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 hidden feature that lets you schedule posts. This is a very useful feature that lots of beginners haven’t discovered yet. In this tutorial, we will show you how to schedule your posts in WordPress.
Publishing great content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive traffic to your business and keep your site readers coming back for more information.
There are instances, however, where you may not want content to be published as soon as you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want your blog post published immediately after adding it to your website:
- You need to travel but you still want articles being published on your blog on a regular basis.
- You need a previously published post removed have it be automatically published again at a future time and date.
- You would like to publish a daily update with the latest news about a certain topic for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You want them to read your new post every day at a certain time, but this means that you’d have to be awake between 3 and 4 am to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day every week to write a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your content writing to freelance writers who deliver you many articles once a 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” blog posts 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 in one go, 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 visitors 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! You can set a date/time in the future to publish your blog posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your posts 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 future date/time, plus great tips on how to automate scheduled blog posts.
Complete the tutorial below to learn how to schedule blog posts in WP.
How To Schedule WordPress Blog Posts For Publishing At A Later Date – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can easily edit the date/time of your published posts, including setting dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add articles to your WordPress website, which can then be pre-set to go live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing posts to publish at a future time using the Quick Edit function if you are viewing a list of all your existing WP posts, or you can schedule them when editing blog posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit function,
Log into your WP dashboard and select Posts > All Posts …
(Posts Menu – Add New)
In the Posts section, 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 feature expands to display all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Inline Editor Settings)
Locate the “Date” section …
(Quick Edit – Date Settings)
WordPress lets you easily schedule any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields or choosing options from a dropdown date menu …
(Change Post date and time)
Useful Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts to show content as having been published prior to the original publishing date.
This is great 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 great use for backdating your blog posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Likewise, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog at a future time.
Change the date of your post to whatever date (and/or time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later date)
Note: To schedule a post as being published in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour system. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the scheduling area. 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 post settings …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your changes)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
Your post will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Scheduling 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, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date & time)
Don’t forget to click on the Schedule button to save your settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to save 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 message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule your post to be republished later by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: section …
(Publish section – 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 on the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
Your post should show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
(Publish section – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your saved post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Table of Posts – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we’ll take a look at 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 the time the post was published. Enter a future 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 post link 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 need the 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, the post will immediately be redistributed to your email subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, 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 just use the “sticky” feature …
(Making a post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A WordPress Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WP post to be published 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 post to publish:
(Post 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 now publish right away …
(Post publish button – 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 your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after editing 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 your hosting setup, you could experience problems. If so, try decreasing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the problem.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts WordPress Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that allows you to queue new posts and pages for publishing later at a specified interval.
Whenever you create a new post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing your post …
(Post Publish Section – Post 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 specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more details, go here:
Bulk Scheduling Posts
There are a number of plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (add 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 old posts keeps your site looking fresh.
This plugin is especially useful if you are importing a large number of blog 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 …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options screen)
To learn more, visit their website: Auto Post 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 set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals at a future time.
(WP Robot – WP Autoposting Plugin)
To learn more, visit their website 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 future date.
"Your training is the best in the world! It is simple, yet detailed, direct, understandable, memorable, and complete." Andrea Adams, FinancialJourney.org