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 allows you to postdate and backdate your posts. Many WordPress newbies haven’t discovered this yet. In this tutorial, you will learn how to schedule WP blog posts for publishing at a future date.
Publishing fresh content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive visitors to your business and keep your blog readers returning for more information.
There may be instances, however, when you don’t necessarily want your content to be published immediately.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want your blog post to go live immediately after adding it to your blog:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want to publish blog posts on your site regularly while you’re away.
- You would like to remove a previously published post and automatically republish it at a specific time and date later.
- You would like 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 read your posts every day at a certain time, but this would require you to get up at odd hours of the night to publish your blog post.
- You set aside one day each week to write a whole week’s worth of blog posts, or you outsource your content creation 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 launch 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 bunch of content to your website or blog in one go, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your readers 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 blog that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and free up your time to focus on other areas of your business … or leave for a while and know that your article publishing 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 blog posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your posts on the exact dates and times that you have specified.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to schedule WP posts to publish at a future date, and tips on post scheduling.
Complete the tutorial below to learn how to schedule WP posts.
How To Schedule WP Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can easily modify the date and time of your published posts, including specifying dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add articles to your website, which can then be prescheduled to go 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 function when scrolling through a list of all your existing WP posts, or you can schedule them as you’re making changes to your posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule WordPress blog posts using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP admin area and choose Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In the Posts section, find the Post you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Section – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(In-line Editor Settings)
Find the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” inline editor screen …
(Date Settings – Quick Edit)
WordPress lets you schedule any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by entering new values in the fields or choosing options from the dropdown date menu …
(Edit date & time of your Post)
Useful Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate post dates to show posts as having been published prior to its original publishing date.
This is useful 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 reflect the actual dates you’ve been away. Another reason to backdate your blog posts would be to give a brand new site a little bit more of an “established” look. Conversely, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch your blog after getting everything set up and configured.
Change the date of your post to whatever date (and/or time) you would like it to show as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule your posts to publish at a later specified date)
Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, to display 1:00 PM enter 13:00 in the Schedule Post section. The time your post will actually get published is based on the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.
Click the Update button to save your new settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your new post settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
Your post status will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(Quick Edit – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
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 and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Publish box – Publish settings)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date & time)
Click on the Schedule button to save your post settings …
(Click on ‘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 to publish 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 at a later date by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …
(Publish section – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
Your post should show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish section …
Your 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 WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
We’ll show you now how to republish blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some instances, 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 changing the date and the time the post was published. Enter a new date (and time) and click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will move 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 update 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 redistribute to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will stay unmodified.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your blog, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Make this post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A Post
If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to publish later, but changed your mind and decide 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:
(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 publish immediately …
(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? 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 hosting setup, you could experience problems. If so, try decreasing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the issue.
Automating Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
Queue Posts is a free WordPress plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for publishing later.
When you create a new WP post or page, you have the option of queuing it for publishing later …
(Publish Section – Queue Button)
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 between specific times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
For more details, go here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
(AutoPost Scheduler Plugin For WordPress)
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 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 screen)
To learn more, go here: AutoPost 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 allows you to bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site and then set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WP Plugin)
For more details about this plugin, visit their website here: WP Robot – WP 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 AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum