How To Schedule WordPress Posts

Learn how to schedule WordPress posts for publishing your content at a later (or earlier) date.

How To Schedule WordPress Posts

If you are serious about 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 hidden feature that allows you to postdate and backdate your posts. This is a very useful feature that many site owners haven’t discovered yet. In this article, we will show you how to schedule blog posts in WordPress for publishing at a future date.

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 are instances, however, where you don’t necessarily want your content to appear immediately.

For example, here are some situations where you may not want blog posts to go live as soon as it has been added to your site:

  • You travel a lot but you still want to publish articles to your site on a regular basis.
  • You would like a previously published post removed have it be automatically republished at a future time and date.
  • You would like to publish 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 posts every day at the same time, but this would require you to get up at odd hours of the night to hit the “publish” button.
  • You set aside one day each week to create a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your article writing to freelancers who send you dozens of articles once a month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
  • You set up a private content membership area and would like the articles to be made available to members over a period of time.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of articles to your blog in one go, and then have it 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 new content on your blog that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and be free to grow other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your content strategy is still working for you while you’re gone.

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 these exactly when you have set.

In the tutorial below, you will learn how to schedule WordPress posts to publish at a future date, plus some great tips on article scheduling.

Complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to schedule blog posts in WP.

How To Schedule WordPress Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial

WordPress allows you to modify the date and time of your published 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 prescheduled to display live at any given date and time of your choice.

You can schedule WordPress posts to publish at a future time with the Quick Edit feature when scrolling through a list of all your existing WordPress posts, or you can schedule them when adding new blog posts.

Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Method

To schedule WordPress blog posts using the Quick Edit method,

Log into your WP dashboard and click on Posts > All Posts

WordPress Posts Menu - Add New

(Posts Menu – Add New)

In the Posts screen, find the item 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

(Quick Edit)

The Quick Edit in-line editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …

Quick Edit Options

(Inline Editor Section)

Go to the “Date” feature …

Date And Time Settings - Quick Edit Section

(Date & Time Settings – Quick Edit)

WordPress lets you easily edit the date and time of your post, just by entering new values in the fields and choosing options from a dropdown date menu …

Change date and time of your Post

(Schedule date & time of your Post)

Useful Tip

Tip: You can schedule WP posts in the future or backdate posts to show content as having been published prior to the original publishing date.

This is great if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your day-to-day events and would like your blog posts to show as having been posted on the actual dates you’ve been absent. Another great use for backdating your posts would be to give a brand new website or blog 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 site after getting it all ready and finished.

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Change the date of your post to any date (and/or time) you would like your post to show as having been published (future or past) …

Posts scheduled to publish at a specified date

(Schedule Post to publish at a later date)

Info

Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, to display 1:00 PM type in 13:00 in the Schedule Post area. The time your post will actually end up being published depends on the location settings set in your Settings > General area.

Remember to click the Update button to save your new post settings …

Click 'Update' to save your post settings

(Click ‘Update’ to save your post settings)

Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …

Post scheduled for publishing

(Post status: Scheduled)

Your post will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …

Post status: 'Scheduled'

(‘Scheduled’ post status)

How To Schedule 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, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit

Publish Section - Publish immediately > Edit

(Publish box – Publish settings)

Edit the date (and time) of your post and click OK

Change Post date & time

(Change Post date and time)

Click Schedule to update your settings …

Click 'Schedule' to update your settings

(Click on ‘Schedule’ to update your settings)

Tip: To backdate a blog post, simply edit the date before you click Publish, 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

(Post schedule message)

If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule the post to be republished in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …

Post Publish Section - Edit

(Post publish section – Edit)

Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK

Click the 'OK' button to set your new date and time settings

(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)

Click the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …

Post Publish Section - Schedule Button

(Publish Section – Schedule)

Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish section …

(Status: 'Scheduled')

(’Scheduled’ post status)

Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …

Posts table - Post status

(Posts table – Post status)

You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …

Dashboard - Activity Screen

(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)

Now, let’s take a look at how to republish posts.

Useful Tip

Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.

Republishing A WordPress 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 editing the date and time that the post was published. Enter a future 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 link for the post will also be updated 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

(Republish your post)

When you do this, your post will immediately be re-sent to your blog subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will stay unmodified.

Useful Tip

Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your blog, you can always make it “sticky” …

Tick box to make post sticky

(Sticky post option)

Learn more about making posts sticky here:

Un-Scheduling A WP Post

If you’ve scheduled a blog post to publish in the future, but then change your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just go back to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.

Edit Post

(Post – Edit)

In the Publish feature, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled for publishing:

Post publish box - Edit

(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 settings

(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)

Click Publish

Post publish button

(Publish section)

Your post will now be published right away …

Post status: 'Published'

(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 settings? 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 posts 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

Queue Posts - WordPress Plugin

(Queue Posts)

Queue Posts is a free plugin that allows you to queue new posts and pages for later publication.

Whenever you create a new WP post or page, you have the option of queuing your post …

Publish Box - Queue Button

(Queue Post)

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 specific order, or between specific times and intervals …

Queue Posts - Settings

(Queue Posts – Settings)

For more information, go here:

Bulk Schedule Posts

There are a number of plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).

AutoPost Scheduler

Auto Post Scheduler

(Auto Post Scheduler Plugin For WordPress)

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 old posts can revitalize traffic.

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 specify a range of other settings …

AutoPost Scheduler Options screen

(Auto Post Scheduler Options)

For more details about this plugin, visit the plugin’s website here: Auto Post Scheduler Plugin

WPRobot

Although you may not want all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that allows you to import bulk posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals at a future date.

WP Robot - WordPress Plugin

(WP Robot – WP Autoblogging Software)

To learn more, go here: WP Robot – WP Autoposting Plugin

Drip-Feeding Posts

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 …

Missed post schedules

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.

How To Schedule WordPress Posts

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"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

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as How To Schedule WordPress Posts.