If you are truly committed to growing your business online, you will need a content marketing strategy. An important part of any content marketing strategy is maintaining a regular content publishing schedule.
So … what happens to your content publishing schedule if you have to step away for a while?
WordPress has a really cool hidden feature that allows you to postdate or backdate your posts. Many WordPress beginners don’t know about this. In this article, we will show you how to schedule your posts in WordPress.
Publishing new content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive visitors to your site and keep your site readers coming back for more information.
There are times, however, where you may not want content to display immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want to show a blog post as soon as it has been added to the WordPress CMS:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want articles being published on your blog on a regular schedule.
- You need an already published post removed and automatically published again at a specific time/date later.
- You want to publish a daily post with the latest news about a certain topic for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You want them to read your posts every day at the same time, but this would require you to be awake at odd hours of the night to publish your post.
- You set aside one day every week to create a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your content writing to professional writers who deliver you dozens of articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at the same time!
- You set up a private content membership area and want to “drip-feed” posts to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of articles to your site at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new article got published each day, or week, or every few days?
You could then implement a “set and forget” system for scheduling and publishing new content on your blog that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and free up your time to focus on other areas of your business … or leave for a while and know that your article strategy is still working for you while you’re gone.
Well … with WordPress you can! If you set a date/time in the future to publish your blog posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your posts exactly as you specify.
In the tutorial below, you will learn a little-known function that lets you schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date/time, as well as some great tips on blog post scheduling.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to schedule WordPress posts.
How To Schedule WP Posts For Publishing At A Later Date And Time – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can easily modify the date/time of your published blog posts, including specifying dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add content to your site, which can then be pre-set to go live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a later time using the Quick Edit method if you are scrolling through a list of all posts, or you can schedule them when making changes to existing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Method
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WordPress dashboard and click on Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In the Posts page, find the Post you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Section – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit editor expands to reveal all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Inline Editor Settings)
Go to the “Date” feature …
(Change Date & Time)
WordPress allows you to easily schedule any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields and choosing options from a dropdown date menu …
(Schedule new date & time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts to show posts as having been published prior to its original publishing date.
This is useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your day-to-day events and would like your post dates to match the actual dates you’ve been away. Another reason to backdate your blog posts would be to give a brand new site a little bit more of an “established” look. Similarly, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch your site at a future time.
Change the date of your post to whatever date (and/or time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later date)
Note: To schedule a post as being published in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the schedule section. The time your post will actually get published is based on the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
Remember to click Update to save your changes …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your new settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(Quick Edit – ‘Scheduled’ post status)
Scheduling WordPress Posts When Adding Or Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a later date and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date)
Don’t forget to click on Schedule to save your settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to update your settings)
Tip: To backdate a post, simply edit the date before you click Publish, as described above. In this case, the button will not change to Schedule.
Your post is now scheduled to publish on the date and time you have entered …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule your post to be republished in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: field …
(Post publish box – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click on the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
Your post should now show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
Your post status will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Posts table – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
We’ll show you now how to republish WP blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WP Post
In some situations, you may decide to republish an old post. If so, there are a few options you can use to do this:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by editing the date and the time the post was published. Enter a later date and time, then click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will move from its current place in your timeline to the most recent spot on your blog and display the new date and time. The link for the post will also be updated to reflect the new publication date.
Note: When you reschedule a post, it will not redistribute to your email subscribers. If you need the post to be redistributed to your email subscribers, use the option below.
Edit Post Status
You can republish your post by changing the status of your post to Draft, clicking Update, and then clicking Publish again …
(Republish your post)
When you do this, your post will automatically redistribute to your blog subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will stay unmodified.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your blog, you can always make it “sticky” …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A WP Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WP post to publish later, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your blog post to publish:
(Publish section – Edit)
Now, just enter today’s date and time (tip: if you’re not sure of the exact time just type in an hour or two earlier than your current time) as your scheduled post time and click OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now publish right away …
(Post publish box – Status: ‘Published’)
Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
If your scheduled post failed to publish when the scheduled time arrived, check the following:
- Is your timezone set correctly in your Settings > General section?
- Check your Post Status. Have you saved your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you click the “Schedule” button after editing the date/time settings? For the post to publish, the Schedule button must be clicked.
- Did you schedule too many posts for publishing? Are you using bulk post scheduling plugins to queue up thousands of posts? Depending on your server resources, you could experience problems. If so, try decreasing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the issue.
Automate Post Scheduling With WP Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling content in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts WP Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later at a specified interval.
When you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing your post …
(Publish Box – Queue)
This is great if you are scheduling multiple posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a specific order, or between certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more information, visit the plugin’s website here:
Bulk Scheduling WordPress
There are a number of plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
(AutoPost Scheduler Plugin)
Auto Post Scheduler is a free WP plugin that will schedule ‘auto post checks’ to publish new posts and/or recycle old posts automatically.
Use a plugin like Auto Post Scheduler to publish new posts and/or recycle old posts automatically. There’s no need to schedule post times individually and recycling old posts can revitalize traffic.
This plugin is especially useful if you plan to import a large number of posts, as you can set the plugin to publish posts at whatever frequency you choose as well as setting a range of other options …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options screen)
For more information about this plugin, go here: Auto Post Scheduler WP Plugin
Although you may not need all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that allows you to import bulk posts or article files into your WordPress site and then set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a late date.
(WP Robot – WP Autoposting Plugin)
For more details about this plugin, go here: WPRobot – WordPress Autoposting Plugin
If you plan to run a membership-style website, most professional WordPress membership plugins allow you to schedule your content to be ‘drip-fed’ to members at intervals that you specify (e.g. every 7 days, etc.).
To learn more about membership plugins that allow you to schedule content delivery, go here:
Fixing “Missed Schedule” Posts
Sometimes WordPress will miss a scheduled post …
To learn how to fix the missed post scheduling issue, see the tutorial below:
Congratulations! Now you know how to schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a later date.
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum