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 feature that lets you postdate and backdate posts. This is a very useful feature that lots of site owners haven’t discovered yet. In this article, you will learn how to schedule your posts in WordPress for publishing later.
Publishing fresh content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new visitors to your site and keep your blog readers coming back for more information.
There may be instances, however, when 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 blog post immediately after adding it to your site:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want blog posts being published on your site regularly while you’re away.
- You would like to remove an already published post and automatically republish it at a specific time/date in the future.
- 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 country than you. You’d like them to read your posts each day at the same time, but this would require you to get up at 3:30 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 content writing to freelancers who deliver you dozens of articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You set up an online training course and want to “drip-feed” content to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of articles to your site at once, and then have it 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 new content on 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 publishing is still working for you while you’re gone.
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 on the exact dates and times that you have specified.
In this tutorial, you are going to learn a couple of ways to schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date/time, as well as great tips on how to automate scheduled blog posts.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WP posts for publishing at a later date.
Scheduling Your Posts In WP – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can modify the date/time of your published blog posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add blog posts to your site, which can then be prescheduled to go live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule posts to publish at a future time using the Quick Edit feature if you are viewing a list of all your existing WP posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing existing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule WordPress blog posts using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP dashboard and select Posts > All Posts …
(WordPress Posts Menu – Add Post)
In your Posts screen, find the Post you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Screen – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit in-line editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Inline Editor Options)
Locate the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” in-line editor screen …
(Change Date & Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to alter any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by entering new values in the fields and selecting options from a dropdown date menu …
(Schedule date and time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule posts in WordPress in the future or backdate post dates to show content as having been published prior to the 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 post dates to match the actual dates you’ve been physically absent. 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 blog at a future time.
Change the post date to any date (and/or time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule Post to publish at a later date)
Note: To schedule a post as being published in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the schedule module. The time your post will actually end up being published depends on the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.
Click the Update button to save your settings …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your post settings)
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 show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
How To Schedule WordPress Posts When Adding / 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 box – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Don’t forget to click Schedule to save your post settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to save your post settings)
Note: To backdate a post in WordPress, 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 specified …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule your post to be republished in the future 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 OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click on the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
Your post will now show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
Your post status 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 WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let’s show you now how to republish blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some instances, you may decide to republish an old post. If so, there are a few different options you can use to do this:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by editing 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 jump 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 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 …
(Republishing your post)
When you do this, your post will immediately be re-sent to your blog subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will remain unmodified.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your site, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a blog 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.
In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your post for publishing:
(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 OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now publish immediately …
(Post publish box – 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. Have you saved your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to 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 your hosting setup, you could experience problems. If so, try decreasing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the problem.
Automate Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for later publication.
Whenever you create a new WP post or page, you have the option of queuing the post for publishing later …
This is great if you are scheduling various posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a specific order, or at certain times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
To learn more, visit their website here:
Bulk Scheduling WP
There are a number of plugins that let you “autoblog” (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
Auto Post Scheduler is a free WordPress 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 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 …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options screen)
For more details, go here: Auto Post Scheduler WP Plugin
Although you may not need to use all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that allows you to bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site and then set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WP Autoblogging Software)
For more information, go 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 WP blog posts to publish at a future date.
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