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Are You Abusing Your WordPress Pages – and Your Blog?


Here are two of the most important definitions you need to know about your WordPress blog:

Post: An article published within a blog and displayed in chronological order within multi-post pages such as the front page, category, searches, archives, tags, and other page views.

Page: A pseudo-static web page which holds content on a blog outside of the chronological order. A Page (written properly as capitalized) typically holds timeless, reference content such as information about the blog and blog owner(s), contact information, schedule of events, links to resources and references, table of contents or site maps, copyright and legal policies, and other information a site needs to provide to visitors. A Page is viewed when the link is clicked from the blog. Currently in WordPress, unless otherwise overwritten, a Page is not viewed in search results, categories, archives, or other multi-post page views.

Let’s look at how some beginner bloggers are abusing Pages on their blogs. These examples may sound familiar.

Pages Are For Articles

WordPress Administration Panel - Posts and Pages linksA year ago, a blogger came to the WordPress Support Forum confused and frustrated. He’d been publishing articles on his blog and no one could find them. He tried to assign them to categories, but he couldn’t figure out how to do it. They were turning up in search engines, but he and others were having trouble with accessing them on his blog through his blog’s feed.

A quick visit to his blog found only four posts on his blog’s font page, and a sidebar listing of Pages that stretched down for 4 screen scrolls, all in alphabetical order.

It turned out that he was using Pages for publishing his blog posts and not posts.

These Pages hold content that removes itself from the chronological listing on a WordPress blog, known as the WordPress Loop, code which collects and displays post data within your blog’s Theme. When you publish a Page, access is only through the list of Pages in your Theme’s sidebar, typically in alphabetical order, possibly grouped by Pages with subPages. They do not appear on the front page of your blog as a post, nor on categories, archives, or other multi-post page views on your blog.

They also do not appear on your blog’s feed as only posts are added to the feed.

The blogger was advised to copy and paste all of the Page content into posts, which then allowed categorization and made them appear on his blog’s feed. It also put them on the front page of his blog, allowed them to be included in the default WordPress blog search.

His readers were thrilled and his readership increased as the normal function of his blog returned, putting the focus back on the posts and off of the Pages.

Pages Are Showcases

Another blogger used the WordPress Pages feature to showcase articles, intent on driving his readers towards the “best” of his article writing. He created a main Page called “Articles” and then added over a dozen of his best articles as subPages. On the main Articles Page, he put a list of links to the Pages in his Page list. In the sidebar of his WordPress Theme, the Articles Page was featured in the Page list, along with the 12 featured articles.

In addition, he regularly published blog posts.

Every few weeks, he would dig into his Pages and copy the content from those 12 Pages and paste them into posts. He’d delete the Pages and create 12 new ones with new “featured” articles. He’d then edit the list in the main Articles Page to point to the Pages. The old 12 Pages were now posts. He played with the timestamp feature of WordPress to back date the posts to the date he published them as Pages, “incorporating” them back into his blog.

This process would take him about two hours or more, though he said he was getting faster each time.

When asked why he did it this way, he said that he wanted to show off his best writing to attract writing jobs and reprint sales. I asked him why he didn’t use a most popular post lists WordPress Plugin instead. He didn’t know such a thing existed.

“These articles are my resume. My portfolio. I want to showcase my best work so everyone can see them and want to hire me as a writer.”

I explained that this method was only working for him, and against him, not for his readers nor new visitors.

From a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, once an article is a Page, it is scanned once by search engines for inclusion in their database. A blog post gets scanned several times, as a single post page view and within categories, tags, archives, and other multi-post page views. While Google warns that duplicate content, called supplemental indexes, is frowned upon, it is natural. What they frown upon is the abusive use of duplicate content within and across blogs by spam blogs (splogs) violating copyrights and just spreading copy and paste content around stuffed with ad links. The natural multiplicity of blog post content increases exposure of your blog posts.

An article sitting on a Page gets one chance to make it into a search engine’s search results.

If your job is to promote your writing skills and attract freelance or contract writing jobs, then let everything you publish on your blog be its best. Let your entire blog’s content be your resume and portfolio.

Besides, I told him, think of how you could better spend those two to four hours playing around with posts and Pages. You could be writing an even better article.

Are You Abusing Pages?

Think about it. How do new people find your content? Searches and referring links. They land on a web page on your site and are thrilled. They’ve found the answer.

Do they know it’s a Page or a post? No.

Do they care? No.

How do your regular readers find your content? Through feeds and a visit to your front page, or to a specific category of posts or category feed of posts. Pages are not included in your feeds nor categories, nor on the front page of your blog. Why bother?

Stop thinking print and start thinking blog.

How to Showcase Your Blog Posts and Articles

If you have a need to promote, honor, and showcase specific articles, published as posts, on your blog, here are some tips:

  • Let a Post’s Traffic Speak For Itself: Using a WordPress Plugin that features your most popular posts showcases the posts that get the most traffic on your blog in a list in your sidebar. If the reader’s like it, it must be good, right?
  • What Have You Been Doing Recently? When a visitor arrives on a web page of your blog, and they like what they see, they want to know what else you’ve been up to. Using a recent posts WordPress Plugin calls attention to what you’ve been doing recently, no matter which page they land on within your blog.
  • Example of a related post list with a WordPress PluginHave You Done Anything Else Like This? A related posts WordPress Plugin is usually generated at the bottom of a blog post, but can also be found in the WordPress Theme sidebar. It lists posts related to this one, which helps the visitor find relevant content to learn more about the subject, or find the answer if this post doesn’t quite have the answer.
  • Featured Posts: There are several ways to feature one or more blog posts, if you want to call attention to them on your blog’s front page. Using a WordPress Plugin that calls out posts from your archives, or from a specific date, or allows you to Example of feature post in WordPress blogspecify which posts to showcase, you can create a “featured posts” section on the front page and category pages of your blog, directing your readers to what you want them to notice. These techniques, however, do not add the posts to your blog’s feed. They are only visible to those visiting your blog.
  • Create an Article Portfolio: If you really want to showcase and promote your writing, why not create a portfolio within your blog on a Page. List your “favorite” articles with links to the posts, and maybe even include a short excerpt and a thumbnail screenshot of the post to give it some flair. You can easily update or change the posts within this list any time, changing only one Page, not a bunch of Pages, and only manipulating titles and a little content, not full articles. Let this serve as your resume of your writing and your entire blog speak for all your best work.
  • Link to Old Posts Within Your New Posts: If you want to bring attention to your old posts, link to them from within your new posts. Use them as references. Create manual lists of references and resources to other posts you’ve written on the subject. Find ways of including links to one or more past posts in every blog post and you increase the web “links” and navigation to deeper content within your blog.
  • Create a Good Site Map: It used to be that a website wasn’t ready until its site map was in place, a directory and road map for visitors to use to help them find important references and resources within the site. Few blogs today offer a decent site map, and I think we need to go back to the good old days and put more energy into creating a good site map and table of contents for our blogs. A good site map features blog posts by category, grouping like content together to help the visitor find the information they need. It’s a great way to feature articles you’ve done on a subject, and showcase your body of work, rather than just a list of 5 or 10 posts.

We need to stop thinking “print” and starting thinking “blog” and the power of content management within a blog. Our content gets maximum exposure when it is published as a post, not a Page.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging.

46 Comments

  1. Posted September 18, 2007 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Am I the only one who read the WordPress Docs before I got started (that was more than 1.5 years ago…)? *silence*

  2. Posted September 18, 2007 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    redwall:

    Given what I see all the time on the WordPress Support Forums… Yes, probably. :)

  3. Posted September 18, 2007 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I don’t know. Since I’ve been writing, editing, and contributing to the creation of the WordPress Codex (Docs) for four years, hopefully you are among the many not the few.

  4. Posted September 18, 2007 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    Yet another great post! I just wanted to mention that John Godley over at UrbanGiraffe.com has actually released a plugin that will enable you to search your Posts *and* Pages. It’s called Search Unleashed.

    While this may seem unimpressive at first (as there’s also another plugin that does something similar), the major difference is that John’s plugin actually searches the content *after* other plugins have been called. So, really, it can search all the Post and Page content on your site *including* any plugin generated content (like from an FAQ plugin for example).

    I wrote about the plugin briefly in my “Kitten Protection” post last week, if you’re interested.

    Oh… and John’s also updated the Sniplets plugin too so I’ll be updating my Semi-Static Homepage tip soon once I’ve tested the new functionality. Hopefully, that post will leave you speechless a second time round ;)

  5. Posted September 18, 2007 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a fun gotcha that I hit — if you have too many pages with the Sandbox theme you’ll often send a track back with nothing but your page titles.

    Really sucks, and highlights the biggest problem with wordpress.com — you can’t do a one minute fix to a theme in a situation like this.

  6. Posted September 18, 2007 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Why are the titles of pages hyperlinks? Also, why do so many templates allow comments at the bottom of pages? It seems like these two features are unnecessary. Can you supply the logic there?

