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 neat feature that allows you to postdate posts. Lots Of beginners don’t know about this. In this latest installment of our training series, you will learn how to schedule blog posts in WordPress.
Publishing new content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive traffic to your business and keep your blog readers coming back for more information.
There may be instances, however, when you may not want content to display immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want to show a WordPress post as soon as it’s been added to your blog:
- You travel a lot but you still want articles being published on your site while you’re away.
- You need a previously published post removed have it be automatically republished at a specific time/date in the future.
- You want to start publishing a daily update with the latest news about a certain topic for your blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You want them to read your posts each day at the same time, but this would require you to get up between 3 and 4 am to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day each week to write a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your content writing to freelancers who send 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 the blog posts to be delivered to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole 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 article 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 to your site that would keep your visitors 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! If you set a date in the future to publish your blog posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content exactly as you specify.
In the tutorial below, we are going to show you a couple of ways to schedule WP posts to publish at a later date/time, and great tips on automating scheduled content.
Complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to schedule WordPress blog posts.
Scheduling Blog Posts In WP – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you alter the date/time of your published posts, including specifying exact dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add articles to your 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 later time using the Quick Edit feature if you are viewing a list of all your existing posts, or you can schedule them when you’re working on existing posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WordPress dashboard and select Posts > All Posts …
(Posts Menu – Add New)
In your Posts area, find the Post you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit in-line editor expands to display all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Inline Editor Options)
Go to the “Date” feature …
(Change Date And Time Settings)
WordPress lets you easily set any aspect of 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 Post date & time)
Useful Tip: You can schedule WP blog posts in the future or backdate post dates 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 day-to-day events and would like your blog posts to reflect the same dates you’ve been absent. Another great use for backdating your blog posts would be to give a brand new site a little bit more of an “established” look. Similarly, you can set all blog posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch your blog after getting it all ready and finished.
Change the post date to whatever date (and/or time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule your posts to publish at a specified 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 post scheduling module. The time your post will actually end up being published depends on the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
Click the Update button to save your settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your post settings)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(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 future date and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish section – Publish settings)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date & time)
Remember to click Schedule to save your post settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to update 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 entered …
(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: function …
(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)
Remember to click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Section – Schedule Button)
Your post should show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish area …
(Publish section – Status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your post status will now show as being “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)
Let’s show you now how to republish WordPress posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
How To Republish A WordPress Post
In some instances, you may need 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 new date (and time) and click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will jump 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 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, your post will automatically redistribute to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in the timeline will remain unmodified.
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:
Unscheduling A Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WP post to publish in the future, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, simply head back to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your blog 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 publish right away …
(Publish section – 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? 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 hosting setup, you could experience problems. If so, try decreasing 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 is a free WP plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for publishing later.
When you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing your post …
(Post Publish Section – Queue Button)
This is great if you are scheduling a number of posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a certain order, or between certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more information about this plugin, visit their website here:
Bulk Scheduling Posts
There are a number of WordPress plugins that let you “autoblog” (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
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 older posts keeps your site looking fresh.
This plugin is especially useful when importing 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 screen)
To learn more, visit the plugin’s website here: AutoPost Scheduler WordPress Plugin
Although you may not need all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WP Robot includes a module that lets you import bulk posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals at a future date.
(WP Robot – WP Autoblogging Plugin)
To learn more, go here: WPRobot – WP Autoblogging 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 blog posts at a future date.
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