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 feature that lets you schedule your posts. Many WordPress users don’t know about this. In this tutorial, you will learn how to schedule posts in WordPress for publishing later.
Publishing new content on your WordPress site on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new prospective customers to your business and keep your blog readers coming back for more.
There are instances, however, where you may not want your content to show immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want blog posts to display immediately after adding it to your site:
- You travel a lot but you still want posts being published on your blog on a regular basis.
- You want a previously published post removed and automatically republished at a future date/time.
- You want to distribute a daily update with the latest news about a certain topic for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You’d like them to read your posts each day before they start work, 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 write a whole week’s worth of blog posts, or you outsource your content creation to freelance writers who deliver you dozens of articles once a month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You set up a private content membership area and want to “drip-feed” articles 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 site at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your readers so that only one new blog 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 to your blog that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and be free to grow other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your blogging strategy is still working for you.
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 on the exact dates and times that you have specified.
In the tutorial below, we are going to show you how to schedule WP posts to publish at a future date, as well as tips on how to automate scheduled articles.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WP posts.
How To Schedule WordPress Posts For Publishing At A Future Date – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can easily modify the date/time of your published posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add content to your website, which can then be prescheduled to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a future time with the Quick Edit function if you are viewing a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them when you’re working on blog posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WP admin area and choose Posts > All Posts …
(WP Posts Menu – Add Post)
In your Posts screen, find the item you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Section – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit inline editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Inline Editor Settings)
Go to the “Date” feature …
(Quick Edit – Date & Time Settings)
WordPress lets you easily set any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by entering new values in the fields or selecting options from a drop-down menu …
(Change date and time of your Post)
Useful Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts to show posts as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
This is convenient 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 actual dates you’ve been away. Another great use for backdating your posts would be to give a brand new site a little bit more of an “established” look. Conversely, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch your blog at a future time.
Change the date of your post to any date (and time) you would like your post to show as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later 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 Post Scheduling module. The time your post will actually end up being published is determined by the location settings set in your Settings > General area.
Click the Update button to save your new settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your new post settings)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(Quick Edit – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
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 section – Publish settings)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date & time)
Don’t forget to click on the Schedule button to save your settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to save your post settings)
Tip: 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 set …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule the post to be republished in the future 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 the OK button …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click on the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Section – Schedule Button)
Your post should now show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish box …
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts area …
(Table of Posts – Date column)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let’s show you now how to republish WP blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some instances, you may need 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 new 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 update 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 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 immediately be redistributed to your email subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, 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 use the “sticky” feature …
(Make this post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a blog post to be published in the future, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, simply return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish feature, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your post 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 OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
(Post publish button)
Your post will now publish right away …
(Publish box – Post status: ‘Published’)
Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
If your scheduled post failed to 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 remember to click the “Schedule” button after modifying the date/time settings? 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 decreasing the number of scheduled posts and see if this solves the issue.
Automating Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling content in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts – WordPress Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to queue new posts and pages for later publication.
When you create a new post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing the post for publishing later …
(Post Publish Box – Post Queue)
This is great if you are scheduling various posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a specific order, or between specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more information, go here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of WordPress plugins that let you “autoblog” (add content automatically to WordPress sites).
(AutoPost Scheduler 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 old posts can revitalize traffic.
This plugin is especially useful if you plan to import 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 setting a range of other options …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options)
For more details, visit the plugin’s website here: Auto Post Scheduler WP 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 allows you to bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WP Robot – WP Plugin)
To learn more, 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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