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 hidden feature that allows you to postdate posts. Lots Of newbies don’t know about this. In this tutorial, we will show you how to schedule your posts in WordPress.
Publishing great content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new prospective customers to your business and keep your site readers returning for more information.
There are times, however, when you don’t necessarily want content to show when you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some instances where you may not want to publish a WordPress post as soon as it’s been added to your blog:
- You go on a trip but you still want to publish posts on your blog regularly while you’re away.
- You would like an already published post removed and automatically published again at a future time/date.
- You would like to start publishing a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain topic for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You’d like them to receive your new post each day at a certain time, but this means that you’d have to get up at odd hours of the night 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 content writing to freelancers who deliver you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You set up a private content membership area and want to “drip-feed” content to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of blog posts to your blog at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new blog 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 blog that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and be free to work on other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your content marketing strategy is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! If you set a date/time in the future to publish your blog posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content on the exact dates and times that you have set.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date/time, and tips on content scheduling.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WordPress posts for publishing later.
How To Schedule WP Blog Posts For Publishing At A Future Date And Time – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress allows you to change the date/time of your published blog posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add blog posts to your website, which can then be pre-scheduled to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a later date using the Quick Edit method if you are viewing a list of all your existing WordPress posts, or you can schedule them when adding or editing new or existing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP dashboard and choose Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
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…
The Quick Edit feature expands to reveal all the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Quick Edit Section)
Find the “Date” feature …
(Date Settings – Quick Edit)
WordPress lets you edit the date and time of your post, just by entering new values in the fields and choosing options from the dropdown date menu …
(Schedule new Post date and time)
Tip: You can schedule blog 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 very useful 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 same dates you’ve been away. Another reason to backdate your blog 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 your site after getting it all ready and finished.
Change the post date to whatever date (and/or time) you would like it to show 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 type in 13:00 in the scheduling section. The time your post will actually end up being published depends on the location settings set in your Settings > General section.
Click Update to save your changes …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your changes)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(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 and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Publish box – Publish settings)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date & time)
Remember to click Schedule to save your post settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to update 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 specified …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule your post to be republished later 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 update your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Box – Schedule Button)
Your post should show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish area …
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Table of Posts – Date column)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
We’ll show you now how to republish existing WP blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some instances, you may decide to republish an old post. If so, there are a few options you can use to do this:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by editing the date and time that 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 place 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 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, the post will automatically be redistributed to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, 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 always make it “sticky” …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A Post
If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to publish in the future, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, simply return to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
In the Publish feature, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your blog post to publish:
(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 the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
(Post publish button)
Your post will publish 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. Have you saved the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after modifying the date/time? 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 posts and see if this fixes the problem.
Automating Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for later publication.
When you create a new WordPress post or page, you have the option of queuing it 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 at certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more information about this plugin, visit their website:
Bulk Schedule WordPress
There are a number of WordPress plugins that let you “autoblog” (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
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 old posts keeps your site looking fresh.
This plugin is especially useful if you plan to import a large number of posts, as you can set the Auto Post Scheduler to publish posts at whatever frequency you choose as well as setting a range of other options …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options)
To learn more, visit the plugin’s website: AutoPost Scheduler WordPress Plugin
Although you may not want to use all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that lets you bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals at a late date.
(WPRobot – WordPress Plugin)
To learn more, visit their website: WPRobot – 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 WordPress blog posts at a future date.
"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya