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 allows you to postdate or backdate your posts. This is a very useful feature that many site owners don’t know about. In this latest installment of our WordPress training series, we will show you how to schedule WP blog posts.
Publishing great content on your WordPress site on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive visitors to your business and keep your blog readers coming back for more information.
There are times, however, where you don’t necessarily want your content to display immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want to display a blog post as soon as it’s been added to the WordPress CMS:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want articles being published on your blog while you’re away.
- You want to remove a previously published post and automatically it again at a specific time/date later.
- You would like to distribute a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain subject for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You want them to receive your new post each day at a certain time, but this means that you’d have to get up in the middle of the night to publish your blog post.
- You set aside one day each week to write a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your content creation to professional 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 want the articles to be made available to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of content to your blog at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new post got 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 work on 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/time in the future for publishing your posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your posts exactly as you have set.
In the tutorial below, you are going to learn how to schedule WP posts to publish at a later date/time, and some great tips on content scheduling.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to schedule WP posts.
How To Schedule WordPress Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress allows you to easily alter the date and time of your published posts, including specifying exact dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add articles to your site, 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 later time using the Quick Edit method if you are viewing a list of all your existing posts, or you can schedule them when editing existing posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit function,
Log into your WordPress admin area and choose Posts > All Posts …
In the 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 feature expands to reveal all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Inline Editor Options)
Go to the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” in-line editor screen …
(Quick Edit – Date Settings)
WordPress allows you to easily alter the date and time of your post, simply by changing the values in the fields or choosing options from the drop-down menu …
(Schedule new Post date & time)
Tip: You can schedule WP blog posts in the future or backdate posts to show content as having been published prior to the 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 show as having been published on the actual dates you’ve been away. Another great use for backdating your blog posts would be to give a brand new blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Alternatively, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new site at a future time.
Change the post date to whatever date (and/or time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a specified date)
Note: To schedule a post as being published in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour system. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the schedule module. The time your post will actually end up being published is based on the location settings set in your Settings > General section.
Remember to click the Update button to save your new settings …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your post settings)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Post scheduled for publishing)
Your post status will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(Quick Edit – ‘Scheduled’ post status)
How To Schedule WordPress Posts When Adding And Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a later date, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date and time)
Don’t forget to click on Schedule to save your settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to update your post settings)
Tip: To backdate a post, simply edit the date before you click Publish, 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 the post to be republished at a future date by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …
(Publish section – 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 update your republishing settings …
Your post will show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your saved post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
(Table of Posts – Date column)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we will learn how to republish existing blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some situations, you may decide to republish an old post. If so, 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 jump 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 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 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 re-sent 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 stay the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your blog, you can just use the “sticky” feature …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WP post to publish in the future, but then change your mind and want to publish it immediately, just go back to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
In the Publish section, 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 the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now be published right away …
(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 remember to click the “Schedule” button after editing the date/time settings? For a 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 the resources of your web server, 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 various aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts WordPress Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for publishing later.
When you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing your post …
This is great if you are scheduling various posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a certain order, or between specific times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
To learn more, visit their website:
Bulk Scheduling Posts
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (add content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler – WordPress Plugin)
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 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 plugin to publish posts at whatever frequency you choose as well as setting a range of other options …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options screen)
To learn more, go here: AutoPost Scheduler Plugin
Although you may not need to use all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WP Robot includes a module that lets you bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WP Robot – 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 posts for publishing in WordPress at a future date.
"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com