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 feature that lets you postdate posts. Many website owners don’t know about this. In this article, we will show you how to schedule blog posts in WordPress.
Publishing great content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new prospective customers to your business and keep your site readers returning for more information.
There are instances, however, when you don’t necessarily want your content to appear when you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some instances where you may not want to publish a post as soon as it’s been added to your site:
- You go on a trip but you still want to publish articles to your blog on a regular schedule.
- You need to remove a previously published post and automatically it again at a specific time/date in the future.
- You would like to start publishing a daily blog post 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 am to hit the “publish” button.
- 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 freelance writers who send you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at the same time!
- You launch a private content membership area and would like the articles to be delivered to members over a set 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 all be automatically “drip-fed” to your readers 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 fresh 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 content strategy is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date/time in the future for publishing your blog posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish these on the exact dates and times that you specify.
In this tutorial, you are going to learn a little-known feature that lets you schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date/time, plus some great tips on article scheduling.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WP blog posts.
How To Schedule WP Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you easily change the date/time of your published blog posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add blog posts to your site, which can then be preconfigured to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing posts to publish at a later date with the Quick Edit feature when viewing a list of all your existing WordPress posts, or you can schedule them when you’re adding or editing new or existing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Method
To schedule WP blog posts using the Quick Edit function,
Log into your WP dashboard and click on Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In your Posts area, find the item you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit feature expands to reveal all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Quick Edit Section)
Locate the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” in-line editor screen …
(Quick Edit – Date And Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to edit the date and time of your post, simply by entering new values in the fields or selecting options from the drop-down menu …
(Change date and time of your Post)
Useful Tip: You can schedule posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts 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 day-to-day events and would like your posts to show as having been published on the actual dates you’ve been physically absent. Another reason to backdate your posts would be to give a brand new blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Conversely, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog after getting everything set up and configured.
Change the post date to whatever date (and/or time) you would like it to show as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule Post to publish at a later specified 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 enter 13:00 in the scheduling area. The time your post will actually end up being published depends on the location settings set in your Settings > General section.
Click the Update button to save your new changes …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your new post settings)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
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 future date and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish box – Publish settings)
Edit 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 update your post settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to save your post settings)
Note: 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 specified …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule your post to be republished at a future date 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 ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click on the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
Your post should now show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish section …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Table of Posts – Date column)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we’ll take a look at how to republish blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some situations, you may need to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few options you can use to do this:
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 update to reflect the new publication date.
Note: When you reschedule a post, it will not redistribute to your email subscribers. If you need 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 …
(Republish your post)
When you do this, your post will immediately be redistributed to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will remain the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your blog, you can always make it “sticky” …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A Post
If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to publish later, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, simply head back to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
In the Publish feature, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your 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 your current time) as your scheduled post time and click on OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now publish immediately …
(Publish box – 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 your 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 server resources, you could experience problems. If so, try reducing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the problem.
Automate 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 plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for publishing later.
When you create a new WP post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing the post for publishing later …
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 certain order, or at specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
To learn more, go here:
Bulk Scheduling Posts
There are a number of WordPress plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler – WordPress Plugin)
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 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)
To learn more, go here: AutoPost Scheduler 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 lets you import bulk posts or article files into your WordPress site and then set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WordPress Plugin)
For more details about this plugin, go here: WPRobot – WP Autoposting 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 later date.
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now