If you are truly committed to 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 feature that lets you postdate or backdate your posts. Lots Of users don’t know about this. In this tutorial, we will show you how to schedule posts in WordPress.
Publishing fresh content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive traffic to your site and keep your site readers returning for more.
There are instances, however, where you may not want your content to show as soon as you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want to publish a post immediately after adding it to the WordPress CMS:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want content being published on your site while you’re gone.
- You need to remove a previously published post and automatically it again at a future date and time.
- You want to start publishing a daily update with the latest news about a certain subject for your blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You’d like them to receive your new post every day at the same time, but this would require you to get up at 3:30 am to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day each week to create a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your article writing to freelance writers who deliver you many articles once a month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You set up an online training course and would like the posts drip-fed to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of posts to your site in one go, 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 site that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and be free to work on other areas of your business … or leave for a while and know that your article 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 content on the exact dates and times that you have specified.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date/time, plus great tips on automating scheduled articles.
Complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to schedule WordPress posts.
How To Schedule Blog Posts In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress allows you to easily edit the date/time of your published posts, including specifying dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add articles to your website, which can then be prescheduled to go live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a future date using the Quick Edit method when scrolling through a list of all posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing or adding new posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Method
To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In your Posts section, 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 Section – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit in-line editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(In-line Editor Settings)
Go to the “Date” feature …
(Date Settings – Quick Edit Screen)
WordPress allows you to edit the date and time of your post, simply by changing the values in the fields and selecting options from the dropdown date menu …
(Edit Post date and time)
Useful Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate post dates 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 blog posts to display as having been published on the actual 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. Similarly, 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 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 system. For example, to display 1:00 PM type in 13:00 in the Post Scheduling module field. The time your post will actually publish is determined by the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
Click Update to save your new changes …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your new settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post status will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(‘Scheduled’ post status)
Scheduling Posts In WordPress When Adding And Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a future date and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
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 on the ‘Schedule’ button to save your post 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 your post to be republished later by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: section …
(Publish box – Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click on the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Section – Schedule)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish section …
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Posts table – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let us show you now how to republish existing WP blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
How To Republish A WordPress Post
In some instances, you may need 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 changing 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 move from its current position in your timeline to the most recent spot on your blog and display the new date and time. The post link 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 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 the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your site, you can always use the “sticky” feature …
(Making a post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A Post
If you’ve scheduled a blog post to be published later, but changed your mind and want 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 blog post for publishing:
(Post 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 the current time showing on your clock) as your scheduled post time and click on OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will be published right away …
(Post publish button – 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 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 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 your server resources, you could experience problems. If so, try reducing the number of scheduled items and see if this solves the problem.
Automating Post Scheduling With WP Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for later publication.
Whenever you create a new WordPress post or page, the plugin gives you 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 at certain times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
To learn more, visit their website here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(AutoPost Scheduler WordPress 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 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 …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options)
For more details about this plugin, go here: Auto Post Scheduler WordPress 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 lets you bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a future time.
(WP Robot – WP Plugin)
For more details, visit the plugin’s website here: WPRobot – WordPress 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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