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 really cool feature that allows you to schedule your posts. This is a very useful feature that many users haven’t discovered yet. In this latest installment of our WordPress tutorial series, we will show you how to schedule blog posts in WordPress.

Publishing new content on your WordPress blog on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new prospective customers to your business and keep your site readers coming back for more.

There are times, however, where you may not want your content to display immediately.

For example, here are some instances when you may not want posts published as soon as it’s been added to your site:

  • You travel a lot but you still want to publish articles on your blog on a regular schedule.
  • You need to remove an already published post and automatically republish it at a specific date and time in the future.
  • You want to start publishing a daily post with the latest news about a certain topic for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You want them to receive your updates every day at the same time, but this means that you’d have to get up in the middle of the night to hit the “publish” button.
  • You set aside one day every week to write a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your content creation to professional writers who deliver 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 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 content to your site in one go, 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 on your blog that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and free up your time 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 for publishing your blog posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish these exactly as you have specified.

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date, plus some great tips on article scheduling.

Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to schedule your posts in WP.

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

WordPress allows you to easily modify the date and time of your published posts, including setting dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add posts to your website, which can then be preconfigured 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 posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing existing blog posts.

Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Function

To schedule WP blog posts using the Quick Edit method,

Log into your WordPress dashboard and choose Posts > All Posts

WP Posts - Add Post

(WordPress Posts – Add New)

In your Posts screen, find the item you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu and click on Quick Edit

Posts Screen - Quick Edit

(Quick Edit)

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

Quick Edit Options

(In-line Editor Settings)

Locate the “Date” feature …

Date & Time Settings - Quick Edit Area

(Quick Edit – Change Date & Time)

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

Edit Post date and time

(Schedule date and time of your Post)

Useful Tip

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

This is 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 posts to reflect the same dates you’ve been absent. Another reason to backdate your blog posts would be to give a brand new website or 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 a new blog after getting it all ready and finished.

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

Posts scheduled to publish at a specified date

(Schedule Post to publish at a later specified date and time)

Info

Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the post scheduling section. The time your post will actually end up being published is determined by the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.

Click the Update button to save your post settings …

Click the 'Update' button to save your post settings

(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 is now scheduled for publishing)

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

Post status: 'Scheduled'

(Quick Edit – ‘Scheduled’ post status)

Scheduling Posts In WordPress When Adding Or 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 Box - 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

(Change Post date & time)

Don’t forget to click on the Schedule button to update your post settings …

Click on the 'Schedule' button to save your post settings

(Click on ‘Schedule’ to save your settings)

Note: 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 specified …

Post schedule message

(Post schedule notification)

If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule your post to be republished at a future date by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: field …

Publish Section - Edit

(Post publish section – Edit)

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

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

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

Click the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …

Post Publish Section - Schedule

(Schedule Button)

Your post will show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish area …

(Post status: 'Scheduled')

(Status: ‘Scheduled’)

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

Table of Posts - Date column

(Posts table – Date column)

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

WP Dashboard - Activity Screen

(Dashboard – Activity screen)

We’ll show you now how to republish posts.

Useful Tip

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

Republishing A WP Post

In some situations, 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), then 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 be updated to reflect the new publication date.

Note: When you reschedule a post, it will not redistribute to your email subscribers. If you want 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

(Republish your post)

When you do this, the post will automatically 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 remain the same.

Useful Tip

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

Sticky post option

(Making a post sticky)

Learn more about making posts sticky here:

Un-Scheduling A WordPress Blog Post

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

Post - Edit

(Edit Post)

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

Publish section - Edit

(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 settings

(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)

Click Publish

Publish box

(Publish section)

Your post will now publish immediately …

Post publish section - Status: 'Published'

(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 the Post Status. Did you save your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
  • Did you click the “Schedule” button after modifying 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 your server resources, you could experience problems. If so, try decreasing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the issue.

Automate Post Scheduling With WP Plugins

You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress using plugins.

Queuing Posts For Publishing

Queue Posts

Queue Posts

(Queue Posts Plugin)

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

When you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing your post for publishing later …

Queue Button

(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 at specific times and intervals …

Queue Posts - Settings

(Queue Posts – Settings)

For more information, visit their website here:

Bulk Schedule WordPress

There are a number of WordPress plugins that let you “autopost” content (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).

AutoPost Scheduler

AutoPost Scheduler

(AutoPost Scheduler Plugin For WordPress)

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 can revitalize traffic.

This plugin is especially useful if you are importing 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 screen

(AutoPost Scheduler Options screen)

For more details, go here: AutoPost Scheduler Plugin For WordPress

WP Robot

Although you may not want to use all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WP Robot 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 in the future.

WP Robot - WP Plugin

(WPRobot – WordPress Autoposting Software)

To learn more, go here: WPRobot – WP 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 schedule WP posts to publish at a future date.

How To Schedule WordPress Posts

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. 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.