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 really neat hidden feature that allows you to postdate posts. This is a very useful feature that many site owners don’t know about. In this latest installment of our training series, you will learn how to schedule WordPress posts.
Publishing fresh 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 site readers coming back for more information.
There may be times, however, where you don’t necessarily want content to display immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want posts published as soon as it’s been added to the WordPress CMS:
- You travel a lot but you still want to publish articles on your blog regularly while you’re away.
- You need to remove an already published post and automatically it again at a future date/time.
- You want to start publishing 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 receive your new post every day before they start work, but this means that you’d have to be awake between 3 and 4 am to publish your post.
- You set aside one day each week to create a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your article creation to freelancers who deliver you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You launch a private content membership area and would like the articles to be delivered to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of articles to your website or blog at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog 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 fresh content on your site that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and free up your time to work on 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 for publishing your blog posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish these on the exact dates and times that you specify.
In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to schedule WordPress posts to publish at a future date, and some great tips for publishing scheduled blog posts.
Complete the tutorial below to learn how to schedule your posts in WP.
How To Schedule WP Blog Posts For Publishing At A Future Date – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you easily modify the date and time of your published blog posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This allows 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 posts to publish at a future date using the Quick Edit feature if you are viewing a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them when editing blog posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Method
To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit function,
Log into your WP admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In the Posts screen, find the Post you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Screen – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit feature expands to reveal all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Inline Editor Settings)
Locate the “Date” section …
(Quick Edit – Date And Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to schedule any aspect of the date and time of your post, simply by changing the values in the fields and choosing options from a dropdown date menu …
(Edit date and time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts to show content as having been published prior to the 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 post dates to show as having been published on the actual dates you’ve been absent. Another reason to backdate your posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Likewise, you can set all blog posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog at a future time.
Change the date of your post to any date (and/or time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later specified date and time)
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 based on the location settings set in your Settings > General section.
Click Update to save your new settings …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your changes)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Your post is now scheduled for publishing)
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
How To Schedule WordPress Posts When Adding Or 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…
(Publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Remember to click on Schedule to update your post settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to update your post settings)
Note: To backdate a blog 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 set …
(Post schedule notification)
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 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)
Remember to click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
Your post will show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish section …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Table of Posts – Post status)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we’ll learn how to republish existing posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
How To Republish A WordPress Post
In some instances, you may need to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few options you can choose:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by changing the date and the time the post was published. Enter a later 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 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 the 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, your post will automatically be redistributed to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will stay the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your site, you can just use the “sticky” feature …
(Making a post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A Post
If you’ve scheduled a WP post to publish in the future, but then change your mind and decide to publish it immediately, simply return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled 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 the current time showing on your clock) as your scheduled post time and click OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will 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. Have you saved 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 lowering the number of scheduled posts and see if this solves the problem.
Automating Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin For WordPress)
Queue Posts is a free WP plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later.
When you create a new post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing your post for publishing later …
This is great if you are scheduling a number of posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a specific order, or at specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more information, go here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of plugins that let you “autoblog” (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
(Auto Post Scheduler)
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 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 specify a range of other settings …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options screen)
For more information, go here: AutoPost Scheduler
Although you may not want all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that lets you import bulk posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals at a late time.
(WPRobot – WP Plugin)
To learn more, go here: WPRobot – WP 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 publish WP posts at a future date.
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)