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 really cool hidden feature that allows you to schedule your posts. Many WordPress newbies don’t know about this. In this latest installment of our tutorial series, we will show you how to schedule WordPress blog posts for publishing at a future date.
Publishing new content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new visitors to your site and keep your blog readers coming back for more information.
There are times, however, where you may not want content to display immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want posts to display immediately after adding it to your site:
- You go on a trip but you still want blog posts being published on your site regularly while you’re away.
- You want to remove an already published post and automatically it again at a future date and time.
- You want to distribute 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 want them to read your updates each day at a certain time, 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 every week to create a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your article creation to freelancers who deliver you many 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 would like the content to be drip-fed to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of blog posts to your website or blog in one go, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your readers so that only one new 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 on your blog 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 article marketing strategy is still working for you while you’re gone.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date/time in the future to publish your posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content on the exact dates and times that you have set.
In the tutorial below, you will learn a couple of ways to schedule WordPress posts to publish at a future date/time, plus tips on article scheduling.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WP posts.
How To Schedule Blog Posts In WP – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress allows you to easily modify the date/time of your published posts, including setting dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add articles to your site, which can then be preconfigured to go live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a future date with the Quick Edit feature if you are scrolling through a list of all posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing your posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule WordPress blog posts using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
(WP Posts – Add New)
In the 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 inline editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Quick Edit Section)
Find the “Date” feature …
(Date Settings – Quick Edit)
WordPress lets you alter the date and time of your post, simply by entering new values in the fields or choosing options from the dropdown date menu …
(Edit Post date & time)
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 experiences and would like your blog posts to match the same dates you’ve been away. Another reason to backdate your posts would be to give a brand new website or blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Likewise, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog 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) …
(Posts scheduled 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, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the scheduling section. The time your post will actually publish is determined by the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.
Click the Update button to save your new changes …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your new settings)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts area …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(Quick Edit – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Scheduling 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)
Remember to click on Schedule to save your settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to update 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 message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule the post to be republished at a later date by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …
(Post publish box – Edit)
Edit 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 …
Your post will show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish box …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your saved post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Posts area …
(Table of Posts – Date column)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let’s show you now how to republish existing blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some situations, you may want to republish an old post. If so, there are a few different options you can choose:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by changing the date and time that the post was published. Enter a future 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 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 …
(Republishing your post)
When you do this, the post will automatically be re-sent to your email 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 show up first on your site, you can always make it “sticky” …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A WordPress Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a blog post to be published in the future, but then change your mind and decide to publish it immediately, simply return to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
In the Publish feature, 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 the current time showing on your clock) as your scheduled post time and click on OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will publish immediately …
(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 your Post Status. Have you saved the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after editing the date/time? For the 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 reducing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the problem.
Automate Post Scheduling With WP Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free WP plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for publishing later.
Whenever you create a new WP post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing your post for publishing later …
(Publish Box – Post Queue)
This is great if you are scheduling multiple 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 information about this plugin, go here:
Bulk Scheduling WP
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler WordPress 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 older posts keeps your site looking fresh.
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 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 need all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WP Robot 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 at a future time.
(WPRobot – WordPress Autoposting Plugin)
For more details about this plugin, visit the plugin website here: WP Robot – WordPress Autoposting 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.
"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