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 allows you to postdate posts. Lots of WordPress newbies haven’t discovered this yet. In this article, we will show you how to schedule 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 blog readers coming back for more.
There may be instances, however, when you may not want content to show when you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want to show a blog post as soon as it’s been added to your site:
- You go on a trip but you still want to publish blog posts on your blog regularly while you’re away.
- You need to remove an already published post and automatically it 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 country than you. You want them to receive your new post each day at the same time, but this would require you to be awake at 3 am to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day each week to create a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your content writing to freelance writers who send 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 an online training course and would like to “drip-feed” blog posts to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of blog posts to your website or blog at once, and then have it all be 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 on your blog that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and free up your time 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 exactly when you have set.
In this tutorial, you will learn a couple of ways to schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date/time, plus some great tips for publishing scheduled posts.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WP posts for publishing at a future date and time.
How To Schedule WordPress Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you alter the date and time of your published blog posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add content to your WordPress website, which can then be pre-scheduled to go live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule WordPress posts to publish at a later time with the Quick Edit method if you are viewing a list of all your existing WP posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing your posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule WP blog posts using the Quick Edit function,
Log into your WordPress admin area and choose Posts > All Posts …
(Posts Menu – Add New)
In the Posts page, find the item you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit inline editor expands to reveal all the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Inline Editor Options)
Find the “Date” section …
(Date & Time Settings – Quick Edit Screen)
WordPress allows you to schedule the date and time of your post, simply by entering new values in the fields or choosing options from the drop-down menu …
(Edit date and time of your Post)
Useful Tip: You can schedule posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts to show posts as having been published prior to its original publishing date.
This is quite useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your experiences and would like your post dates to match the actual dates you’ve been absent. Another reason to backdate your blog posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Likewise, you can set all blog posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch your site after getting everything set up and configured.
Change the date of your post to whatever date (and time) you would like your post to show as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled 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 area. The time your post will actually publish depends on the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
Click Update to save your new changes …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your post settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(‘Scheduled’ post status)
How To Schedule WordPress Posts When Adding And Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a future 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)
Click on the Schedule button to update your post settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to save your post settings)
Note: To backdate a post in WordPress, 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 for publishing on the date and time you have specified …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule the post to be republished at a future date by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …
(Post publish box – Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click on the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Publish Box – Schedule)
Your post should show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish box …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Posts table – Post status)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
We’ll show you now how to republish existing 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 you do, there are a few options you can choose:
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 jump 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 change to reflect the new publication date.
Note: When you reschedule a post, it will not redistribute to your email subscribers. If you need 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 immediately be re-sent to your email 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 show up first on your blog, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A WP Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to publish later, but then change your mind and want to publish it immediately, simply head back to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled to publish:
(Post 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 the current time showing on your clock) as your scheduled post time and click OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will be published right away …
(Post publish button – 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. Did you save 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, 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 your hosting setup, you could experience problems. If so, try reducing the number of scheduled items and see if this solves the problem.
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 – WordPress Plugin)
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 WordPress 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 specific order, or at specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
To learn more, go here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (add content automatically to WordPress sites).
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 Auto Post Scheduler 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, visit the plugin’s 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 allows you to 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.
(WP Robot – WordPress Plugin)
To learn more, go here: WPRobot – 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 publish your WordPress blog posts at a later date.
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