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 lets you schedule your posts. Lots of WordPress bloggers haven’t discovered this yet. In this article, we will show you how to schedule posts in WordPress.
Publishing fresh content on your WordPress site on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new visitors to your site and keep your site readers coming back for more.
There may be times, however, where you may not want content to be published immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want to publish a blog post as soon as it has been added to the WordPress CMS:
- You need to travel but you still want posts to be published on your site on a regular schedule.
- You would like to remove a previously published post and automatically it again at a specific date and time in the future.
- You would like to distribute a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain subject for your blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You want them to receive your new post each day at the same time, but this means that you’d have 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 creation to freelance writers who deliver you many articles once a month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You set up a private content membership area and want the articles to be delivered to members over a set 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 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 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 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 in the future to publish your posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your posts exactly as you specify.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to schedule WP posts to publish at a later date, as well as some great tips for automating scheduled articles.
Go through the tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule your posts in WP.
How To Schedule Your Posts In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress allows you to change the date and time of your published blog posts, including setting dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add articles to your site, which can then be preconfigured to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule posts to publish at a later time with the Quick Edit method if you are viewing a list of all your existing WordPress posts, or you can schedule them as you’re working on existing posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule WordPress blog posts using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
(Posts Menu – Add New)
In your Posts area, find the item you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Screen – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit editor expands to reveal all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Inline Editor Section)
Go to the “Date” feature …
(Quick Edit – Date & Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to alter the date and time of your post, just by entering new values in the fields and choosing options from a dropdown date menu …
(Schedule new date and time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule WordPress blog posts in the future or backdate post dates to show posts as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
This is convenient if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your day-to-day events and would like your posts to reflect the actual dates you’ve been away. Another reason to backdate your blog posts would be to give a brand new website or blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Similarly, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new site at a future time.
Change the post date to whatever date (and/or time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a specified date & time)
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 post scheduling module field. The time your post will actually get published is determined by the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.
Remember to click the Update button to save your new changes …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your new post settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(Quick Edit – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Scheduling WordPress Posts When Adding / 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 section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date)
Remember to click Schedule to update your settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to update your post settings)
Tip: 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 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 …
(Post publish section – Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click on the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Box – Schedule Button)
Your post will now show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish area …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
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 WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let’s show you now how to republish WordPress posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some instances, you may need 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 changing the date and time that the post was published. Enter a new date (and time), then 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 …
(Republishing your post)
When you do this, your post will automatically redistribute 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 the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your site, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A WP Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to be published later, but then change your mind and want to publish it immediately, just go 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:
(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 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 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 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? 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 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.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling content in WordPress using 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 later publication.
When you create a new WordPress post or page, you have the option of queuing it 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 between specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
To learn more, visit their website:
Bulk Scheduling WP
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (adding 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 plan to import 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 …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options)
For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin’s website: Auto Post Scheduler – WordPress Plugin
Although you may not want 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 publish automatically at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WP Autoblogging Software)
To learn more, go here: WP Robot – WordPress Autoposting Software
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.
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum