September 25, 2016

On the blog, should you have more posts or pages?

We received a query on Quora, How do I know when to post an article into the website page or post it as a blog post? Then a blogger posted this query on an ITB post, Whether we should have pages or posts on a blog that is not too frequently required to be updated.

We thought, let's have some discussion around the topic of 'blog post versus blog page' so that the matter gets clarified.

The concept of post is inherent in the concept of blogging. Pages arrived when the need for some static content was felt. So, different platforms have their own definition of what is a page and what's a post. Over the years, a lot of convergence has taken place among platforms but at the same time, the concept of pages, posts and blogs has widened to include all types of long-form content that is regularly updated

All things considered, there are some common properties that differentiate blog pages and blog posts on major platforms and on blogs independent of blogging platforms.

What really is a blog post and how does it differ from a blog page?

  • Posts are the regular articles on a blog. 
  • Posts are time-stamped (even if you hide the date-time) and are arranged reverse-chronologically (=latest one on top). 
  • They have a short shelf-life; they are pushed down or sent to archives as newer posts take over, unless you pin a post at the top of the blog (also called sticky posts). 
  • Posts are made for interactivity (unless you remove that) and people can comment on them.
  • Pages are standalone articles which are not pushed down. 
  • On a blog, there are not many pages, and pages are not the articles to be seen on top. (A page can be made the homepage if the blogger decides so, but then the blog looks like a static website in the first look. 
  • Because of their once-in-a-lifetime type nature, pages are mostly  used for information that does not update over a long time, such as contact details. 
  • Because of their being updated, posts - and not pages - are sent to subscribers via feed or subscription.
  • On Blogger and Wordpress, posts have a stacked URL pattern so that posts can be identified with month and year of posting. On the other hand, pages have straight URL. (e.g. vs. On independent blogs, you can have a URL pattern of your choice.
  • There is no technical reason why pages cannot be tagged/ labeled/ categorized, but major blogging platforms allow labeling of only posts because these articles keep updating information on different aspects.
  • Wordpress allows creating sub-pages under a page and has no limit on the number of pages per blog. Blogger, as of now, has a limit of ten pages and does not have a sub-page facility.
Livejournal and HubPages present a form of blogging that draws strength from communities of people focused on some shared interest. Quora allows blogging too, besides being a question-answer platform.

Many other popular platforms allow a non-traditional form of blogging. These include Facebook, Medium, HubPages and LinkedIn. Their long-form content is broadly referred to as 'post', even 'blog' (e.g. His blog on Facebook today talked about...). Only Facebook uses the expression 'page' but in a different context. 

On Facebook, regular entries on timeline are posts while a full-fledged entity full of articles is called a Page. You can write long articles on Facebook through Notes, a long-form publishing service like a traditional blog.

On LinkedIn, you create articles on its long-form post publishing platform. Rightly, these are called posts.

On Medium, individual articles are called stories. Stories can be seen on the timeline or on the Publication, which is akin to a blog. 

What purpose do pages serve on a regular blog?

Pages are used for publishing information that is not time-barred and which visitors might like to visit for reference. Pages are suited for:
  • Creating a static homepage so that the blog looks more like a traditional website, or for keeping some important information upfront.
  • For information about the blog and the blogger: e.g. 'About Us', 'Contact Us', 'About the Blog', 'Our Advertising Policy' pages.
  • For giving link to some very eminent reference: e.g. a blog for giving information about a nation might have a page on the Constitution, which is displayed prominently on the blog.
  • For giving information that visitors are likely to seek about the subject: e.g. 'FAQ' and 'Glossary' pages.
  • To act as a landing page: If you want visitors to take some action (e.g. to buy your book), you can create a page on how to get the book and link it from posts and other places.

How can I create a page on Wordpress or Blogger?

On Wordpress as well as Blogger, you get the page option next to posts on the sidebar when you go to the blog's dashboard. 

Finally, the often asked question,

Which is more SEO-friendly, a page or a post?

SEO is a sum of many factors, so a page can be much more SEO optimized than a post or vice versa. 

Generally speaking, search engines like fresh content and therefore a blog regularly updated with good content will get favorable treatment as compared to a static website or a blog with mostly static content. In that respect, Google likes posts more as compared to posts.

On the other hand, individual pages will generally get more traffic over a long time than individual posts because the posts get nudged down by new ones.

We have stated above that a blog can be made to look like a standard static website, especially with the help of pages. However, please read this article in case you want that change on your blog: Should I go for a blog that looks like a static website?