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 great feature that lets you schedule posts. This is a very useful feature that many WordPress website owners haven’t discovered yet. In this latest installment of our tutorial series, we will show you how to schedule WordPress blog posts for publishing later.
Publishing fresh content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive visitors to your site and keep your site readers returning for more information.
There are times, however, when you don’t necessarily want content to be published immediately.
For example, here are some situations when you may not want to display a blog post immediately after adding it to your site:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want blog posts to be published on your blog while you’re away.
- You need an already published post removed have it be automatically republished at a specific time/date in the future.
- You want to publish a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain topic for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You’d like them to read your new post every day at a certain time, but this would require you to be awake at 3:30 am to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day every week to create a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your article creation to professional writers 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 a private content membership area 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 website or blog at once, and then have it all be 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 new content on 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 content strategy is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! If you set a date in the future to publish your posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content exactly when you have specified.
In this tutorial, you are going to learn a little-known function that lets you schedule WP posts to publish at a future date/time, and time-saving tips on how to automate scheduled blog posts.
Complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WordPress posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress allows you to easily change the date and time of your published blog posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add blog posts to your site, which can then be preconfigured to go live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule WordPress posts to publish at a later date using the Quick Edit feature when scrolling through a list of all posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing your blog posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit function,
Log into your WP admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
(WP Posts Menu – Add Post)
In the Posts screen, find the Post you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit feature expands to reveal all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(In-line Editor Section)
Locate the “Date” feature …
(Date Settings – Quick Edit)
WordPress lets you set the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields or selecting options from a dropdown date menu …
(Edit date & time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule WordPress posts in the future or backdate post dates to show posts as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
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 blog posts to show as having been published on the same dates you’ve been away. Another great use for backdating your posts would be to give a brand new blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Alternatively, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new site after getting it all ready and finished.
Change the date of your post to any date (and time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule your posts to publish at a specified date)
Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, to display 1:00 PM enter 13:00 in the post scheduling area. The time your post will actually publish is determined by the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
Click the Update button to save your post settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your new settings)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Your post is now scheduled for publishing)
Your post will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(‘Scheduled’ post status)
How To Schedule Posts In WordPress When Adding Or Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a future date, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Publish section – Publish settings)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Don’t forget to click Schedule to update your post settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to update your post settings)
Tip: To backdate a blog 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 specified …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule the post to be republished at a later 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 and time settings)
Remember to 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 section …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Table of Posts – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let us show you now how to republish existing WP posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some situations, you may want to republish an old post. If you do, 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 the time the post was published. Enter a new date (and time) and 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 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, your post will immediately 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 the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your site, you can always make it “sticky” …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A Post
If you’ve scheduled a blog post to be published in the future, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, simply return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your blog 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 your current time) as your scheduled post time and click on OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now publish immediately …
(Publish button – 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 your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you click the “Schedule” button after modifying the date/time settings? For a 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 your server resources, you could experience problems. If so, try decreasing the number of scheduled items and see if this solves the problem.
Automating Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling posts 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 publishing later at a specified interval.
Whenever you create a new WP 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 specific order, or at certain times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
For more details about this plugin, visit their website here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of WP plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(AutoPost Scheduler Plugin)
Auto Post Scheduler is a free WordPress 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 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 setting a range of other options …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options screen)
For more details, go here: AutoPost Scheduler WP 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 bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WordPress Autoposting Software)
To learn more, visit their website: WPRobot – WordPress 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 future date.
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