Posts and pages in WordPress are essentially the same thing. They share the same table in the WordPress database (wp_posts), with one field to distinguish them: type, which could be "post" or "page." (In fact, media files also share this table, as you'll see later.) Posts and pages use most of the same fields in that table. The big difference is in the way they're presented to you. Even though all the database fields are available to each type of content, only some of those fields appear in the Edit panels.
As with nearly everything in WordPress, this default behavior can be changed using plugins. For example, you can add excerpts, categories, and tags to pages.
Pages do not have excerpts, even though they have a database field for them. Since pages never appear in archive lists, excerpts would never be used for pages in a typical WordPress site. However, excerpts can be useful for pages as well as posts. For example, you might tweak your search results theme file to display excerpts rather than the full post content. Also, some heavily customized themes do list pages in archive-like lists. You can use a plugin such as PJW Page Excerpt or Excerpt Editor to add excerpts to your pages.
In version 3.0, you can create content types of your own in addition to the built-in posts and pages. In Chapter 12, you'll see some examples of custom content types.
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