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 feature that allows you to postdate posts. Many beginners don’t know about this. In this latest installment of our training series, we will show you how to schedule blog posts in WordPress.
Publishing great content on your WordPress blog on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new prospective customers to your business and keep your blog readers coming back for more information.
There are instances, however, where you may not want your content to display immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want your blog post published immediately after adding it to the WordPress CMS:
- You travel a lot but you still want articles being published on your blog on a regular basis.
- You need an already published post removed and automatically published again at a future date/time.
- You want to distribute a daily update with the latest news about a certain subject for your blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You want them to receive your posts each day before they start work, but this would require you to be awake at 3 am to publish your post.
- You set aside one day each week to write a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your content writing to freelancers who deliver you dozens of articles once a month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You launch an online training course and want the content to be made available to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of articles to your website or blog at once, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new blog post got published each day, or week, or every few days?
You could then implement a “set and forget” system for scheduling and publishing fresh content to your blog that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and free up your time to focus on other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your article strategy is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date/time in the future to publish your blog posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content exactly when you have set.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you a couple of ways to schedule WordPress posts to publish at a later date/time, plus tips for publishing scheduled articles.
Complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule your posts in WordPress.
How To Schedule WP Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you easily edit the date and time of your published blog posts, including setting dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add articles to your website, which can then be pre-set to display live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule posts to publish at a future time using the Quick Edit function when scrolling through a list of all posts, or you can schedule them when making changes to existing posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WordPress dashboard and select Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In the Posts area, find the item you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Quick Edit Options)
Find the “Date” feature …
(Quick Edit Section – Change Date And Time Settings)
WordPress lets you set any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields or selecting options from the dropdown date menu …
(Schedule date & time of your Post)
Useful 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 date of publication.
This is very useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your experiences and would like your posts to match the same dates you’ve been absent. Another great use for backdating your posts would be to give a brand new website or blog 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 post date to whatever date (and/or time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule your posts to publish at a later date and time)
Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, to display 1:00 PM type in 13:00 in the scheduling module field. The time your post will actually get published depends on the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
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 Table of Posts …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(‘Scheduled’ post status)
How To Schedule Posts In WordPress When Adding / 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 box – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date and time)
Don’t forget to click on the Schedule button to save your settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to update your settings)
Note: 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 the post to be republished in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: section …
(Post publish section – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click on the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
Your post will show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish box …
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Posts table – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let us show you now how to republish WordPress posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some instances, you may decide 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 editing the date and time that the post was published. Enter a later date and time and click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will jump from its current position 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 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 immediately redistribute to your blog subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in the timeline will stay unmodified.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your blog, you can always use the “sticky” feature …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A WordPress Post
If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to publish later, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
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 the current time showing on your clock) as your scheduled post time and click OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will publish right away …
(Post status: ‘Published’)
Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
If your scheduled post did not 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 modifying the date/time settings? For a post to publish, you must click the Schedule button.
- Did you schedule too many posts for publishing? Are you using bulk post scheduling plugins to queue up thousands of posts? Depending on the resources of your web server, you could experience problems. If so, try reducing the number of scheduled posts and see if this solves the issue.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling content in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
Queue Posts is a free WordPress plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for publishing later.
When you create a new WP post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing your post …
(Publish Section – Queue)
This is great if you are scheduling various 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 (add content automatically to WordPress sites).
(Auto Post Scheduler 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 are importing 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 …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options)
To learn more, go here: Auto Post Scheduler – WordPress Plugin
Although you may not want all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WP Robot 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 in the future.
(WPRobot – WordPress Plugin)
To learn more, go here: WP Robot – WP 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 publish WordPress posts at a later date.
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