If you are serious about 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 neat hidden feature that allows you to schedule your posts. Many WordPress newbies don’t know about this. In this article, we will show you how to schedule your posts in WordPress.
Publishing great content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new prospective customers to your business and keep your site readers returning for more.
There may be times, however, when you may not want content to show immediately.
For example, here are some situations when you may not want posts published immediately after adding it to your blog:
- You travel a lot but you still want to publish posts to your blog regularly while you’re gone.
- You would like a previously published post removed and automatically republished at a future date/time.
- You want to distribute 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’d like them to receive your new post every day at a certain time, but this means that you’d have to get up in the middle of the night to publish your blog post.
- You set aside one day each week to write a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your article 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 set up an online training course and would like to “drip-feed” articles to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of posts to your blog at once, and then have it 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 fresh content on your blog 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 blogging strategy is still working for you while you’re gone.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date/time in the future for publishing your posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content exactly as you have set.
In the tutorial below, you will learn a little-known function that lets you schedule WP posts to publish at a later date, and great tips on automating scheduled blog posts.
Complete the tutorial below to learn how to schedule WP posts for publishing later.
How To Schedule WordPress Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can change the date and time of your published blog posts, including specifying exact dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add blog posts to your WordPress website, which can then be pre-scheduled to go live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a future time with the Quick Edit method if you are scrolling through a list of all posts, or you can schedule them as you’re editing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit function,
Log into your WordPress admin area and select Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In the Posts page, find the item you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Screen – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit inline editor expands to reveal all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Inline Editor Options)
Go to the “Date” section …
(Change Date And Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to edit any aspect of the date and time of your post, simply by entering new values in the fields and choosing options from a dropdown date menu …
(Change Post date & time)
Useful Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate post dates to show posts as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
This is very useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your experiences and would like your posts to match the same dates you’ve been absent. Another great use for backdating your blog posts would be to give a brand new blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Likewise, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog after getting it all ready and finished.
Change the post date to whatever date (and/or time) you would like your post to show as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule your posts to publish at a specified date)
Note: To schedule a post as being published in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, to display 1:00 PM type in 13:00 in the post scheduling section. The time your post will actually end up being published is based on the location settings set in your Settings > General section.
Click the Update button to save your post settings …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your changes)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts area …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post status will also display 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, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish box – Publish settings)
Edit the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Remember to click on Schedule to update your settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to save your post settings)
Tip: 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 set …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule your post to be republished later by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: field …
(Post publish section – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
Your post will show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Posts table – Date column)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let’s show you now how to republish posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some situations, you may need to republish an old post. If so, there are a few options you can choose:
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 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 link for the post will also be updated 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 …
(Republish your post)
When you do this, your post will automatically 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 remain the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your blog, you can just use the “sticky” feature …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to be published in the future, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, simply go back to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled for publishing:
(Post 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 settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now 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. Did you save your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you click the “Schedule” button after modifying the date/time settings? 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 your hosting setup, you could experience problems. If so, try decreasing the number of scheduled items and see if this solves the issue.
Automating Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts WP Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that allows you to queue new posts and pages for later publication at a specified interval.
Whenever you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing the post 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 certain order, or at certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
To learn more, visit their website:
Bulk Scheduling Posts
There are a number of WP plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
(Auto Post Scheduler)
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 if you plan to import a large number of blog 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 screen)
To learn more, visit their website here: Auto Post 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 and then set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a future time.
(WP Robot – WordPress Plugin)
To learn more, go here: WP Robot – 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 your WordPress blog posts at a future date.
"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum
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