  7. Posted September 18, 2007 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Zain: That is a great WordPress Plugin, and there are a few others that work well, too. It improves things by adding Pages to the search.

    Engtech: I’m confused. How can you send a trackback which involves Page? From a link on Page? Or to a Page? How does this bug manifest itself and have you reported it to Scott and Andy?

    Tom Johnson: I’ll do my best to explain these.

    1. Why are the titles of pages hyperlinks?

    I believe you are referring to titles of Pages and posts on a blog’s single post page view being in a link. The link acts as a permalink, so the reader can copy the link to the post right from the title to paste into their blog or whatever. Some actually right click on the post title link to add that post to their browser bookmarks. Some people, for reasons that really confuse and perplex me, don’t have the Address bar open on their browser, and that’s the only way, other than the tiny permalink link in the post meta data of some WordPress Themes and blog designs, to find the link to the post in order to link to it.

    For those who are power bloggers, they’ve come to adore the Copy Link Text (CoLT) Firefox Extension which adds a a small menu option to the right click menu to copy the link WITH THE TEXT in a proper, web standard, ready to paste anchor HTML tag. With a right click, and click to copy link, I can switch to my blog post and CTRL+V and paste the link right into my blog post, the title of the post all spelled out exactly as the blogger intended. It saves interminable keystrokes and time. I LOVE THIS EXTENSION! Can’t blog without it!

    2. Why do so many templates allow comments at the bottom of pages?

    They didn’t used to, but people wanted them, and Theme designers put them in. They wanted them mostly because people were abusing Pages as articles and such. Still, as the Contact Page is one of the most popular uses of the Page feature, having comments is a nice option on that Page, as an alternative to a contact form.

    The comments can be turned on and off from the Page Write panel, but you can quickly remove the “include” or “get” code from a WordPress Theme for the page view – IF the WordPress Theme includes a page.php template file.

    If there is no page.php, WordPress automatically generates the Page view with the index.php file, which typically includes comments. You can create an conditional tag statement with the comment form in a condition that says “display comments if a post, but if a page, don’t display the comment template file”.

  8. Posted September 19, 2007 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Yours is one of the most amazing and clearly written blogs I´ve ever read. Seems to me more like a book, with good ideas carefully explained, than the typical and quick how-to that you can find usually on the Internet. I mean, instead of just putting down pieces of information, you provide with ALL the useful data. also love the design. greetings!

  9. timethief
    Posted September 19, 2007 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for writing this excellent post on how to use Pages effectively. There is rarely more than a 2-3 day span of time on the wordpress.com forum when this subject does not come up. Currently there is a trend towards having a static landing page as a front page. This simply means that there is nothing on that click through front page that can be used to contribute to a page rank. However, they are trendy so when I point this out and explain the lack of Google juice that static pages (front or otherwise) get my words are frequently “no well received.”

  10. Posted September 19, 2007 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    All this is for WordPress.org only? Because I think pages do get searched in WordPress.com. Now they’re even included in the most popular posts plugins aren’t they?

    How come they get the hits if they are reviewed by the search engines only once?

  11. Posted September 21, 2007 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    I’ve recently set up a WP blog on a Windows host. I’ve managed to put the ISAPI rewrite rules in place for permalinks to work properly, but I’m having a problem with Pages.

    If I set my Permalink options to default, my About page works. But if I set it to anything else (which I’d like to do) any page link results in a 404. Do I have to add more rules to my httpd.ini file to get the pages to work ok?

  12. Posted September 21, 2007 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    The permalinks are controlled in the .htaccess file, not the other. You should not have to do anything. I recommend if this doesn’t “fix itself”, you ask on the WordPress Support Forums.

  13. Posted September 27, 2007 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Great article lorelle, i stop by from time to time (i really should subscribe when i get home today)… but anyway I liked the last example you gave :) Very nicely put. I just posted some seo tips for WP2.3, wondered if you could look them over?

  14. Posted November 24, 2007 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I appreciate the clear focused clarification on pages and posts. I have a question though; Is it a bad thing to have 2 pages that display information from loop? I want to have the regular posts going through my “news” page; but I’d really like to channel posts tagged with the sermon category on my “sermons” page. I have really been confused as to the best means of achieving this goal.

    Is this the best approach? Do you have a recommendation for this kind of scenario?
    Thanks!

  15. Posted November 24, 2007 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    @David Stembridge:

    I think it’s not worth it. Why bother? If you have that much disparate content, then have two blogs and connect them with feeds. Think it through. When was the last time you clicked a “read page two” link? Make the front page valuable and the door to the rest of the content. It’s a blog, not a magazine or newspaper.

  16. Posted January 25, 2008 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I understand the distinction between Pages and Posts, but I was trying to learn more about them because of the nature of our site – we have LOTS of pages.

    We publish daily articles (Posts) but we also have a wealth of static content, which is placed outside the chronology, in a huge hierarchy of Pages. Think Guidebook meets Travel Magazine. Using Pages for the guidebook section allows us to automatically create our navigation menus.

    But what we’re finding is that our Pages don’t seem to get indexed as well as our Posts, which is a real problem because it’s our best content. Also, WP seems to be getting sluggish with SO many Pages, especially in the Admin area.

    Any thoughts or advice would be very appreciated =)

  17. Posted January 25, 2008 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    @ Cesar from Argentina:

    This is such a prime example of Page abuse. Get them out of Pages.

    The next version of WordPress will improve search and indexing of Pages, but you are overwhelming your readers. Set the related “Pages” as posts and connect them using an article series WordPress Plugin like the In Series WordPress Plugin. Create a table of contents with links to each of these from a Page or Pages. It will get you more coverage and be of so much value to your readers.

    The number of Pages does not slow WordPress. The more content on a panel, the longer anything takes to load. The version you are using, and all of the Admin Plugins and code changes you have made slows it down. Make sure you are using the most up-to-date version of WordPress as it is much faster, and it protects your site from harm as there are a lot of hackers out there looking for old versions of WordPress.

  18. Posted January 29, 2008 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Lorelle. That’s really interesting, so it’s an actual issue that pages index/rank worse than posts? Why is that?

    I get dizzy at the thought of copying all my page content into new posts. Is there an easier way to do this?

  19. Posted January 29, 2008 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    @ Cesar from Argentina:

    No, there isn’t a better way. I think there once was a Plugin that would do it, but I don’t know if it is being supported any more. You might have a look.

    Pages don’t rank better or worse. They just are not found within the search from the blog’s search form. They are also harder to navigate and – oh, trust me and stop abusing your Pages. :D Consider your punishment moving them to posts. hee hee.

  20. Posted January 29, 2008 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh, that’s what you meant about search. I’m not using the default search box though, so my pages do turn up. I’m with you on navigation though; it’s confusing to my visitors to have one hierarchy of categories for posts and a different one for pages.

  21. Posted February 15, 2008 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I am abusing pages on my blog, but all I really want is a way to colapse my sub pages when I am not using them.

    I have over 70 pages, and will probably add 10 or 20 more next week. My pages already go 3 levels deep and I think I could really use 5 levels.

    Categories don’t nessessarily work for me because I am often re-posting changes to my rules (my blog is about me developing a board game) and I want to keep my old rules and ideas so I don’t lose them.

    I use the Pages to list the Active rules, and to make it eaiser fo rmy players who read my blog to find the newest rules, and new additions.

    I have looked through plugins but everything is about colapsable categories, very little about pages.

    Currently I have having my wife (Weasel of Doom) hack my theme, to make it easier for people to find things.

    Maybe I should be using categories differently I am just not sure.

    Bill

  22. Posted February 15, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    @ Bill the Annoying:

    Yes, you are abusing your pages, but if the system works for you, that’s all that matters. If you want to keep your rules and ideas in a place where you won’t lose them, I recommend putting them in a text file with a backup and not on your bog – unless your readers really need to know the old rules.

    As for collapsing your subPages – remember it is more important that your readers can use your blog than you. That’s the purpose of a blog.

    I don’t know if that’s the advice you are looking for, but I hope it helps.

  23. Posted February 19, 2008 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    So if I wanted to keep everything in Posts, and have people find things by using Categories (then I could use collapsible-categories) woudl I have to set it up as follows?

    Category = Abilities
    Sub Category = Magic Abilities
    * Sub Category = Flame Blast
    * * Sub Category = Improved Flame Blast (it’s a sub ability)
    * Sub Category = Mana Conversion

    Then each Ability post about a given Ability, would be under it’s own Category.

    Example: the “Improved Flame Blast – Ability” would be in the catagory “Improved Flame Blast” as would any other posts that delt with “Improved Flame Blast”?

    In this way I am only makes Posts instead of Posting and copying into a new Page as well, which is what I currently do.

    Bill

  24. Posted February 19, 2008 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    @ Bill the Annoying:

    Since I am not familiar with your game, I can’t comment on the appropriateness of the word choices for the categories.

    If these are instructions for playing your game, then they need to be in Pages, with a subPage for each large amount of information per section (ability). Or all in one online guidebook. (Again, list only the instructions for the most recent version of the game – keep the historical notes in your text editor or whatever online notebook form you use.)

    If these are editorial commentaries about the specific improvements and features of the game, like an announcement of changes to the Flame Blast, then they are posts and can point to the updated Page for the instructions. On the Page with the information that defines usage of the Flame Blast, you could include a link to the “new” update information on the post. Make sense?

    Think of Pages as your static instructional guide and posts as newsworthy tips, information and techniques.

    Does that help? My husband writes computer games as a hobby so I am familiar with writing technical computer game guides and such. That is how I would structure a blog that supports one of his games.

  25. mdstudio
    Posted February 21, 2008 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    Thank you for your wonderful articles and for sharing your exhaustive knowledge. I very much appreciate this wonderful resource. I am new to WP, having recently migrated from MovableType. Though I am having some issues with my new blog, it’s a vast improvement from my old one in so many ways.

    My blog that I have has been set up by a design company who, for the most part, has done a wonderful job. I am unfortunately having a lot of database connection errors, particularly when my traffic is higher (5,000 users a day). I am told that this is due to the number of categories and pages that the site presently has (500 of each) and the high number of database queries.

    It’s a blog about television and is set up this way: I have about 10 main categories (News, Store, etc.). One of them is TV Shows, which has about 500 subcategories. Each subcategory is a show title and there is a page associated with each. That page displays a photo, some information about the program, and links to related posts and external sites.

    The search engine on the site finds posts and pages equally.

    When I go to the Manage>Pages page, I get an out-of-memory error. As a workaround, I’ve been just doing a search on the Manage>Posts page to locate and edit pages.

    Aside from the Manage>Pages issue, is there a disadvantage to using pages in this way? Are they contributing to my database error problems more than posts? I’ve been searching for a plug-in that will help manage pages (like Alex King’s Category Overload does for categories) but have not had success.

    Off-topic, does it sound reasonable that I’m having such database connection problems with a blog that has 500 categories? I’ve been encouraged to look into getting Category Overload updated to help manage the categories so there’s not so much load to the server. It’s been suggested that I get a dedicated server. I’m not against this (other than $) but want to be sure that it’s going to solve the problem.

    Are there any plug-ins that will tell you where resources are being used on your site? I found one or two but they don’t work with 2.3. I suspect a couple plug-ins may be seriously contributing to the issue but can’t tell without severely disabling the site during a high traffic time.

    I’ve been working on getting this site ready for almost a year and have plans/dreams of really growing it. These database connection issues are driving me a bit crazy. Any suggestions that you can offer would be GREATLY appreciated.

  26. Posted February 21, 2008 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    @ mdstudio:

    Your problem isn’t a category or Page issue as much as it is a database issue. Install the new a href=”http://ocaoimh.ie/wp-super-cache/” title=”WP Super Cache 0.5.3″>WP Super Cache WordPress Plugin and see how that changes things.

    Your best plan with this is to contact a WordPress Expert from the WordPress Consultants list who has familiarity with database issues. They may be able to clean up a lot of your problems, within the Theme’s code that may be putting too much drain on your database, and with the rest of the issues you are having.

    Many people have over a hundred categories, often because they use them as tags not understanding their true purpose as a table of contents.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes.

  27. mdstudio
    Posted February 21, 2008 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle,
    Thanks very much for the advice. I already have WP Super Cache installed and even have it set to refresh pages every five hours. I’m still getting database errors like crazy.

    Interestingly, one of the companies on that list has done the site for me. The designer is having some personal problems so the head of the company is stepping in to help me though her plate is too full already. In the end, I don’t know how timely or complete the help I’ll get will be.

    I’ll go through the rest of the list and hopefully find an expert I can afford. I’m finding many are quite pricey ($150 a hour).
    Thanks again.

  28. Posted February 21, 2008 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    @ mdstudio:

    I know it isn’t cheap, but if it is your business, you can’t afford otherwise. Good luck with it and I hope they figure out the problems.

    Oh, you aren’t running translation Plugins or Ultimate Tag Warrior, are you? Some of the translation Plugins and UTW had terrible problems abusing the database. UTW is now deprecated and no longer supported because tags are built-in, but make sure your translation Plugins are updated and that you are using the latest version of WordPress.

  29. Posted June 21, 2008 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    @ Lorelle and Cesar from Argentina,

    A few months ago I created a plugin that should help those readers who already have created all of their content in Pages. This plugin will convert Pages to Posts, and vice versa.

    Hopefully this will now help your readers get through the headache of having to correct their site structure.

    Brian

  30. Posted June 23, 2008 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    @ bbbco:

    Thank you for the information! There are several Plugins which help convert Pages to posts in WordPress and this is a great addition. Thanks.

  31. Trevor
    Posted July 19, 2008 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Your article makes a lot of sense Lorelle.

    I moved to WordPress several months ago and am using 2.3 (I would upgrade but there are several plug-ins that I use and haven’t found workarounds for as yet). I worked with a designer who set up the site for me.

    I have hundreds of categories. Each category has its own page with a bunch of information on it and links to posts related to that category. When someone clicks on a category link, it takes them to the category page.

    My search finds both pages and posts equally.

    This system has worked well internally. However, I have found that the category pages, which initially placed very high in Google searches, are now much lower, nearly non-existent. They have good content and are updated. My posts meanwhile rank very high. Your paragraph on SEO ranking of pages appears to be quite true.

    I’m considering changing the pages to posts but am scared that I’ll unravel the whole structure of the site. Do you have any thoughts on how to best tackle this — particularly finding a way for the category link to take visitors to a category post instead of a page. Should I do redirects or is that a whole other can of worms?

    Thanks for any suggestions you can offer and for your excellent articles. I’ve learned much.

  32. Posted July 19, 2008 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    @ Trevor:

    First, upgrade. It’s required. The version you are using is at risk from hackers and abuse. Do it now.

    You are using categories as tags. I’d come up with a new category plan and keep it to 7-10, 5 is better that summarize your collections of posts in groups. Convert everything else to a tag (there are Plugins that will do that for you) and use a tag cloud to increase navigation.

    I’m also a little confused. Pages do not have categories, though they are coming soon. Are you talking about custom category template pages? The pages that are generated when you click on a category link? Consider those “search results” of posts within a specific category. They are not “Pages” in the sense that WordPress considers pseudo-static Pages that are outside of the post chronological sequence. Right now, Pages would not be included in your category pages, but they would appear in searches, as WordPress added the ability to index Pages among posts with the built-in search function a version or two ago.

    If you have that many static Pages, then you need to convert them to posts. The SEO coverage of them as posts linked to categories and tags will increase their “value” to search engines. There are Plugins that will help you convert them, and the latest versions of WordPress should automatically redirect without you having to do manual redirects.

    You are hurting yourself with so many Pages, if I understand how you have been abusing your blog. What a mess to navigate. Just bite the bullet and do it.

    And stop staring at your page rank. Start focusing on your readers’ needs and how to keep them returning for more rather than seeking new traffic. If you make your readers happy, they will naturally bring you more traffic. :D

  33. Posted July 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    Thanks very much for your reply.

    First, okay, you’ve convinced me about the upgrade. I’ve gone through the list of plug-ins and only a few haven’t upgraded. I feel pretty confident that I can find workarounds. As my theme is pretty intricate (and I didn’t set it up), I’ve certainly been hesitant. My blog is more complicated than most but is actually quite easy to navigate for visitors.

    I think I understand tags but don’t think that, out of the box, they will do what I want. On most blogs that I see, when you click a link for a tag (or a category for that matter), you’re taken to page that lists or display all associated posts (as you said, similar to search results).

    On my blog, when you click a link for a category, you’re taken to an individualized page. Here’s how the blog’s set up: I have seven main categories. Under one of those categories, I have 300+ subcategories. For each one of the subcategories, I have created an individual page that displays an image, a bunch of information, and links to related posts on my site (broken down by type of post like news, video, etc.). When someone clicks on a subcategory link, they’re taken to that subcategory’s individualized page. Unfortunately I’m not sure how this is accomplished as I didn’t set it up but as far as I can tell it not being done via a plug-in. When I create a new page/subcategory, as long as the subcategory name matches the page name, the two become connected.

    If I do as you suggest (upgrade to 2.5, change the 300+ subcategory pages to posts, and convert my subcategories to tags), does it seem like I’ll be able end up with a similar (but more WP compliant) structure? I guess the big question is, Is it possible to link a tag to a post that I can use as the tag’s individualized page (with all of the particular info that I described)? If not, could I do redirects of the natural Tag syntax to the appropriate post or would that mess something else up?

    Thanks very much for your help. I greatly appreciate your experience and obvious expertise.
    Trevor

  34. Posted July 21, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    @ Trevor:

    Ah, I think there is some confusion here. It’s the pages versus Pages in WordPress thingie. The category “pages” are web pages generated by WordPress to hold more than one post sorted by the category they are in, like search results. A Page, with a capital P, are pseudo-static pages as discussed in this article – like Contact, About, Events, Schedule, Site Map, and so on.

    When someone clicks a category on your blog, they are taken to the category template “web page”, not a pseudo-static Page. Does that make sense.

    How this is set up is that your category.php file has been customized to display information you enter in the category panel, such as a description for that specific category. This technique was developed by myself and friends and explained in Category Templates – Writing Custom Category Templates towards the bottom of that page. It’s a “one-template-does-everything” template file. A variable can be set up to show only that category’s posts, not the subcategory posts. You have to click through to that subcategory to see its posts. Does that resemble what you are talking about?

    So forget the earlier advice. Converting what are not Pages to posts won’t work as these pages are not listed in your Pages under Manage on the WordPress Administration Panel, are they? If they are, we have even bigger problems with your blog to solve.

    Upgrading is still mandatory, no matter what else you do. One step at a time. Figure out if what I describe here is right.

    If you go to Manage > Pages, do you see a page listing for every single one of the pages you are talking about?

  35. Posted July 21, 2008 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    Actually, the category pages are static Pages. I manually enter the information on them and they don’t change unless I manually change them. When I go to Manage > Pages, I see them in a list.

    Here’s a sample that might make it easier to understand. Links to related posts are towards the bottom of the page.

    Thanks very much again for your reply.
    Trevor

  36. Posted July 21, 2008 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    @ Trevor:

    You’ve got serious problems with the structure.

    You have a wide variety of choices to get out of this structural and navigation nightmare. I recommend that you find a really top notch WordPress Theme developer to help you before you start doing this yourself. Don’t go cheap, if you want this site to succeed. But you will need someone who is a real expert at template files and functions to customize your navigation so it isn’t so labor intensive from the back end.

    It’s a common mistake you’ve made, creating a Page for each show, but it is only for a few Pages, not hundreds. You’re now stuck with the problem and trying to resolve it can make a bigger mess. You need an expert to talk to and drill down through the methodology you want to use to help your users navigate. It could be categories by show type, by show, networks, or other options, or multiple level categories, or show type and then have everything else set by tags, the easiest option.

    Still, you have a lot of moving around of virtual content in the database and you have to have a lot of backups along the way and someone who really has the time and energy to figure this out properly and serve your needs. Good luck and let me know how it turns out.

  37. HASEEB
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    iam new to wordpress , so i want to know about the pages which kind of information can be stored in the pages because i have made categories where i can see all the posts.but about pages i don’t have a idea. i also have made pages but when i click on that it shows “Edit this entry.” plz help me out

    • Posted February 18, 2009 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Let me see if I understand your issue.

      You have put information on Pages. Pages are displayed in their own list, often called Pages by Theme designers, and only viewable in that list, or from within search results if you are using the latest versions of WordPress. They do not have categories currently, but there is talk of categorizing Pages in the future.

      Posts are viewed on the front page of your blog, in categorizes, archives, tags, and search pages.

      If you are having usability issues understanding how WordPress works, see the WordPress Support Forums, WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress Users, and WordPress.tv for guidance.

  38. richhamilton10
    Posted March 5, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I have static content and posts which relate to static content, so why can’t I link my posts to my static pages?

  39. Posted March 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand your question. Why can’t you link to them? Just put a link in an HTML Anchor tag to any Page or post in your blog content.

  40. Posted August 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Wow, what a fantastic article! I have been searching for comprehensive treatment of the “Posts vs Pages” for a long time and this article really attacks it head-on. No wonder it’s ranked #5 in Google for “wordpress pages vs posts”.

    I’m setting up my first blog and I had exactly the concerns you talked about, Lorelle; that I would end up creating a blog structure that I’d live to regret. It’s great to hear your words of wisdom so I can avoid the situation Trevor is in with his TV guide blog.

    My main issue is that I like to write lengthy, comprehensive articles/guides on a topic. Would you still say that Pages should never be used for actual content? My instinct was to create my best, biggest articles as Pages so they would show up in my top nav-bar and be prominently displayed on every single page of my blog.

    After reading this, I had the alternative idea of making just the “table of contents” a Page, and then having that page’s contents be a list of links to the real articles themselves as Posts. Is that still a mistake and would I be better off making even the table of contents a Post?

    My site deals with repair guides. Even my table of contents is thorough, having photos and descriptions of each repair, along with estimated time to complete the repair. I intended to direct all traffic to my table of contents Page but now you have me thinking this could be a mistake?

    Hope you can shed some light on this for me.

    • Posted August 28, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      I think my article summed it up. Pages are for PERMANENT REFERENCE material – not articles. You can reference from anywhere to an article, so use the categories as your table of contents and use the Pages for resume, reference, and lists of information, including blog post articles as references.

  41. Posted June 5, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    I know this article (Post) of your is a bit old, but it is a “Timeless” topic:-)

    I just moved over from building static Html/Css websites last year. I have made this a “Page”, not a “Category”. On this Page, I have links to other “Pages” I have made and they are in alphabetical order, with image links as you can see.

    I tried to think ahead when I was getting started to overcome some of the issues you mentioned in your article such as: I have my Pages included in my site RSS Feed, I use a Page Tagger plugin, my Pages come up in my wordpress search results on the site, the Pages also show up in the Related Posts plugin I am using.

    Before I get a couple of years down the road with thousands of “Pages”, do you see something wrong with the way I did this? Or do you think I should use “Posts” for this particular set up instead?

    I thought about creating a Post for each of my Pages for each individual Band, and I guess I could do that and then still have my main Page (above) as an index type of Page. If I did this, I could eliminate a couple of plugins I guess.

    BTW: I don’t have each individual Band page as a sub-page, they are all separate Pages currently.

    Be easy on me please……

    • Posted July 6, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Convert your Pages to posts as soon as possible and categorize things by categories. You are only going to have more problems in the future, as you presume. Good luck with your project.

  42. Larry
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Thank you for replying Lorelle. I have converted my “Pages” over to “Posts”, (about 300 of them between 2 sites…). The more I read on the topic, the more I figured I better get started. BTW: I’m sure glad you didn’t say I should leave them as “Pages”;-)

  43. Posted July 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I have an enthusiastic synthetic eyesight regarding fine
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18 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Are You Abusing Your WordPress Pages – and Your Blog? [Lorelle] [...]

  2. [...] blogs.  With the expansion of Web 2.0, the field is becoming even more dangerous.  Many of the new users end up abusing their own sites, often without ever coming to realize [...]

  3. [...] Are You Abusing Your WordPress Pages – and Your Blog? Pages are for “static” information about your blog like who you are, how to contact you, and other information. Posts are for content. This post looks at how people are confusing posts and Pages, turning their Pages into posts. [...]

  4. [...] Are You Abusing Your WordPress Pages – and Your Blog? Great post by Lorelle Van Fossen that describes in details everything you need to know about differences between posts and pages and how to properly use them on your blog. If you ever had any doubt on where your content belongs, this article will help you have a clear understanding. [...]

  5. [...] Are You Abusing Your WordPress Pages – and Your Blog? Pages are for “static” information about your blog like who you are, how to contact you, and other information. Posts are for content. This post looks at how people are confusing posts and Pages, turning their Pages into posts. [...]

  6. [...] For more information, check out this tutorial on WordPress pages, as well as some examples of how you should NOT use WordPress Pages. [...]

  7. [...] probably sounds cryptic if you don’t understand the difference between Posts and Pages in WordPress, but a Page is designed to stick around without changing, while Posts tend to appear and disappear [...]

  8. [...] Mambo/Joomla!). I began to despair, wondering at a solution, when I stumbled upon an article by Lorelle on WordPress that discussed the problems with using pages rather than blog entries. The wheels began turning, [...]

  9. [...] Are You Abusing Your WordPress Pages – and Your Blog? « Lorelle on WordPress (tags: wordpress blogging posts pages blog) [...]

  10. [...] probably sounds cryptic if you don’t understand the difference between Posts and Pages in WordPress, but a Page is designed to stick around without changing, while Posts tend to appear and disappear [...]

  11. [...] pages should be used for static content that will change very infrequently, if ever. According to Lorelle VanFossen, pages typically contain “timeless, reference content such as information about the blog and blog [...]

  12. [...] Page vs. Post [...]

  13. [...] discovered something interesting about WordPress today. According to this very useful post, pages and posts play quite different roles. The architecture of WordPress had led me to believe [...]

  14. [...] WordPress.com > Support > Posts vs Pages Creating Content in WordPress: Posts vs. Pages Are You Abusing Your WordPress Pages – and Your Blog? [...]

  15. [...] For more information, check out this tutorial on WordPress pages, as well as some examples of how you should NOT use WordPress Pages. [...]

  16. [...] Are You Abusing Your WordPress Pages – and Your Blog? [...]

  17. [...] Lorelle on WordPress: Are You Abusing Your WordPress Pages – and Your Blog? [...]

  18. […] Are You Abusing Your WordPress Pages – and Your Blog? Pages are for “static” information about your blog like who you are, how to contact you, and other information. Posts are for content. This post looks at how people are confusing posts and Pages, turning their Pages into posts. […]

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