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 postdate and backdate posts. Lots of WordPress newbies don’t know about this. In this latest installment of our tutorial series, we will show you how to schedule WordPress posts and pages for publishing later.
Publishing fresh content on your WordPress blog on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new prospective customers to your site and keep your site readers coming back for more.
There may be times, however, where you don’t necessarily want content to be published when you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want to publish a blog post immediately after adding it to your site:
- You go on a trip but you still want to publish blog posts to your site regularly while you’re away.
- You need to remove an already published post and automatically republish it at a future time/date.
- You want to publish a daily update 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 read your new post every day before they start work, but this means that you’d have to get up at odd hours of the night to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day each week to create a whole week’s worth of blog posts, or you outsource your content writing to freelancers who deliver you dozens of articles each 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” posts to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of blog posts to your site in one go, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new 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 work on other areas of your business … or go away 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 for publishing your posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content exactly when you specify.
In the tutorial below, you will learn a couple of ways to schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a later date/time, plus some great tips on post scheduling.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to schedule WP blog posts.
How To Schedule WP Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you easily change the date/time of your published posts, including specifying dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add posts to your website, 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 using the Quick Edit feature if you are scrolling through a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them when you’re adding new blog posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP dashboard and select Posts > All Posts …
(WP Posts – Add New)
In the Posts area, find the Post you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Section – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit feature expands to display all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Quick Edit Options)
Locate the “Date” section …
(Quick Edit – Date And Time Settings)
WordPress lets you edit the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields and choosing options from a dropdown date menu …
(Change date & time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule 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 great 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 match the same dates you’ve been away. Another great use for backdating your posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Similarly, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch your blog after getting it all ready and finished.
Change the date of your post to any date (and/or time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a specified date)
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 Post area. The time your post will actually end up being published depends on the location settings set in your Settings > General section.
Click Update to save your new changes …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your new settings)
Your post 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 …
(Quick Edit – ‘Scheduled’ post status)
Scheduling 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…
(Post publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Edit the date (and time) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date)
Click on Schedule to update your post 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 to publish on the date and time you have entered …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can also 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 OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Remember to click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Publish Box – Schedule Button)
Your post should show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish area …
(Publish button – Status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts area …
(Posts table – Post status)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, let’s learn how to republish existing posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WP Post
In some instances, you may decide to republish an old post. If so, there are a few options you can use to do this:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by changing 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 move 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 want 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, your post will immediately be re-sent to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in the timeline will stay unchanged.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your site, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Make this post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A WP Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to be published later, but then change your mind and want to publish it immediately, just head back to the Edit Post screen 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 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 the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
(Post publish box)
Your post will be published immediately …
(Publish button – 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. 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 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 server resources, you could experience problems. If so, try reducing the number of scheduled items and see if this solves the problem.
Automating Post Scheduling With WP Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to queue new posts and pages for later publication.
Whenever you create a new post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing the post for publishing later …
(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 specific order, or at certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
To learn more, go here:
Bulk Scheduling WordPress
There are a number of plugins that let you “autoblog” (add content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(AutoPost Scheduler Plugin For WordPress)
Auto Post Scheduler is a free WP 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 specify a range of other settings …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options)
To learn more, visit their website here: AutoPost Scheduler Plugin For WordPress
Although you may not want to use all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that lets you bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a late date.
(WP Robot – WP Autoblogging Plugin)
For more information, visit the plugin’s website here: WPRobot – WP 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 WP posts at a later date.
"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)