WordPress first began as a blogging platform. If you’re not familiar with blogging, it’s basically just a fancy term for writing articles that you intend to share with people. Here are some examples of blogs:
As you can see there is a huge variety just in this little sample!
The main differences between Pages and Posts are:
Posts are part of what make WordPress so powerful. Not necessarily because blogs are amazing (unless they’re about cupcakes, obviously) but because this concept of posts - a type of page we can easily create more of, categorise, tag, sort, and display in lists - can be extended upon in thousands of different ways from recipes to lost puppies, photo albums to products, business listings to (of course) cupcakes.
Given how powerful and important the ability to sort and categorise our content is, it’s no surprise that we have a few different ways to do it. Straight out of the box we have two ways we can organise our posts - Categories, and Tags.
If we imagine, for a second, that all of our posts were collated into a book - our categories would be like the contents page at the start of the book. Generally we have a limited number of categories, and posts will usually only fall into one category (although this isn’t a rule just bet practice).
If our website was focusing on reviewing movies, we might categorise our movies by Genre - so our categories would be things like Horror, Adventure, Romance & Comedy.
A blog about business might have categories like Marketing, Operations, Finance & Leadership.
Just like a chapter of a book might have sub-chapters, we can also have sub-categories (child categories). For example on a business blog the ‘Marketing’ category might have sub-categories for Lead Generation, Conversion & Content Marketing.
It is common for top level categories (parent categories) to be shown in key places on your website, such as a drop down menu under your Blog menu item, or in the sidebar if you have one. You can control this from the customiser, either in the menus tab or using widgets (in the sidebar).
Categories will usually also have their own Archive Page - basically an automatically generated page that displays all of the posts that have been allocated to that category.
If categories are like our contents page, tags are like our index. Rather than choosing a small number of categories and fitting each post into one (or just a few) categories it is common to add lots of tags to a single post. Tags are often keywords that might be searched for - similar to how we use hashtags on social media like Twitter or Instagram.
Just like with categories, it is common for websites to have Archive Pages for tags that automatically display a list of posts that have been tagged with a particular term.
Tags are non-hierarchical (they can’t have parents or children) - just like how the index of a text book is one big list of keywords and does not have any other form of sorting or categorisation.
You can view any existing posts by clicking on the Posts menu item on the sidebar in your dashboard. You will notice that it will look very similar to the Pages list, with the addition of a ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ column. You can create a new post by clicking the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page, and the editing and publishing process is virtually identical to that used for pages.
You can also view a list of your current posts by clicking on ‘View Posts’ in the toolbar, or clicking Blog in your main menu when viewing the front-end of your website.