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 allows you to postdate and backdate posts. Lots of WordPress beginners haven’t discovered this yet. In this article, you will learn how to schedule WP posts for publishing at a later date.
Publishing new content on your WordPress site on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new prospective customers to your site and keep your site readers returning for more information.
There are times, however, when you don’t necessarily want content to show when you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want your blog post to display immediately after adding it to your site:
- You need to travel but you still want posts being published on your site while you’re gone.
- You need a previously published post removed have it be automatically published again at a specific time and date later.
- You want to distribute a daily post with the latest news about a certain topic for your blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You want them to read your new post every day before they start work, but this means that you’d have to be awake at 3 am to publish your blog post.
- You set aside one day every week to write a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your content writing to freelancers who deliver you dozens of articles once a month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You launch an online training course and want the blog posts drip-fed to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of articles to your blog at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new article 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 to your blog 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 blog 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 your content exactly when you have set.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to schedule WP blog posts to publish at a later date, plus great tips on article scheduling.
Complete the tutorial below to learn how to schedule posts in WordPress.
Scheduling WP Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you easily alter the date and time of your published posts, including specifying exact dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add posts to your WordPress website, which can then be preconfigured to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a later time with the Quick Edit feature when scrolling through a list of all your existing posts, or you can schedule them when you’re adding or editing new or existing posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule WP blog posts using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WP dashboard and select Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In your Posts area, find the Post you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to display 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 Settings)
Go to the “Date” section …
(Quick Edit – Date & Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to easily alter any aspect of the date and time of your post, simply by changing the values in the fields and selecting options from a drop-down menu …
(Schedule new Post date and time)
Tip: You can schedule WordPress blog posts in the future or backdate post dates to show content as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
This is very useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your experiences and would like your posts to display as having been posted on the actual dates you’ve been away. Another reason to backdate your blog posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Likewise, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch your site at a future time.
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 clock. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the Post Scheduling module field. The time your post will actually end up being published is based on the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.
Remember to click the Update button to save your new changes …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your changes)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts area …
(Post scheduled for publishing)
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(Quick Edit – ‘Scheduled’ post status)
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 future date, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date and time)
Don’t forget to click on the Schedule button to save your settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to update your post 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 entered …
(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: field …
(Publish box – Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Remember to click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Section – Schedule)
Your post will show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish box …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Posts table – Date column)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
We’ll show you now how to republish existing posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some situations, 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 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 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 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 …
(Republishing your post)
When you do this, the post will immediately redistribute 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 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 post to publish in the future, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your post to publish:
(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 settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now publish immediately …
(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 the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you click the “Schedule” button after changing the date/time settings? 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 your hosting setup, you could experience problems. If so, try decreasing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the issue.
Automating Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts WP Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later at a specified interval.
When you create a new WordPress post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing your post …
(Post Publish Section – Post 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 certain order, or at certain times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
To learn more, go here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of plugins that let you “autoblog” (add content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler WP Plugin)
Auto Post Scheduler is a free WordPress 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 blog posts, as you can set the plugin 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: AutoPost Scheduler Plugin For WordPress
Although you may not want 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 and then set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals at a future date.
(WPRobot – WP Autoblogging Plugin)
For more details, visit the plugin website here: WP Robot – WordPress 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 WordPress posts to publish at a later date.
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