Posts, Pages and Categories – when do I use them?

When creating content you have to decide whether to use a post or a page which, at first sight, appear to be the same thing. Here is an explanation of the difference between the two concepts:

Posts appear in the news feed on the main page. The latest post will appear at the top, unless you’ve designated one of the posts as “sticky“, in which case it twill stay at the top until the sticky attribute is removed.

You cannot reorder posts in the feed, but you can change their publication date, both in the past and the future, which influences their position in the feed.

 

Pages are permanent elements of the site, they do not appear in the feed.

Pages can be top level or nested under other pages – up to 5 levels deep.

Pages appear in menus, according to the hierarchy defined by their nesting level and, within their respective level, in alphabetical order. The alphabetical order can be modified by assigning a “weighting” to the post – the higher the number, the further down the list the page will be.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 15.27.10

Therefore, when you want to share information of a transitory nature, like, e.g. an event, you should use a post. If you want to create content which should stay on the site for the foreseeable future and be shown within the context of a menu containing similar items, you should use a page.

Categories are metadata (=information used to describe data), used to add structured elements to posts or pages: a page may be positioned in the Groups hierarchy, but the addition of one or more categories makes it possible to assign to it one or more additional content types, e.g.: History, Art, Local Events, etc.

You can create new Categories, but you do so with caution:

  • Don’t duplicate existing categories
  • Make sure that the name is clear and unambiguous (e.g. Event could be practically anything – too generic)
  • Is it really necessary? Too many categories obscure content, rather than clarify it
  • Keep categories broad – for finer details, performing a search is easier than browsing through categories

 

Summarisingcategories help to group pages and posts according to broad criteria, but they are not a replacement for the nesting hierarchy provided by pages

– Use Posts for everything that is transitory and you want to see on the front page of the site
– Use Pages for content that will stay on the site permanently – it will NOT be shown on the main page, you will only see it through the menu system
Categories will NOT help you display the content in an organised manner on the front page or in a menu – they can only be used when browsing through Categories (for posts – not pages, for the time being)

Categories list

 

CategoriesPageAttributes
Make sure that you use BOTH Categories and Page Attributes correctly

The special case of Group Pages

Rather confusingly, Group Pages are, in fact, Posts. We started with pages, but then we switched to posts, because they provide more flexibility and can be grouped and manipulated in more ways.

Group Pages should be assigned the Group Page category – and only that category. This makes them appear on the front page carousel and the Groups main page list. Assigning other categories would make them pop up in all sorts of wrong pages, including in a list on the page itself, creating a circular reference.


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