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 great hidden feature that allows you to schedule your posts. This is a very useful feature that many beginners haven’t discovered yet. In this article, you will learn how to schedule your posts in WordPress.
Publishing new content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive visitors to your business and keep your blog readers coming back for more information.
There may be times, however, when you don’t necessarily want content to be published as soon as you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations when you may not want your blog post to display as soon as it has been added to your site:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want to publish posts on your blog on a regular basis.
- You need a previously published post removed and automatically republished at a specific date and time in the future.
- You would like to publish a daily update 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 each day at a certain time, but this would require you to be awake between 3 and 4 am to publish your blog post.
- You set aside one day each week to write a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your content writing to freelancers who send you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at the same time!
- You set up a private content membership area and would like to “drip-feed” articles to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of articles to your site at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new post gets published each day, or week, or every few days?
You could then implement a “set and forget” system for scheduling and publishing new content on your site that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and be free to focus on other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your article publishing is still working for you while you’re gone.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date in the future to publish your blog posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish these exactly as you have specified.
In the tutorial below, we are going to show you how to schedule WP blog posts to publish at a future date, as well as time-saving tips on automating scheduled content.
Go through the tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule posts in WordPress.
Scheduling WP 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 lets you create or add articles 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 WordPress posts to publish at a later time with the Quick Edit feature if you are scrolling through a list of all your existing WordPress posts, or you can schedule them as you’re editing existing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule WordPress posts using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP dashboard and select Posts > All Posts …
In your Posts section, find the Post you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit inline editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Quick Edit Options)
Locate the “Date” section …
(Quick Edit Area – Change Date & Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to easily edit the date and time of your post, simply by changing the values in the fields and selecting options from the drop-down menu …
(Edit Post date and 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 date of publication.
This is useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your experiences and would like your post dates to display as having been published on the actual dates you’ve been away. Another great use for backdating your posts would be to give a brand new website or blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Conversely, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch your blog at a future time.
Change the date of your post to whatever date (and time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule your posts to publish at a later date)
Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour system. For example, to display 1:00 PM type in 13:00 in the Post Scheduling section. The time your post will actually publish is based on the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.
Click Update to save your settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your new settings)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post status will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(‘Scheduled’ post status)
Scheduling WordPress Posts When Adding Or 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…
(Post publish box – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date & time)
Click on Schedule to update your settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to save your settings)
Note: To backdate a blog 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 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)
Click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Publish Box – Schedule)
Your post should show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish area …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Posts table – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let us show you now how to republish existing posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some instances, 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 editing the date and the time the post was published. Enter a future date and time, then click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will move 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 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 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 immediately be re-sent to your blog subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in the 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 …
(Make this post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A WP Post
If you’ve scheduled a WP post to publish later, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your blog post to publish:
(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 OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
(Post publish section)
Your post will now be published right away …
(Post publish section – 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 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 lowering the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the issue.
Automating Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin For WordPress)
Queue Posts is a free WP plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for later publication.
When you create a new post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing your post for publishing later …
(Publish Box – 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 specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more information, go here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of plugins that let you “autoblog” (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler)
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 when importing a large number of blog 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)
For more details about this plugin, go here: Auto Post 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 in the future.
(WPRobot – WP Plugin)
To learn more, visit their website here: WPRobot – WP Autoblogging 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 WP posts to publish at a future date.
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