Anyone new to Visio may not be aware of why Visio has both Headers/Footers and background pages or know that there is such a thing as a background page.
In Visio 1, the developers created the concept of type basic types of pages; foreground and background. The foreground pages were the pages that were actually printed and the background pages contained information that was to appear in a fixed position on the foreground page. So the concept of Headers/Footers common in other product like Word and Excel was implemented by creating a background. Anything that can be placed on a foreground page can be placed on a background page including special fields that would inherit information from the foreground page it was attached to (i.e. page name or page number).
Visio 5 introduced the concept of Headers/Footers to address a specific printing problem. When a Visio drawing prints over several physical pages, there was a request to have the individual physical pages marked with a header/footer. Since this was addressing a specific problem, the amount and type of information in the header or footer was limited.
As long as the Visio page is the same size as the physical page, the background page can do everything the Header/Footer can do (and more). If the information in the header/footer is adequate, then they may be more convenient to use. It’s your choice.
John Marshall… Visio MVP Visio.MVPs.org