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 neat hidden feature that allows you to postdate posts. This is a very useful feature that lots of website owners don’t know about. In this tutorial, we will show you how to schedule WordPress blog posts for publishing later.
Publishing great content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new prospective customers to your site and keep your blog readers coming back for more information.
There may be times, however, where you don’t necessarily want content to be published as soon as you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations when you may not want to publish a WordPress post as soon as it’s been added to your blog:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want blog posts being published on your site regularly while you’re away.
- You want an already published post removed have it be automatically published again at a specific time and date in the future.
- You would like 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 want them to receive your updates every day before they start work, but this would require you to be awake 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 article writing to professional writers who send you dozens of articles once a month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You launch a private content membership area and want the blog posts to be made available to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of content to your blog at once, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your blog 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 on your site 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 blogging 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 have set.
In the tutorial below, we are going to show you a little-known function that lets you schedule WP blog posts to publish at a future date/time, and great tips on automating scheduled blog posts.
Complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to schedule WordPress posts.
Scheduling WordPress Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can easily change the date and time of your published blog posts, including specifying exact dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add articles to your site, which can then be prescheduled to go live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing posts to publish at a later date using the Quick Edit function when scrolling through a list of all posts, or you can schedule them when you’re adding or editing new or existing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule WP posts using the Quick Edit function,
Log into your WP dashboard and click on Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In the Posts section, 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 Screen – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit in-line editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Quick Edit Section)
Go to the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” in-line editor screen …
(Quick Edit – Date Settings)
WordPress lets you easily alter the date and time of your post, simply by changing the values in the fields and selecting options from the dropdown date menu …
(Schedule new date & time of your Post)
Useful Tip: You can schedule WordPress blog posts in the future or backdate posts to show posts as having been published prior to the 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 same dates you’ve been away. Another great use for backdating your blog posts would be to give a brand new website or blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Conversely, you can set all 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 any 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 and time)
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 Schedule Post module. The time your post will actually end up being published is based on the location settings set in your Settings > General area.
Remember to click the Update button to save your new settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your new settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts area …
Your post will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(Quick Edit – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
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 settings)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date and time)
Click on the Schedule button to update your settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to update your 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 in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …
(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 settings)
Click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Box – Schedule Button)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
(Publish box – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
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’ panel …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
We’ll show you now how to republish existing WordPress posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some situations, you may decide to republish an old post. If so, there are a few different options you can use to do this:
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 …
(Republishing your post)
When you do this, the post will immediately be re-sent 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 stay unmodified.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your blog, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WP post to publish in the future, but then change your mind and decide to publish it immediately, simply head back to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your 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 settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now be published 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 your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after modifying the date/time? For a 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 the resources of your web server, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled items and see if this fixes the problem.
Automating Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for later publication.
Whenever you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing your post …
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 at certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
To learn more, visit the plugin’s website:
Bulk Schedule 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 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 keeps your site looking fresh.
This plugin is especially useful when importing 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 screen)
For more details about this plugin, visit their website here: AutoPost 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 at a future date.
(WPRobot – WordPress Plugin)
To learn more, visit their website here: WP Robot – 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 WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date.
"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com