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 neat feature that lets you postdate and backdate posts. Lots of WP users don’t know about this. In this tutorial, we will show you how to schedule blog posts in WordPress for publishing at a future date.
Publishing new content on your WordPress blog on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive traffic to your site and keep your blog readers returning for more.
There may be instances, however, where you don’t necessarily want your content to display immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want posts published as soon as it’s been added to your site:
- You go on a trip but you still want content to be published on your site on a regular schedule.
- You need to remove a previously published post and automatically republish it at a future time/date.
- You would like to distribute a daily update with the latest news about a certain subject for your blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You want them to receive your updates each day before they start work, but this means that you’d have 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 content creation to freelance writers who deliver you dozens of 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 want the articles to be drip-fed 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 in one go, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog 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 to your blog that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and free up your time to grow other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your content strategy is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! If you set a date/time in the future for publishing your posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish these exactly when you have set.
In this tutorial, you will learn a couple of ways to schedule WP blog posts to publish at a future date, plus time-saving tips for publishing scheduled content.
Go through the tutorial below to learn how to schedule WordPress blog posts.
How To Schedule WordPress Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can modify the date/time of your published blog posts, including specifying dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add posts to your site, which can then be pre-set to display live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule WordPress posts to publish at a future date using the Quick Edit function when scrolling through a list of all your existing WP posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing your blog posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress 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 …
(Posts Menu – Add New)
In the Posts screen, find the item you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Screen – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit in-line editor expands to reveal all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Quick Edit Section)
Locate the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” inline editor screen …
(Date Settings – Quick Edit Area)
WordPress lets you schedule the date and time of your post, just by entering new values in the fields and choosing options from a drop-down menu …
(Edit 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 the original publishing date.
This is 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 reflect the same dates you’ve been physically absent. Another great use for backdating your blog posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Alternatively, you can set all content 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 time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a specified date & time)
Note: To schedule a post as being published in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour system. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the Schedule Post module field. The time your post will actually get published is based on the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
Remember to click Update to save your new post settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your changes)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Post scheduled for publishing)
Your post will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(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 and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Click on the Schedule button to save your post settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to save your settings)
Note: 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 to publish 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 in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: section …
(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 update your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Section – Schedule Button)
Your post will show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish box …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Table of Posts – Date column)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we’ll take a look at how to republish WP posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some situations, you may decide 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 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 jump 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 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 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 be re-sent to your email subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will stay the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your site, you can always use the “sticky” feature …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A 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 head back to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
In the Publish feature, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your blog post for publishing:
(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 the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will be published 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 your Post Status. Did you save the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you click the “Schedule” button after editing the date/time? 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 server resources, you could experience problems. If so, try reducing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the problem.
Automating Post Scheduling With WP Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts WordPress Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free WordPress plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for later publication.
Whenever you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing your post …
This is great if you are scheduling various 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)
For more information about this plugin, go here:
Bulk Scheduling WP
There are a number of WordPress plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
Auto Post Scheduler is a free WP 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 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 setting a range of other options …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options)
For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin’s website: 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 import bulk posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a late date.
(WPRobot – WP Autoblogging Software)
For more information, 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 schedule WP blog posts to publish at a later date.
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum