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 neat hidden feature that lets you postdate your posts. Lots of WordPress users don’t know about this. In this article, you will learn how to schedule WP posts for publishing at a future date.
Publishing great content regularly on your site 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 may be times, however, when you don’t necessarily want your content to show when you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want posts to go live as soon as it has been added to your website:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want blog posts to be published on your site on a regular schedule.
- You would like a previously published post removed and automatically republished at a future date/time.
- You would like to distribute a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain topic for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You want them to receive your posts every day at the same time, but this would require you to be awake in the middle of the night to hit the “publish” button.
- 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 send you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at the same time!
- You set up 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 whole bunch of posts to your website or blog at once, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your readers 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 new 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 your posts exactly when you have set.
In the tutorial below, you will learn how to schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date/time, and some great tips on article scheduling.
Go through the tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WordPress posts.
Scheduling Blog Posts In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you alter the date/time of your published posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add content to your WordPress blog, which can then be pre-set to display live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing posts to publish at a future date with the Quick Edit method if you are scrolling through a list of all your existing posts, or you can schedule them when working on 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 WP dashboard and select Posts > All Posts …
(WP Posts Menu – Add New)
In the Posts area, find the item you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit editor expands to reveal all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Inline Editor Options)
Find the “Date” section …
(Date And Time Settings – Quick Edit Section)
WordPress allows you to easily alter the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields and choosing options from the drop-down menu …
(Change date and time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate post dates to show content as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
This is great if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your day-to-day events and would like your blog posts to display as having been posted on the same dates you’ve been away. Another reason to backdate your posts would be to give a brand new site a little bit more of an “established” look. Conversely, you can set all blog posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog after getting it all ready and finished.
Change the date of your post to any date (and time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule Post to publish at a later specified date & time)
Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, to display 1:00 PM type in 13:00 in the schedule module field. The time your post will actually publish depends on the location settings set in your Settings > General section.
Remember to click Update to save your changes …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your new settings)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(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 Posts In WordPress 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…
(Publish section – Publish settings)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Remember to click on the Schedule button to save your settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to update your settings)
Tip: To backdate a post in WordPress, 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 to publish 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 at a later date by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …
(Post publish box – Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click on the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
Your post should show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish area …
Your saved 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’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
We’ll show you now how to republish WordPress blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some situations, you may decide to republish an old post. If you do, 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 later date (and time), then click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will jump from its current position 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 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, the post will immediately redistribute 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 unchanged.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your blog, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Make your post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to publish in the future, but then change your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
In the Publish feature, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your post for publishing:
(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 be published immediately …
(Publish button – 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. Did you save your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after editing 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 your server resources, you could experience problems. If so, try decreasing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the problem.
Automating Post Scheduling With WP Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free WP plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for later publication at a specified interval.
Whenever you create a new WP post or page, you have the option of queuing your post for publishing later …
(Post Publish Box – 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 between specific times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
To learn more, visit their website here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of WP plugins that let you “autopost” content (add content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler)
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 old posts keeps your site looking fresh.
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 information about this plugin, visit the plugin website: Auto Post Scheduler Plugin For WordPress
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.
(WPRobot – WP Plugin)
For more information, visit their website here: WPRobot – WordPress 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 schedule posts for publishing in WordPress at a later date.
"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum