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Perennial Favorites: Pages and Long-Term Content on Your Blog

In this post from our archives, we look at how pages can help you organize evergreen content on your blog.

Our blogs usually contain a mix of old and new posts, as well as static pages that we update infrequently. In this post from our archives, Ben takes a closer look at the ways pages can help you structure your archives and provide your visitors with all the information they need.

Most of us consider our posts to be the fundamental elements of our blog’s content. In their never-ending path towards our growing archive, they receive the vast majority of our energy, and most of our readers’ attention.

If we think of our posts as a renewable, fresh stream of content, pages, on the other hand, are often treated as no more than stagnant puddles of old information. (Not sure about the difference between pages and posts? Here are some pointers.) In today’s post, we invite you to reconsider the role of pages in your blog. Used well and updated regularly, they can enhance and complement your blog’s main content.

Why use pages?

Pages allow us to keep older, important content visible and accessible.

Note: Adding a new page is just as simple as writing a post: go to Pages → Add New in your dashboard, and you’ll see the ever-familiar editor.

Any information that would be missed if it were pushed farther down your blog might be a better fit for a page than for a post, especially if it isn’t time-sensitive. (If you do need to highlight particular content for a limited period, consider using a sticky post, which remains at the top of your homepage for as long as you need.)

Pages are a great way to give your visitors general information about you and your site, and to help them navigate through your content. Once in place, they require minimal time investment beyond the occasional brief update. What kinds of pages can you add to your blog? The options are limitless, but let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.

About Page

Say a reader lands in one of your posts about pasta-making, likes it, but wonders if she should follow your blog. How can she know if the rest of your blog is also about yummy dough, or if this was just a detour from your usual musings on Japanese anime?

An About Page will answer that question. It’s the space where you introduce yourself and your blog to the world, letting everyone know what your blog’s all about, and what kind of content your audience can expect. It can be as short as a sentence or as elaborate as a photo essay, but the idea is the same: it’s your calling-card-cum-display-window, so make it as engaging and appealing as you can.

Contact Page

For some of us, showing our contact info requires very little blog real estate: drop the Contact Info Widget into your sidebar, and you’re good to go.

Note: You might be able to save some time creating specific pages by using pre-made Page Templates. Many themes come with a selection of templates, like the Archive Page or Sitemap templates, which you can activate from the Page Attributes module. Note that different themes offer a different mix of page templates.

For many bloggers, though, having a dedicated space where visitors can easily contact us makes sense. For example, if you’ve disabled comments on your posts, but still want to keep a channel open for interaction with your audience. Or if you use your site for your small business and want to make communication streamlined and easy.

A Contact Page is a great idea for those situations where you want to have all the information in one place, without cluttering your posts. Simply create a new page, and type in whatever contact information you wish to include. You can also click the Add Contact Form button in the editor, to allow readers to write you a message without disclosing your email address or any other personal information.

Project Page

Suppose you enjoy blogging about your travels, kids, or cooking, but you also use your blog for some other major activity — for example, you’re writing a book, leading tours of haunted houses, or offering your services as a yoga instructor.

Adding a page focusing on that particular niche will let your visitors discover it more quickly and easily, without having to dig for information through a multitude of blog posts. Think of it as a more specific About Page.

You can nest any page you like (or several pages) under the broader umbrella of your About Page, by creating a hierarchy of pages. When adding your new page, go to the Page Attributes module, click on “Parent,” and choose the page with which the new one will be associated.

Archives Page

A great way to make topic-specific content easy to find on your blog is to create an archives page.  Some themes can create an archives page for you just by choosing “Archives” from the template menu in the Page Attribute module.  But there are other options to aggregate content into a page even if your theme doesn’t include an archives page template.

One easy way to build a targeted-content page is creating a Category Page: as long as you’ve been using categories consistently, it will pull out all relevant posts and drop them into a designated page. Another option is to use the Display Posts Shortcode, which allows you to herd all the posts sharing the same tag(s) or cateogries into one page.

Static Front Page

Have you considered switching the order of things, building a static front page to welcome your visitors, instead of directing them to your latest posts? For some of you, especially those who use their WordPress.com site for their business or other professional activities, this might be an attractive option.

Creating a static front page is quick and easy. First, add two new pages. You can name them “Home” and “Blog,” for example, though any name will do. Then, in your dashboard, go to Settings –> Reading, and select “A static page.” Finally, in the drop-menus, pick “Home” as the front page, and “Blog” as your posts page (or whatever name you’ve given these pages), and you’re done.

With a static front page you decide what content your visitors see first, and achieve a more traditional “website” feel. If you’re still interested in maintaining a blog, have no fear: the blog section of your site, where your posts will be shown, as always, in reverse chronological order, would still be easily accessible from the site’s primary menu.

Pages for the People

Looking for other creative page ideas? Depending on your blog’s focus, some of these might be of interest:

  • A “Best of” page: How about choosing your strongest posts and showcasing them in a designated page? This way, new readers can quickly find some of your past standouts, which is especially useful if you’ve been blogging for a while.
  • Awards or press page: Have you won any blogging awards? Do you have any media clippings to show off to the world? Build your own virtual trophy case with a page that displays all your accomplishments.
  • Disclaimer or policy page: Are you a photographer who wishes to explain your copyright policy in detail, or a blogger who writes about sensitive issues and wants to clarify your comments policy? A dedicated policy page can come handy in making things clear to your visitors.

What pages do you have on your blog? How often do you update them, and what goals do they help you achieve? We’d love to hear your input!

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  1. On my blog I have a page dedicated to my Guest Post category, where I publish what others submit to me. It attracts a lot of attention because understandably, readers sometimes get tired of hearing my voice in their minds all the time.

    I also took WordPress’ advice to make a Best Of page, and people like to gravitate towards that. They like to see the best I have to offer. :)

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  2. I’ll consider some of them. This is very helpful. I have a Glossary page on my blog because I want to use some Filipino terms sometimes. I update them everytime there’s a new word I used in my post. This helps me in connecting with people from other countries while sharing a bit of my culture.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve recently come across a “Best Of” page on another site and thought it was a very good idea. I now have one where I have listed all of my series in one place (I often write essay-style blog posts on similar themes).

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  4. I have 3 pages right now. I have my about me page, my 15 question, and my photography photo page.
    The 15 question page I put up so others who are following me can tell me more about themselves, so my blog isn’t just about me.
    My 3rd page is just what I consider my photography page, where people can look at my work without my writing. It’s a spot I can send potential clients to look over my work, without all the distractions.
    I am working on my 4th page to help others find linky parties for all different themes. I have about 200-300 links to add so it’s taken me awhile. I wanted to create a resource for others that will help as many people as possible link up with one another.

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      1. Thanks.
        I try to involve the audience but most of the time I have a hard time doing so. There has been certain posts, that I didn’t have a hard time, so I am trying to do more of those. Now, I am trying to figure out how to grow my blog “tribe”. Anything that works for me, I plan on sharing it. So I can bring others with me on the journey of getting my tribe.

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      1. Sure. I saw an another site that took a course I was doing about asking your audience 15 random questions. Then I setup the page my way, gave credit from the person who used it before me and picked my 15 questions. The problem that happened is I originally did it as a blog post not a page, so when I put it into a page, no one has responded. I think I did pretty well this considering I had almost no one following my blog at this time. To check it out and see how I set it up look here http://seraireland.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/who-are-you-15-questions-about-you/

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I like this idea too and i think that I will use my “most viewed posts” once I get them. After I create my posts how do I make them a page? is there a help for that somewhere?

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  5. Interesting that you mentioned the About page – looking at my stats, the About page is consistently popular – understandable – my blog is about Mathematics Teaching so the people who arrive at my site want to know something about the credentials of the author! Pages are so useful – I use pages for popular content.

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  6. I have widgets which appear with particular tags,, linking to a “best of” page giving my best posts on that subject. I also have pages not on a menu, but linked from elsewhere, to give greater depth. And I have two pages on particular subjects, which I update regularly and advertise where those subjects are discussed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my Gosh, I like the idea about a “best of the best page” not necessarily the wording, but yes, there are some post on my blog that mean more than others to me. Thank you

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    1. Please note that you have created a very long Tagline and that does not serve your blog well. That lengthy spiel belongs on your About page and not on your Tagline.

      A Tagline is meant to be a brief branding message. The number of characters in your site title and tagline make a difference to what’s displayed in search engine results. When you create a lengthy one you are leaving it to Google to choose what to display. See here for editing to create a better outcome. Creating an effective blog tagline

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thank you timethief, I’ll work on it as soon as I find a while. That’s really helpful and I think you’re right, funny I’ve never noticed that.
        cheers

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    2. I love your pic’s. Nice looking blog and what a job you have there. Stop by mine and take a look. I am a book reviewer and my blog is new but if you click the “Spotlights and Contests” tab you will go to my other blog which is now focused on book spotlights and author features. If you click my name it will take you there.

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    1. Static pages do not automatically update with new content. Dynamic category pages do. You don’t seem to be aware of how to create a custom menu and how include dynamic category pages in it. Please go to the support docs and type custom menu into the search box there and click search.

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  8. This was really helpful. I just made the changes you suggest, expanding the top menu to feature archived posts. Makes so much sense. Wish I had done it a while ago. Thanks!

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    1. I know exactly how you feel, I’ve just set up my site and a couple of pages, but I’m really excited to see what wordpress has to offer! Good luck :)

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      1. Your blog looks good. I especially like your tag line “I go here when I should be elsewhere” Good luck with your studies and (if you) or anyone you know are writing and/or like reading in my genres ask them to checkout my blog (soon to be supped up with ideas from this post)

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      2. Thanks, I appreciate it :) I plan to be uploading a lot over the summer, both text posts and in a ‘booktube’ format which is gonna accompany my written stuff. Hope to read some of your stuff soon :)

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  9. I’ve learned many things during this Writing 101 Exercise. Your latest post concentrating on the use of pages has caused me to rethink my other blogs – Photography, QNCW, and Poetry. Bringing them into one blog under different pages might be more effective. Thanks for pointing that out.

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    1. Hi! I see that the WordPress.com account to which you’d like to transfer your self-hosted site doesn’t exist yet — as a first measure, I’d encourage you to register that site as soon as possible! You’ll then need to consult your current host to see how you can create an export file for your site, which you’ll then want to import into WordPress.com.

      For future assistance, please direct your queries to http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/
      And a Happiness Engineer will help you with any issue you’re encountering.

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  10. Such useful info! Having just begun a third blog, I can really use this stuff. I n fact, I’ve become enamored of Pages since discovering how they work, and probably have too many going already. But I really appreciate this info.

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