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 your posts. Lots of WP users don’t know about this. In this latest installment of our WordPress tutorial series, we will show you how to schedule WordPress posts for publishing later.
Publishing new content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new visitors to your business and keep your site readers coming back for more information.
There may be instances, however, when you don’t necessarily want content to be published immediately.
For example, here are some instances where you may not want to publish a WordPress post as soon as it’s been added to your site:
- You travel a lot but you still want content to be published on your site on a regular basis.
- You want to remove a previously published post and automatically it again at a future time/date.
- You want to distribute a daily update with the latest news about a certain subject for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You want them to read your posts every day at the same time, but this means that you’d have to be awake at odd hours of the night 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 content creation 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 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 posts to your site at once, and then have it 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 site 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 article marketing strategy is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date/time in the future to publish your posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content exactly when you have specified.
In this tutorial, you will learn a little-known feature that lets you schedule WP posts to publish at a future date/time, plus time-saving tips for automating scheduled posts.
Complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WP posts for publishing at a later date.
Scheduling WP Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can edit the date and time of your published blog posts, including specifying dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add content to your website, which can then be pre-scheduled to go live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule posts to publish at a future time with the Quick Edit feature when scrolling through a list of all your existing posts, or you can schedule them as you’re adding or editing new or existing posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule WP blog posts using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WP admin area and choose Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In your 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…
The Quick Edit editor expands to reveal all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(In-line Editor Options)
Locate the “Date” section …
(Quick Edit – Date Settings)
WordPress lets you easily set any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields or selecting options from the drop-down menu …
(Edit date and time of your Post)
Useful Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate post dates to show content as having been published prior to its original publishing date.
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 post dates to reflect 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. Alternatively, you can set all blog posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new site after getting everything set up and configured.
Change the date of your post to whatever date (and 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, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the Schedule Post module. The time your post will actually get published is based on the location settings set in your Settings > General section.
Click Update to save your settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your changes)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Your post is now scheduled for publishing)
Your post will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(Quick Edit – ‘Scheduled’ post status)
How To Schedule WordPress Posts 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…
(Publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date & time)
Click on Schedule to update your post settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to save your settings)
Tip: To backdate a post in WordPress, 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 to publish on the date and time you have set …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule your post to be republished at a future date by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: field …
(Publish box – 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)
Click the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Box – Schedule)
Your post will show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
Your post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Posts table – Date column)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, let’s take a look at how to republish existing blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
Republishing A WP 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 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 link for the post 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 the 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, the post will automatically be re-sent to your 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 display first on your site, you can always make it “sticky” …
(Make this post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A WP Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to publish in the future, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just go back to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled to publish:
(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 OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will publish immediately …
(Post 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 the Post Status. Have you saved the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after changing 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 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 problem.
Automating Post Scheduling With WP Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin For WordPress)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that allows you to queue new posts and pages for later publication.
When you create a new WordPress post or page, you have the option of queuing it for publishing later …
(Publish Section – Queue)
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 between specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more information, visit their website:
Bulk Scheduling Posts
There are a number of WP plugins that let you “autopost” content (add content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post 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 specify a range of other settings …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options)
For more details about this plugin, go here: AutoPost Scheduler – WordPress Plugin
Although you may not need to use all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot 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 – WP Autoposting Plugin)
For more details about this plugin, visit the plugin website: WP Robot – WordPress Autoposting 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 later 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