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Posts vs Pages

WordPress Posts vs Pages and Why Should you use Custom Post Types

While working on the new reviews section, I thought to change the way I publish reviews on the blog, I need another way to sort it. I was thinking to publish reviews as blog pages instead of posts. Why? The main reason is to have more control over page layout, plus having more easy way to implements Google microdata snippets for reviews.

For sure, I don’t want to ignore SEO, this makes me think of WordPress posts vs pages for SEO!

So, I’ve tried to discover the real difference between post and page regarding search engines optimization, and which one has more SEO privileges.

A quick look into WordPress Posts VS Pages

Before we start, let’s assume that we have two sites, both have exact everything, and they are equal in terms of content, plugins, theme, and other search engine optimization stuff like (titles, URLs, structure, keyword research, backlinks, etc.).

A very interesting thing to mention is that any WordPress site built primarily with posts will perform much better in search engines than one built mostly with pages, of course assuming that both sites has the exact everything and they are equal. This is not imagining, it’s based on my personal experience.

If you look at the WordPress post vs page comparison at WordPress.com support, you will find out some differences like…

WordPress blog posts

Posts are entries listed in reverse chronological order on the blog home page or on the posts page if you have set one in Settings > Reading. If you have created any sticky posts, those will appear before the other posts. Posts can be found in the Archives, Categories, Recent Posts, and other widgets. Posts are also displayed in the RSS feed of the blog. You can control how many posts are displayed at a time in the Reading Settings. Read more about posts.

WordPress blog pages

Pages are static and are not listed by date. Pages do not use tags or categories. An About page is the classic example. Pages can be displayed in the sidebar using the Pages widget, and some themes display pages in tabs at the top of the blog. If you have 50 pages and you use the Pages widget, then all pages will be listed all the time. Read more about pages.

Additional information

The description of posts and pages above is very short and general as they just made this information available for WordPress.com users, and it has nothing about SEO, but I have an important comment here…

They say Pages are static. This is not really the way it is. You must know that every single piece of content presented by WordPress is -in fact- a web page. that has been created dynamically. The term “static” was used here to presents the meaning of “static content” or “content is not changing often”, this is confusing, but it’s not hard to understand! Let me explain it more…

Every WP page is dynamic, as WP pulls content from database, so basically WP Page is just another virtual page that doesn’t really exists till someone call it (a visitor jumped on the page url)!

So, back to the explanation of “static page”, this means the content of pages are not likely to be changed or edited for long time. (You don’t edit your About page every day, don’t you?!)

Here are a few other things to consider while comparing posts and pages:

  • WordPress posts and pages both pings other sites when they created or updated (both should be indexed well).
  • Both has same SEO options.
  • Pages do not cycle through by date, but this doesn’t mean it has no publishing date. (I wonder how Google will deal with it regarding microdata)
  • Pages are not included in RSS feed, but this plugin can include WordPress pages in RSS feed.
  • Pages has nothing to do with the blog, it’s not hanged to anything (only sub pages) It’s an awesome flying piece of content!
  • Use pages to for content you want people to see every time they visit your blog.

Check out this quick example that I’ve created to explain the very basic WordPress blog structure, this may help to see how your blog looks like:

wordpress pages vs posts

Now, you think about it!

You can easily get all posts on the blog plus other pages to link to a particular page simply by adding a link to that page in the blog navigation menu. However, you can do the same thing for posts, but it’s not a perfect idea. In my opinion, navigation should only link to pages and categories! Mainly put links to the stuff you would like your visitors to see all the time!

Technically speaking, both pages and posts are stored exactly the same way in WordPress database, in the same table, The only difference is the post_type field which is set to page for pages, and post for posts, and basically bot have same data saved, including SEO data.

Pages or Posts for better SEO ?

I don’t know, but I think the question is wrong; I am just not comfortable with it, maybe because every wrong question is likely to have a wrong answer!

