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 hidden feature that allows you to schedule posts. This is a very useful feature that many website owners don’t know about. In this latest installment of our tutorial series, you will learn how to schedule WP blog posts for publishing later.
Publishing new content on your WordPress site on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new prospective customers to your business and keep your blog readers coming back for more.
There may be instances, however, when you may not want your content to appear immediately.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want posts to display as soon as it has been added to your WordPress site:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want posts to be published on your blog regularly while you’re gone.
- You would like a previously published post removed have it be automatically republished at a specific time and date later.
- You would like to start publishing a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain subject for your blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You want them to read your posts each day before they start work, but this means that you’d have 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 content for your site, or you outsource your content writing to professional writers who send you many 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 would like to “drip-feed” posts to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of articles to your website or blog at once, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new post gets 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 blog that would keep your readers 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.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date 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 the tutorial below, you are going to learn how to schedule WP posts to publish at a later date/time, plus time-saving tips for publishing scheduled posts.
Complete the tutorial below to learn how to schedule blog posts in WordPress.
How To Schedule Your Posts In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress allows you to easily modify the date and time of your published blog posts, including specifying exact dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add posts to your WordPress website, which can then be pre-set to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule WordPress posts to publish at a later date with the Quick Edit method if you are viewing a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them when you’re adding new posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule WordPress posts using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WordPress dashboard and choose Posts > All Posts …
In your Posts section, find the Post you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Screen – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit inline editor expands to reveal all the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Quick Edit Options)
Find the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” inline editor screen …
(Quick Edit – Date Settings)
WordPress lets you edit any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields or selecting options from the dropdown date menu …
(Schedule new Post date and time)
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 very 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 away. Another reason to backdate your posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Conversely, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch your blog after getting everything set up and configured.
Change the post date to whatever date (and/or time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later date & time)
Note: To schedule a post as being published in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour system. For example, to display 1:00 PM enter 13:00 in the schedule area. The time your post will actually end up being published is based on the location settings set in your Settings > General area.
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 feature …
(Quick Edit – ‘Scheduled’ post status)
Scheduling 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 section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Edit the date (and time) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date)
Remember to click Schedule to save your post settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to save your post settings)
Tip: To backdate a blog 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 to publish on the date and time you have entered …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule your post to be republished at a future date by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: field …
(Publish box – Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click on the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Publish Box – Schedule)
Your post should now show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
(Publish section – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your post status will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Table of Posts – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let us show you now how to republish existing WordPress posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some instances, you may need to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few different options you can choose:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by editing 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 jump 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 want 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 …
(Republishing your post)
When you do this, your post will automatically redistribute to your blog subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in the timeline will stay unchanged.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up 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 WP Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to publish in the future, but then change your mind and want to publish it immediately, simply 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 your post is scheduled 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 your current time) as your scheduled post time and click OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now be published immediately …
(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 your Post Status. Did you save the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you click the “Schedule” button after modifying 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 server resources, you could experience problems. If so, try reducing the number of scheduled posts and see if this solves the issue.
Automating Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin For WordPress)
Queue Posts is a free WP plugin that allows you to place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later at a specified interval.
When you create a new WordPress post or page, you have the option of queuing it for publishing later …
(Post Publish Box – Post Queue)
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 certain order, or between certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
To learn more, go here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of WP plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(AutoPost Scheduler Plugin)
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 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)
For more information, go here: Auto Post Scheduler 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 lets you import bulk posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WP Robot – WP Plugin)
For more details about this plugin, visit their website: WP Robot – WordPress Autoblogging 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 WordPress posts at a later 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)