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 neat hidden feature that lets you postdate and backdate posts. Many website owners haven’t discovered this yet. In this article, we will show you how to schedule WP blog posts.
Publishing great content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive traffic to your site and keep your blog readers returning for more information.
There may be times, however, where you don’t necessarily want content to display immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want to display a post immediately after adding it to the WordPress CMS:
- You go on a trip but you still want to publish posts to your blog on a regular schedule.
- You need an already published post removed have it be automatically published again at a future date/time.
- You would like to distribute a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain subject for your blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You’d like them to read your updates each day at a certain time, but this would require you to get up in the middle of the night to publish your blog post.
- You set aside one day every week to create a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your article writing to professional writers who send you dozens of articles each 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 want the posts drip-fed to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of blog posts to your website or blog in one go, 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 new content to your site that would keep your visitors 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! If you set a date in the future for publishing your posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your posts exactly as you specify.
In the tutorial below, we are going to show you a couple of ways to schedule WP blog posts to publish at a future date/time, plus some great tips on blog post scheduling.
Complete the tutorial below to learn how to schedule blog posts in WordPress.
How To Schedule WP Posts For Publishing Later – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can modify the date/time of your published posts, including specifying exact dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add blog posts to your WordPress website, which can then be pre-set 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 method if you are viewing a list of all your existing WP posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing or adding new blog posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule WP posts using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WP dashboard and click on Posts > All Posts …
In the Posts page, find the Post you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Screen – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit feature expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(In-line Editor Options)
Go to the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” inline editor screen …
(Change Date & Time Settings)
WordPress lets you easily schedule any aspect of the date and time of your post, simply by entering new values in the fields and selecting options from a drop-down menu …
(Schedule new date and time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule WordPress posts in the future or backdate post dates to show content 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 posts to show as having been posted on the same dates you’ve been physically absent. 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 blog posts 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 any date (and/or time) you would like your post 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, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the Post Scheduling section. The time your post will actually get published is based on the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
Remember to click the Update button to save your new changes …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your changes)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
How To Schedule WordPress Posts When Adding / 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)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date)
Don’t forget to click on Schedule to update your post settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to save your 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 specified …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule the post to be republished in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: section …
(Publish box – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Remember to click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Publish Box – Schedule)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish box …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Posts table – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, let’s show you how to republish posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
How To Republish A WordPress Post
In some situations, you may decide to republish an old post. If so, there are a few different 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 later date (and time) and 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 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 need the 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 automatically redistribute to your email subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in the timeline will remain unchanged.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your site, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to be published in the future, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, just head back to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled for publishing:
(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 your current time) 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 now be published immediately …
(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 the Post Status. Have you saved your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you click the “Schedule” button after modifying the date/time? For a 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 the resources of your web server, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled posts and see if this solves the issue.
Automating Post Scheduling With WP Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling content in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin For WordPress)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later.
Whenever you create a new WordPress post or page, you have the option of queuing your 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 specific order, or at certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin website:
Bulk Schedule WP
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (add content automatically to WordPress sites).
(Auto Post Scheduler WP 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 can revitalize traffic.
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 …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options screen)
To learn more, visit the plugin website here: Auto Post Scheduler Plugin
Although you may not need all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that lets you import bulk posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals at a future time.
(WP Robot – WP Plugin)
For more details, go here: WPRobot – WP 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.
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