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 hidden feature that allows you to postdate your posts. Lots Of website owners haven’t discovered this yet. In this latest installment of our tutorial series, we will show you how to schedule WordPress posts for publishing at a future date.
Publishing fresh content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive traffic to your business and keep your site readers coming back for more.
There may be times, however, where you don’t necessarily want your content to appear immediately.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want posts to go live immediately after adding it to your WordPress site:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want posts to be published on your blog regularly while you’re gone.
- You want to remove a previously published post and automatically it again at a future date/time.
- You would like to publish a daily post 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 new post each day at the same time, but this means that you’d have to get up at 3 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 many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You set up an online training course and would like the posts drip-fed to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of blog posts to your site at once, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your readers 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 visitors regularly engaged, and free up your time to focus on other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your blog is still working for you while you’re gone.
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 specify.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you a little-known function that lets you schedule WP posts to publish at a future date/time, and tips on article scheduling.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WordPress blog posts.
How To Schedule WP Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can easily alter the date/time of your published posts, including setting dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add posts 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 future time using the Quick Edit feature when viewing a list of all your existing posts, or you can schedule them as you’re adding or editing new or existing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule WordPress blog posts using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP dashboard and click on 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 and click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit inline editor expands to reveal all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Quick Edit Settings)
Go to the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” inline editor screen …
(Quick Edit Area – Change Date & Time)
WordPress allows you to edit the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields and selecting options from a dropdown date menu …
(Change date & time of your Post)
Useful Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts to show posts as having been published prior to the original date of publication.
This is very useful 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 actual dates you’ve been absent. Another great use for backdating your posts would be to give a brand new blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Conversely, you can set all blog posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new site after getting it all ready and finished.
Change the post date to any date (and/or time) you would like it to show as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later date)
Note: To schedule a post as being published 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 section. The time your post will actually get published is determined by the location settings set in your Settings > General area.
Click the Update button to save your settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your new post settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
(Post scheduled for publishing)
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(‘Scheduled’ post status)
How To Schedule Posts In WordPress When Adding And Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a later date and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Publish section – Publish settings)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date & time)
Don’t forget to click Schedule to save 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 for publishing on the date and time you have specified …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule the post to be republished in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: section …
(Post publish section – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Remember to click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
Your post should now show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish box …
Your post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Table of Posts – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(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.
How To Republish A WP 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 later date and time and click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will move 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 want your 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 be redistributed to your blog subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will remain unmodified.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your blog, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A WordPress Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to publish later, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, simply return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled 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 …
(Post status: ‘Published’)
Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
If your scheduled post did not 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 your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you click the “Schedule” button after changing 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 hosting setup, 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 WordPress Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later.
When you create a new post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing it for publishing later …
(Post Publish Section – Queue)
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 specific order, or between specific times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
To learn more, visit the plugin’s website here:
Bulk Scheduling Posts
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (add 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 can revitalize traffic.
This plugin is especially useful if you are importing a large number of posts, as you can set the plugin to publish posts at whatever frequency you choose as well as setting a range of other options …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options)
For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin website: AutoPost Scheduler – WordPress Plugin
Although you may not want to use all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WP Robot includes a module that allows you to import bulk posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WP Plugin)
To learn more, go here: WP Robot – WP 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.