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 cool feature that allows you to schedule posts. This is a very useful feature that lots of WP website owners haven’t discovered yet. In this tutorial, you will learn how to schedule WP posts and pages for publishing later.
Publishing fresh content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive traffic to your business and keep your blog readers returning for more information.
There are times, however, where you may not want your content to show immediately.
For example, here are some situations when you may not want to publish a post as soon as it’s been added to your WordPress blog:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want posts to be published on your blog on a regular basis.
- You need a previously published post removed have it be automatically published again at a future time/date.
- You would like to distribute 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 want them to read your updates every day at a certain time, but this would require you to get up at 3:30 am to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day every week to write a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your article creation to freelance writers who deliver you dozens of articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at the same time!
- You launch an online training course and would like the content to be made available to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of content to your website or blog at once, 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 new content to your blog that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and be free to work on other areas of your business … or leave for a while and know that your content marketing strategy 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 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 WP posts to publish at a later date/time, and great tips for publishing scheduled posts.
Complete the tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule posts in WordPress.
How To Schedule WP Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can easily change the date and time of your published blog posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add posts to your WordPress blog, which can then be pre-scheduled to go live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a later time using the Quick Edit function when scrolling through a list of all your existing WordPress posts, or you can schedule them when making changes to your posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule WP blog posts using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WordPress admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
In your Posts area, find the Post you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit inline editor expands to display all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(In-line Editor Section)
Go to the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” inline editor screen …
(Quick Edit – Change Date And Time)
WordPress lets you easily schedule the date and time of your post, simply by changing the values in the fields or selecting options from a dropdown date menu …
(Schedule date & time of your Post)
Useful Tip: You can schedule WordPress posts in the future or backdate posts to show posts 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 show 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 site a little bit more of an “established” look. Likewise, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog after getting everything set up and configured.
Change the post date to whatever date (and/or time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a specified 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 enter 13:00 in the Post Scheduling area. The time your post will actually get published is determined by the location settings set in your Settings > General area.
Remember to click Update to save your new post settings …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your changes)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
(Post scheduled for publishing)
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(‘Scheduled’ post status)
How To Schedule Posts In WordPress 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 if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date and time)
Click on Schedule to update your post settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to save your settings)
Tip: 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 specified …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule your post to be republished in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …
(Publish box – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click on the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Box – Schedule Button)
Your post will show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish section …
Your saved post 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 …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we’ll take a look at how to republish WP posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some situations, 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 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 change 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, the post will immediately redistribute to your email subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in the timeline will remain unchanged.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your site, you can always use the “sticky” feature …
(Make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A WordPress Post
If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to publish later, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your 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 the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will publish immediately …
(Publish section – 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 click the “Schedule” button after changing the date/time settings? For a 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 the resources of your web server, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled items and see if this solves the issue.
Automating Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling content in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts – WordPress Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that allows you to place new posts and pages in a queue for later publication.
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 multiple posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a certain order, or between specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more details about this plugin, visit their website:
Bulk Schedule WP
There are a number of plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
(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 can revitalize traffic.
This plugin is especially useful when importing a large number of 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 …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options screen)
To learn more, go here: AutoPost Scheduler
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 set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WP Autoposting Plugin)
For more details about this plugin, go 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 publish your WP posts at a future date.
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