper or magazine. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry about it too much, you’ll get a better understanding as you become experienced with WordPress.
I need to emphasize that posts and pages behave or display differently depending on WordPress customizations, plugins, and themes; consequently, I will be only be discussing the default attributes of posts and pages to avoid confusion.
Before you create your first post, I recommend setting up your WordPress website for success. This will save you some time with content creation and WordPress optimization. In addition, it will help you understand some of the WordPress post and page sections.
How to Create a WordPress Post
Login to your WP Dashboard via your wp-admin and go to Post → Add New. While logged in, you can also hover your mouse over the New dropdown menu at the top and click on Post.
You’ll now see the section to write content to a post and publish it.
Let’s go over some of the options and features of the WP post publishing area.
1. Add your post title or headline here. It should be relevant to the post content, readable, and SEO friendly.
2. The permalink is the URL of your WordPress post. It will auto-populate after you write your post title. You should change the URL to be SEO friendly and short.
3. Add media to your post such as photos, audio, and video. Majority of users add photos to their post.
4. Your article, blog post, or any type of copy goes here.
- At the top of this section, there is a simple HTML content editor toolbar to format copy; it’s similar to Microsoft Word. The body section has two tabs: visual and text. Use visual to copy formatted text from a document editor and paste it into WordPress; use text to paste HTML or plain text.
- Generally, it’s better to add the copy first then add any media after to streamline the WordPress post workflow. I personally copy-and-paste from Word to the HTML text section; and then I visually style the copy. I do this because pasting text from Word to WordPress in the visual box results with extra line breaks.
5. Allow comments if you want readers to share their thoughts about the post or join the discussion. Trackbacks and pingbacks are legacy features to notify other WP blogs when you link to them, and request a link back. I suggest keeping this option off.
6. This is the main section where you can preview, save, or publish the WordPress post. You can also go back to a prior revision in case you make an editing error.
Additional options include:
- Change status to pending review (for contributors) or a published post back to draft.
- Change visibility to password protected or private.
- Set post to stick on the front page (sticky posts). WordPress posts are displayed in reverse chronological on blog pages. Use sticky posts to display the post on top of the blog page. Individual themes can display sticky posts differently.
- Publish on a future date.
In most instances you wouldn’t use the additional options.
7. Formats are identifiers to give posts different layout options depending on the theme used. Many WordPress themes do not use post formats and it is best to use the default of standard.
8. Categories and tags are WordPress taxonomies used to group similar posts. It is very important to understand the concepts of WP taxonomies for proper site structure, user experience, and SEO. You can read more about categories and tags here.
9. A featured image is the main image of a post. The image is usually displayed at the top of posts and also on blog pages (series of posts). Many themes support featured images and it is a good idea to have one.
Hidden WordPress Post Options
Furthermore, a few more fields are not displayed by default. I don’t use them but it’s good to know they are there. You can access them by going to the screen options and checking the respective boxes.
- Revisions is the same as in Publish but with its own section block.
- Excerpts are small portions of post copy that is displayed on blog pages in order to avoid displaying the whole post (imagine having 5 posts displaying all their content on one page). Excerpts are theme dependent and usually you don’t need to be manually filled it out. Themes generally automate excerpts and set a word-count limit.
- Send trackbacks is similar to the discussion except this is for sending a ping to a non-WordPress website. You manually enter the URL you are linking. I avoid using this.
- Custom fields are a different way to add or displaying content on your theme. It is theme dependent and often used with plugins.
- The slug is another way to change the URL or permalink of the post which is a bit redundant.
- Most often the author will be you. If you are posting content written by someone else and you want to attribute it to him or her, you would change the author here. Note that you will need to add the author first in Users → Add New. You can also give authors access to your WP dashboard and contributor status. They will be able to create posts, but not publish them. This is where they would set the post status to pending review.
More about Adding Images to WordPress Posts
The great feature about writing WordPress posts is you can add images on the same screen. Before adding an image, make sure to place your cursor at the desired copy location of where you want the image. Then click on add image, upload a photo by dragging it from the computer to the WP uploader, or use the select files option. WordPress allows uploading single or multiple images at once.
Fill out the required fields for the image and click Insert into post.
- Title – WordPress will auto populate the title using the file name. The title is optional.
- Caption – Providing a caption is optional and sometimes beneficial for readers. Sometimes images speak for themselves (e.g., infographic) and don’t require a caption.
- Alt text – If the image can’t be displayed on a user’s screen for whatever reason, the alt text will be displayed instead. Fill this out for SEO benefits.
- Description – the image description is displayed on the attachment page and is theme dependent. You will leave this empty most times.
- ATTACHMENT DISPLAY SETTINGS
- Alignment – In most cases you want the alignment at center.
- Link to – You can set where the image links to if a user clicks on it: none, Media (full-width page of image), Attachment (links to WP page with the image and is theme dependent like the description), Custom URL, or none.
- Size – The maximum size of the image displayed will be dependent on the theme or you can choose a smaller size.
How to Create a WordPress Page
After all that reading, you’ll be able to create a WordPress page with ease. Pages are similar to posts except they don’t have categories, tags, formats, or sticky posts.
A new page is added by going to the WP Dashboard → Page → Add New. Like posts, you can hover your mouse over the New menu and select Page.
You’ll notice the page editor is very similar to the post editor. However, there is a new section: Page Attributes. Here you can optionally set a parent page. The order number is for changing the order in which pages are displayed. Many themes use pages and order numbers to display the top menu items. I never put an order number since I manually adjust the menu order in Appearance → Menu.
Pages are static content and you do not want them behaving like a blog post. As a result, comments should be off, author and date should be invisible.