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 neat feature that allows you to postdate posts. Many WordPress beginners don’t know about this. In this latest installment of our tutorial series, we will show you how to schedule WordPress posts and pages.
Publishing great content on your WordPress site on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive traffic to your business and keep your site readers returning for more information.
There may be times, however, where you may not want content to appear when you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations when you may not want blog posts to go live as soon as it has been added to the WordPress CMS:
- You need to travel but you still want to publish posts to your blog while you’re away.
- You need to remove a previously published post and automatically it again at a future time/date.
- You want to distribute a daily post with the latest news about a certain subject for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You’d like them to read your new post every day at the same time, but this would require you to get up between 3 and 4 am to publish your blog post.
- You set aside one day each week to write a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your article creation to freelance writers who deliver you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You launch a private content membership area and would like to “drip-feed” blog posts to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of content to your website or blog at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your readers so that only one new article 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 blog that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and free up your time to grow other areas of your business … or leave for a while and know that your blog is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! If you set a date in the future to publish your blog posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content exactly when you have specified.
In this tutorial, you are going to learn a couple of ways to schedule WP posts to publish at a future date/time, as well as great tips on article scheduling.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WordPress posts.
How To Schedule WP Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress allows you to edit the date/time of your published posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add content to your site, which can then be pre-set to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule WordPress posts to publish at a later time using the Quick Edit feature if you are viewing a list of all your existing WordPress posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule WordPress posts using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WP dashboard and select Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In the Posts area, find the Post you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit feature expands to display all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Quick Edit Options)
Locate the “Date” section …
(Quick Edit – Date & Time Settings)
WordPress lets you easily schedule any aspect of the date and time of your post, simply by changing the values in the fields or selecting options from a dropdown date menu …
(Schedule new date and 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 date of publication.
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 absent. Another reason to backdate your posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Conversely, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch your site after getting it all ready and finished.
Change the date of your post to any date (and/or time) you would like your post to show as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a specified date)
Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the Post Scheduling area. The time your post will actually publish is determined by the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.
Click the Update button to save your new settings …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your new post settings)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Your post is now scheduled for publishing)
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(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, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Publish box – Publish immediately > Edit)
Edit the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Click on the Schedule button to save your settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to update your post settings)
Tip: 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 entered …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule the post to be republished later by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: field …
(Post publish section – Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Remember to click the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
(Publish Section – Schedule Button)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your saved post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
(Posts table – Date column)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, let’s take a look at how to republish posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some situations, you may want 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 new 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 post link 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 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 automatically be redistributed to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will remain the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your site, you can always use the “sticky” feature …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A WP Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a blog post to be published in the future, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just head back to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
In the Publish feature, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your 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 the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time 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 your Post Status. Have you saved the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to 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 items and see if this solves the problem.
Automating Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin For WordPress)
Queue Posts is a free WP plugin that allows you to queue new posts and pages for publishing later.
Whenever you create a new WP post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing your post for publishing later …
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 specific times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
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 sites).
(AutoPost 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 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 …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options screen)
To learn more, visit the plugin website here: AutoPost Scheduler WP Plugin
Although you may not want all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that lets you bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a late time.
(WP Robot – WordPress Plugin)
To learn more, visit their website here: WP Robot – WordPress 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.
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