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 great feature that lets you postdate posts. Many users haven’t discovered this yet. In this tutorial, you will learn how to schedule WordPress posts.
Publishing great content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new visitors to your business and keep your blog readers coming back for more.
There may be times, however, when you may not want content to show as soon as you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want your blog post published as soon as it’s been added to your blog:
- You go on a trip but you still want blog posts being published on your site regularly while you’re away.
- You want to remove a previously published post and automatically republish it at a specific date and time later.
- You want to start publishing a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain subject for your blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You want them to receive your updates every day before they start work, but this means that you’d have to get up at 3 am to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day every week to write a whole week’s worth of blog posts, or you outsource your content writing to professional writers who send you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at the same time!
- You launch an online training course and want to “drip-feed” articles 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 blog at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your readers so that only one new blog post gets published each day, or week, or every few days?
You could then implement a “set and forget” system for scheduling and publishing new content to your site that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and be free to grow other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your blogging strategy is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date/time in the future for publishing your blog posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish these on the exact dates and times that you have set.
In the tutorial below, we are going to show you how to schedule WordPress posts to publish at a later date, and tips on content scheduling.
Complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to schedule WP posts.
Scheduling Blog Posts In WP – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you easily change the date and time of your published blog posts, including specifying exact dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add posts to your website, which can then be pre-set to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing posts to publish at a future date with the Quick Edit function when scrolling through a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them as you’re editing your posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Method
To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit function,
Log into your WP admin area and choose Posts > All Posts …
(Posts Menu – Add New)
In your Posts area, find the item you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit in-line editor expands to reveal all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Inline Editor Section)
Go to the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” inline editor screen …
(Quick Edit – Change Date And Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to set the date and time of your post, simply by entering new values in the fields and choosing options from a dropdown date menu …
(Edit date and time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule WordPress posts in the future or backdate post dates to show posts as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
This is convenient if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your experiences and would like your blog posts to show as having been published on the same dates you’ve been absent. Another reason to backdate your posts would be to give a brand new site a little bit more of an “established” look. Alternatively, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new site after getting it all ready and finished.
Change the post date to whatever date (and/or time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule Post to publish at a later date & time)
Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour system. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the schedule module field. The time your post will actually end up being published is determined by the location settings set in your Settings > General area.
Click Update to save your new changes …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your new post settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
Your post status will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
How To Schedule Posts In WordPress When Adding And Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a future date, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish box – Publish settings)
Edit the date (and time) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date)
Don’t forget to click Schedule to update your post settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to update your settings)
Note: To backdate a post, simply edit the date before you click the Publish button, as described above. In this case, the button will not change to Schedule.
Your post is now scheduled for publishing on the date and time you have set …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule your post to be republished later by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: field …
(Publish box – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Remember to click the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
(Publish Section – Schedule)
Your post will show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish area …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your saved post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Posts table – Date column)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, let’s show you how to republish WordPress posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some situations, you may need to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few different options you can choose:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by changing the date and the time the post was published. Enter a later date (and time) and 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 update to reflect the new publication date.
Note: When you reschedule a post, it will not redistribute to your email subscribers. If you want your post to be redistributed to your email subscribers, use the option below.
Edit Post Status
You can republish your post simply 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 remain the same, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will remain unchanged.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your blog, you can always use the “sticky” feature …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to be published in the future, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, simply return to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your blog post for publishing:
(Publish box – 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 on OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
(Post publish box)
Your post will now be published immediately …
(Post publish section – Post 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 the Post Status. Have you saved the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after changing the date/time? 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 hosting setup, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled items and see if this fixes the issue.
Automate Post Scheduling With WP Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin For WordPress)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that allows you to place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later.
Whenever you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing your post …
This is great if you are scheduling multiple posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a certain order, or between certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
To learn more, go here:
Bulk Scheduling Posts
There are a number of WordPress plugins that let you “autopost” content (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler WordPress Plugin)
Auto Post Scheduler is a free WordPress 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 older 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 specify a range of other settings …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options)
To learn more, go here: Auto Post Scheduler WordPress Plugin
Although you may not want to use all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WP Robot includes a module that lets you bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site and then set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WordPress Plugin)
For more information about this plugin, go here: WPRobot – WP Autoblogging 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 posts for publishing in WordPress at a future date.
"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)