I think Google won’t care that much whether you publish a post or page, but probably Google prefers posts, that’s why Google still considering how you tagged your blog posts.
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Considering that most WordPress sites link to their Pages from every other url within their site, we could came up with a nice conclusion, Pages are more important for SEO.

Wait a minute!

Ana, wrote a nice post on SEO-Group.net sharing some SEO trick! But hey…

Please don’t tell me that you will turn your posts into pages for better SEO or ranking!

Why?

The right answer (for the wrong question) is you must have both -posts and pages- on your blog to actually rank well, they both work together some how! Pages are used to define your main focus, important information, and what’s your blog is about. It’s for your main keywords, while Posts are the publishing platform, it’s what you should use to ping search engines and get a RSS!

But, turning your blog posts into pages? I think this isn’t right, especially if your post got already some comments and shares!.

I won’t be turning a blog post into a page just to rank it higher, I would do this only to include this post into the core of my blog, but I don’t see this as a useful SEO practice. The way I see it right is to create a custom post type for product reviews.

P.S. What’s you’ve read above presents my personal opinion!  (I respect the experiment, I appreciate it when someone take the time to share good stuff).

Why Should I use Custom Post Types

Before we get to answer this question, we probably need to understand types of content we can have in WordPress, and what are custom post types, so take a look here to understand posts types.

  1. Posts: the main type used by the blog.
  2. Pages: are like posts, but lives outside the normal time based structure of posts.
  3. Attachments: a special post that holds information about files uploaded through the Media upload system.
  4. Revisions: hold draft posts as well as any past revisions of existing posts or pages.
  5. Nav Menus: holds information about a single item in the Navigation Menu system.
  6. Custom Post Types: allow you to define the post type and how it operates within WordPress.

As you see, WordPress have a few post types and more than one way to deliver content, since WordPress 3.0 version, you’ve got the capability to add your own custom post types and to use them in different ways, for example: products, events, people, testimonials, podcasts, reviews, ratings, movies, cars, offers, places, etc.

The cool thing I see about custom posts types is the ability to add  microdata and rich snippets, this will allow Google and other search engines to get to know your content better. Also, you can have RSS feed for your custom post types and feed it to Google, here is a post on how to create custom post type feed that is really useful.

Finally, I’ve got stars

I’ve succeeded on getting the stars for my reviews in Google results, check out this screenshot of my ThirstyAffiliates review:

review search results

It looks pretty cool, ha?

But it took me several weeks of coding and playing around till finally I’ve got it to work, but this is not the important thing, really! The important thing to me is the knowledge of how to write power reviews and get them indexed with stars in Google. I finally got it, but it’s horribly coded in my Thesis theme I am using on this blog.

Now that I know how it works, I will be able to start over and re-code the whole thing into a custom post type!

Conclusion

Pages and Posts has the same exact SEO features, but I think Google will look more seriously into blogs that are implementing microdata and rich snippets.

I wish I could go back in time and re-structure my blog.

I recommend custom post type for reviewing products.

I create websites with WordPress, and I develop Thesis Skins. I am a social network lover. I am also the night creature who works hard to keep this project up. Owner and founder of the Famous Blog.

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{ 27 comments… add one }

  • TimSham October 29, 2013, 1:01 am

    This is great information on custom posts..I hope this will be very helpful and useful to us…Anyway good to share with this imperative information…

  • Dean July 10, 2013, 6:42 pm

    I have a very small simple personal hobby website and I opted to use pages, I wonder if someone could please take a look and let me know if I have done the right thing? I mainly have photos of my music equipment however, I also post some of my own blog thoughts, but have used pages there too.

    Thank you.
    Dean.

  • Dean Pattinson March 15, 2013, 6:41 pm

    Hi Hesham,

    Thanks for the article and info..

    My comment: Never forget that google will always rank relevant content and the quantity of it above all other things. Keep filling you site with relevant content and people will find it!

    Dean

  • Robert January 26, 2013, 8:22 pm

    Hi Hesham,
    Good write up! I was expecting to read more info about how SEO is affected when you used Custom Post Type, but I found very little info. I will hunt around to see if I can find that info.

    BTW, you have a typo in your article. You said: “I think Google won’t care that much whither you publish a post or page” whereas it should have been “I think Google won’t care that much WHETHER you publish a post or page”. Not a big deal, but just wanted to let you know because I came across it while reading your article.

    • Hesham Zebida January 27, 2013, 8:20 pm

      I’ve got a few custom post types here on the blog and also on some other sites, I can say that custom post types takes more time to get indexed than the default “post” type, I just didn’t test this out so I really don’t know. It would be interesting to find out.

      Thanks for letting me know about the typo, it’s all good now.

  • Shalu Sharma
    Twitter:
    July 23, 2012, 5:11 am

    Very interesting article. Sometimes many bloggers need a stand alone page but is confused which one to go for blog post or page. I Think blog post might be slightly better in terms of SEO but really don’t know.

  • Trung Nguyen
    Twitter:
    June 1, 2012, 10:19 am

    I don’t know which is better for SEO, post or page, however, I think we can using both to get high ranking for our keyword. Nice explain, Hesham, I’m going to check the post you listed above, Top Google Rankings: How I Got Google to Say Yes, thanks for sharing it to us.
    Trung Nguyen recently posted..How to Register a Domain Name – Step by Step GuideMy Profile

  • Milly May 14, 2012, 12:05 am

    Thank you for above information! I do have a question that seems to be avoided by everyone and every ‘search’ I do – Can a website have several static pages? If so, how?

    • Hesham Zebida May 14, 2012, 12:38 am

      Hi Milly, you can simply build your blog or site the way you like, posts or pages it’s all depends on your needs and/or what your site is actually about!

  • Louis
    Twitter:
    December 23, 2011, 2:51 am

    I implemented schemas on one of my blogs and a while ago it got its PR improved. Not sure if it’s because of the schemas but I guess it’s worth doing :)
    Louis recently posted..How Google Panda Revolutionized SEO Web CopywritingMy Profile

  • Assaf December 15, 2011, 9:49 am

    Few months ago I made a mistake and created few pieces of content as pages instead of posts. Yes, I consider it as a mistake and here is why:

    These pages are not showing under the categories, tags or any WP organic structure. This leads to have less built-in internal linking to these pages. Another disadvantage is when you comment on CommentLuv blogs, they will not be fetched from the RSS feed.

    While there are ways to bypass the downsides, I still regret creating those specific as pages. In my opinion, pages should only be created for administration pages like about, privacy policy, disclaimer etc’
    Assaf recently posted..Lexington Law: Credit Repair ServicesMy Profile

  • michael December 11, 2011, 5:40 am

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work.

  • DiTesco
    Twitter:
    December 9, 2011, 10:36 am

    This is some good piece of information Hesham. I have heard about custom post types before but in my mind, it was more of a developers concern, rather than from a user standpoint. The theories behind post and pages is really debatable as I have seen many “mixed” information about this out there. What you are saying here though does make sense. Like Brankica, I too don’t like much to be messing with codes, specially because its not my thing :) Sure wish there was a plugin that could achieve the same results without having to code anything :) The stars are awesome
    DiTesco recently posted..How Being Creative And Helpful Can Get You PaidMy Profile

  • Ana December 9, 2011, 9:08 am

    Interesting observations, Hesham.

    The main point that stood out to me was this: you wouldn’t go through the process of turning posts into pages just because of higher search engine rankings. However, I would in a heartbeat.

    As I mentioned in my original post, I’ve tested my theory twice now, and both times I ranked highly for pages when I couldn’t rank for posts.

    This has nothing to do with comments or reader engagement; as you know, both are still possible with a page.

    Most SEOs do agree with my theory; check out this one: http://yoast.com/articles/wordpress-seo/#pagesvsposts

    On another note, I did notice how you did the stars in the SERPs and wanted to ask you how you achieved it.

    Willing to share the secret once you clean up the code? LOL
    Ana recently posted..5 Ways to Make Money with Email MarketingMy Profile

  • Ray December 8, 2011, 9:57 pm

    I am with you in terms of pages and posts are both dynamic. Doesn’t matter if they change or don’t change. I think there is some confusion because of the term page. Things like wordpress core files are static, uploaded images, and things that are physically stored on your server or hosting account are static. That is the way I have always taken static vs. dynamic anyway. The Permalink settings can add to a little confusion making a page or post resemble a static page or post such when the post looks something like posts-vs-pages . html. It looks like a physical page because of the .html but it’s not.
    Ray recently posted..7 Free Uptime Monitoring Services for your WebsiteMy Profile

  • Lakhyajyoti December 8, 2011, 9:48 pm

    Learn lots of new things about posts vs pages.Surely apply your tips on my new blog.Hesham, thanks for your wonderful post.
    Lakhyajyoti recently posted..Pay Rs 0 For iPhone 4sMy Profile

  • Dave Doolin
    Twitter:
    December 8, 2011, 9:07 pm

    I owe Josh a review of Thirsty Affiliates myself.

    Congratulations on scoring that rich snippet listing. That’s very, very cool.

    Hesham, I have a special paper (very expensive) coming soon on custom post types. You might be interested.
    Dave Doolin recently posted..10 Tips for Blogging Productivity (when you have other things to do)My Profile

    • Hesham Zebida December 8, 2011, 9:29 pm

      Yeah, Josh reminded me with how me met on your blog a few years ago :)

      Great, so much interested, I would even it update this post and add a link to it!

      • Dave Doolin
        Twitter:
        December 8, 2011, 9:44 pm

        I’ll ping you when I publish it.

        BTW, expect to see just a little bit more of me in the future. I took a year (more or less) off the hard core blogging to teach myself Ruby on Rails. I’m over the hard part now, and have a web application which should monetize once I get the customer persona down pat. I suspect bloggers will be interested as early adopters. Will be Q1 or Q2 2012 at my current pace of development.

  • Aidy
    Twitter:
    December 8, 2011, 8:39 pm

    Awesome Hesham. I wish I could go back and re-do my blog design. But the best thing about it all is, that you have the opportunity to be a constant learner!
    Aidy recently posted..Point Blank – ReviewMy Profile

  • Brankica
    Twitter:
    December 8, 2011, 8:31 pm

    I don’t even see the custom post type in my dashboard! I know there is something in new WP and I have the last version on the blog, but it isn’t displayed anywhere on my dashboard… So I can’t do this :)

    I created more static content on my blog recently and I was even thinking of converting a bigger part of it into a static site. I found that my static sites rank great and their blog posts don’t necessarily rank better, so I am not sure what conclusion to have about this ;)
    Brankica recently posted..31 Amazing Christmas Gifts for Your Favorite BloggerMy Profile

    • Hesham Zebida December 8, 2011, 8:47 pm

      That makes a lot of sense! You can not see the custom post type in WP dashboard because you haven’t registered any posts type using the register_post_type function, it requires some code :)

      I really don’t understand what you mean by static content, and why you think it’s “static”, are you pointing to pages that has no comments?

      I think what ranks a “static” page higher is pages are likely to get more backlinks than posts, they way it flying alone, plus the domain authority!

      • Brankica
        Twitter:
        December 8, 2011, 8:59 pm

        Yes, static as in not post but page with no comments, like landing pages. So I would not display “twitter” as a category with excerpts but more of a “twitter” page created as a landing page where I send people to read all about Twitter on my blog. Yeah, I know I don’t make much sense but I know what I mean LOL

        I am too scared to even get into that code :)
        Brankica recently posted..31 Amazing Christmas Gifts for Your Favorite BloggerMy Profile

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