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 or backdate posts. Many users haven’t discovered this yet. In this article, you will learn how to schedule WP blog posts for publishing later.
Publishing fresh content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new prospective customers to your business and keep your blog readers coming back for more.
There are instances, however, where you don’t necessarily want your content to be published when you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some instances where you may not want to display a WordPress post as soon as it’s been added to the WordPress CMS:
- You go on a trip but you still want content being published on your blog on a regular schedule.
- You want an already published post removed have it be automatically published again at a future time and date.
- You would like to publish a daily 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’d like them to receive your new post every day at a certain time, but this would require you to be awake between 3 and 4 am to publish your blog post.
- You set aside one day each week to write a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your content creation to freelancers who deliver you dozens of articles once a month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at the same time!
- You set up an online training course and want the articles to be made available to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of blog posts to your blog at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your readers so that only one new blog post got published each day, or week, or every few days?
You could then implement a “set and forget” system for scheduling and publishing new content to your blog that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and be free to grow other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your content marketing strategy is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date/time in the future to publish your blog posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish these on the exact dates and times that you specify.
In the tutorial below, you are going to learn a couple of ways to schedule WP blog posts to publish at a future date/time, as well as some great tips on article scheduling.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WP blog posts.
Scheduling WP Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can easily change the date/time of your published blog posts, including specifying exact dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add content to your site, which can then be prescheduled to display live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing posts to publish at a later date using the Quick Edit feature when scrolling through a list of all posts, or you can schedule them as you’re adding or editing new or existing posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule 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 area, find the item 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 reveal all the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Quick Edit Options)
Locate the “Date” feature …
(Quick Edit – Change Date And Time)
WordPress lets you alter the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields and selecting options from a drop-down menu …
(Change Post date and time)
Useful Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts to show posts as having been published prior to the original publishing date.
This is convenient 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 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 blog posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch your site at a future time.
Change the date of your post to whatever date (and time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule Post to publish at a later specified date)
Note: To schedule a post 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 area. The time your post will actually publish is based on the location settings set in your Settings > General area.
Click the Update button to save your new post settings …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your new post settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Post scheduled for publishing)
Your post status will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Scheduling Posts In WordPress 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…
(Publish box – Publish immediately > Edit)
Edit the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Don’t forget to click on the Schedule button to save your settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to update your settings)
Note: 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 set …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule the post to be republished later by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: section …
(Publish section – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click on the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(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 – Post status)
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 WordPress blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some instances, 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 later date and time and 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 change 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, the post will immediately be redistributed 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 unchanged.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your blog, you can just use the “sticky” feature …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A WordPress Post
If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to be published later, but then change your mind and want to publish it immediately, just go back to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish section, 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 your current time) as your scheduled post time and click OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now be published immediately …
(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 the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you click the “Schedule” button after changing the date/time? For the 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 reducing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the problem.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
Queue Posts is a free WP plugin that allows you to place new posts and pages in a queue for later publication.
When you create a new WP post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing your post …
(Post Publish Box – 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 specific order, or at certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
To learn more, go here:
Bulk Scheduling WP
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
(Auto Post Scheduler 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 can revitalize traffic.
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 specify a range of other settings …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options screen)
For more information about this plugin, go here: Auto Post Scheduler
Although you may not need 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 and then set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a late date.
(WPRobot – WP Plugin)
For more details, go here: WP Robot – WP Autoposting 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.
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum