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 hidden feature that lets you schedule your posts. This is a very useful feature that many WordPress website owners haven’t discovered yet. In this article, we will show you how to schedule your posts in WordPress.
Publishing great content on your WordPress site on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new visitors to your site and keep your blog readers returning for more.
There may be instances, however, when you may not want content to display as soon as you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want to display a post as soon as it has been added to your WordPress site:
- You go on a trip but you still want to publish content to your blog while you’re away.
- You need to remove a previously published post and automatically republish it at a future time and date.
- You would like to distribute 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’d like them to receive your updates each day before they start work, but this means that you’d have to be awake in the middle of the night to publish your blog post.
- You set aside one day every week to write a whole week’s worth of blog posts, or you outsource your article creation to freelancers who send you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You launch an online training course and would like the articles drip-fed to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of posts to your blog at once, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new article gets published each day, or week, or every few days?
You could then implement a “set and forget” system for scheduling and publishing fresh content to your site 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 article marketing strategy is still working for you while you’re gone.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date in the future to publish your blog posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish these exactly as you have set.
In the tutorial below, we are going to show you a couple of ways to schedule WP blog posts to publish at a future date/time, as well as some great tips for publishing scheduled articles.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule your posts in WP.
Scheduling WordPress Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can alter the date/time of your published blog posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add articles to your website, which can then be pre-scheduled to display live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule WordPress posts to publish at a later time using the Quick Edit function if you are scrolling through a list of all your existing posts, or you can schedule them when editing your blog posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WP admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
In the Posts screen, find the Post you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit editor expands to reveal all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Quick Edit Section)
Locate the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” in-line editor screen …
(Date Settings – Quick Edit Screen)
WordPress allows you to set the date and time of your post, simply by entering new values in the fields and choosing options from the dropdown date menu …
(Edit date & time of your Post)
Useful Tip: You can schedule WordPress posts in the future or backdate post dates to show content as having been published prior to its original publishing date.
This is great if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your experiences and would like your posts to match the actual dates you’ve been absent. Another great use for backdating your posts would be to give a brand new site a little bit more of an “established” look. Likewise, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog after getting it all ready and finished.
Change the post date to whatever date (and time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later specified date and time)
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 scheduling module field. The time your post will actually publish is determined by the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
Click the Update button to save your new changes …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your new settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts area …
Your post status will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Scheduling WordPress Posts When Adding And Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a future date and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Publish box – Publish immediately > Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date & time)
Don’t forget to click on the Schedule button to save your settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to save your settings)
Tip: 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 to publish on the date and time you have set …
(Post schedule message)
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: section …
(Post 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 settings)
Remember to click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Publish Box – Schedule)
Your post should show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish section …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Posts table – Date column)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
We’ll show you now how to republish posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WP Post
In some situations, you may want to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few different 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 later 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 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 …
(Republish your post)
When you do this, your post will automatically redistribute to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will remain unchanged.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your site, you can just use the “sticky” feature …
(Make your post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to be published in the future, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled 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 the current time showing on your clock) as your scheduled post time and click on OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will be published right away …
(Publish button – 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 remember to click the “Schedule” button after editing the date/time settings? For the 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 problem.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free WordPress plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for publishing later at a specified interval.
Whenever you create a new WP post or page, you have the option of queuing your post …
(Post Publish Section – 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 specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin website here:
Bulk Schedule WordPress
There are a number of WP plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (add content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(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 older posts keeps your site looking fresh.
This plugin is especially useful when importing 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)
To learn more, go here: AutoPost Scheduler Plugin For WordPress
Although you may not need all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WP Robot includes a module that lets you bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a late date.
(WPRobot – WP Autoposting Software)
For more information about this plugin, go here: WPRobot – 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 schedule WP blog posts to publish at a later date.
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