With the large array of fencing options now available one of the most versatile and varied products available is plastic fence posts.
Plastic Fence Posts
Recycled plastic is often used to create these posts for many different purposes. There are plastic posts that are highly decorative and used to enclose a beautiful garden or patio and there are also posts used for highly functional reasons such as electric fencing. There are even decorative models that can be used for basic functions like electric fencing.
If you are in the market to buy a more decorative fence then you should look for a manufacturer that makes solid, extruded plastic posts with the color running throughout the entire post. Make sure that no wood fillers are used as if fillers are used the posts can rot, peel, weather or blister. Especially if you live in a climate with a lot of rain or snow posts with wood fillers will not last well.(See also cheap panel fences and concrete fence posts)
Also, the colorants should be added during the manufacturing process. Plastic posts will be easy to maintain as no staining, painting or sealing of any kind is needed. To wash them merely use a garden hose or mop. For any stubborn stains a diluted mixture of bleach and water may be used safely.
If you are looking more towards an electric fence to keep deer out or horses in, one great, and truly cheap, alternative is UV-resistant plastic step-in posts. These posts are affordable, non-conducting, light weight and easy to install.
Step-in posts are especially good for portable fencing or as a temporary electric fence solution until you can get something more permanent such as a plastic post and rail fence. Neither the step-in nor the solid plastic posts need additional insulators to attach the electric fencing. They will not conductor electricity and they will not melt.
You may consider other types of fence posts such as wooden posts or pvc vinyl posts. These types of posts have distinct disadvantages to plastic fence posts though.
Wooden Fence Posts
Wooden fence posts need much more maintenance and still may rot in five to ten years. They are also a fairly expensive option. The vinyl posts are cheaper than wood, but not nearly as sturdy as plastic.
They tend to break easier and more often. If an electric fence is your goal vinyl is not the best option for you. If vinyl posts are used to string electric fencing, separate insulators need to be installed and installed properly. Otherwise there is a distinct risk of melting the posts. Given the option choose plastic fence posts. You will not be sorry.