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 great feature that lets you schedule posts. This is a very useful feature that many WP site owners haven’t discovered yet. In this article, we will show you how to schedule posts in WordPress for publishing later.
Publishing great content on your WordPress blog on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new visitors to your site and keep your blog readers coming back for more.
There may be times, however, where you don’t necessarily want your content to appear immediately.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want your blog post to display as soon as it has been added to your WordPress site:
- You need to travel but you still want articles to be published on your blog on a regular basis.
- You would like an already published post removed and automatically republished at a future date/time.
- You would like to start publishing a daily update with the latest news about a certain topic for your blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You’d like them to read your posts each day at the same time, but this would require you to get up between 3 and 4 am to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day every week to create a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your article creation to freelancers who deliver you dozens of 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 would like the blog posts drip-fed to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of posts to your site at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your readers 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 readers regularly engaged, and be free to grow 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 to publish your posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your posts exactly as you have specified.
In the tutorial below, we are going to show you a little-known function that lets you schedule WP posts to publish at a later date/time, and time-saving tips on content scheduling.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to schedule your posts in WordPress.
How To Schedule WP Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can alter the date/time of your published posts, including setting dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add articles to your site, which can then be pre-set to go live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a later date using the Quick Edit function when scrolling through a list of all posts, or you can schedule them when working on existing posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WordPress dashboard and choose Posts > All Posts …
(Posts Menu – Add New)
In the Posts screen, find the Post you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Section – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit editor expands to display all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Inline Editor Options)
Locate the “Date” section …
(Quick Edit – Date & Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to easily set the date and time of your post, simply by entering new values in the fields or selecting options from the drop-down menu …
(Schedule new date and time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts to show content as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
This is convenient if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your day-to-day events and would like your posts to show as having been published on the actual dates you’ve been absent. Another great use for backdating your posts would be to give a brand new blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Alternatively, you can set all blog 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 any date (and time) you would like it to show as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule your posts to publish at a specified date)
Note: To schedule a post as being published in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, to display 1:00 PM enter 13:00 in the scheduling section. The time your post will actually get published depends on the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.
Remember to click the Update button to save your changes …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your new post settings)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Your post is now scheduled for publishing)
Your post will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(Quick Edit – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Scheduling 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…
(Post publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date and time)
Remember to click on Schedule to save your settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to update your post settings)
Note: 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 message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule the post to be republished at a future date 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 the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
Your post will show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish area …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Posts area …
(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 posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some situations, you may decide to republish an old post. If so, there are a few options you can choose:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by changing the date and time that 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 position in your timeline to the most recent spot on your blog and display the new date and time. The link for the post 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 …
(Republishing your post)
When you do this, the post will automatically be redistributed 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 the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your site, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A WordPress Post
If you’ve scheduled a blog 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.
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled for publishing:
(Post 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 on OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now be published immediately …
(Post publish button – 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 your 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 the resources of your web server, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled items and see if this fixes the problem.
Automate Post Scheduling With WP Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later.
When you create a new WordPress post or page, the plugin gives you 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 between certain times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
For more details, go here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of WP plugins that let you “autoblog” (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
(Auto Post Scheduler 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 keeps your site looking fresh.
This plugin is especially useful if you plan to import a large number of blog 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)
For more information about this plugin, go here: AutoPost Scheduler Plugin For WordPress
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 automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a future date.
(WPRobot – WP Autoblogging Plugin)
For more details about this plugin, visit their website: 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 posts for publishing in WordPress at a later date.
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now