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 lets you postdate your posts. This is a very useful feature that lots of bloggers don’t know about. In this tutorial, you will learn how to schedule WP blog posts.
Publishing fresh content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new visitors to your business and keep your blog readers returning for more.
There may be instances, however, when you may not want content to show immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want to publish a blog post as soon as it has been added to your WordPress site:
- You travel a lot but you still want posts being published on your site on a regular basis.
- You need to remove a previously published post and automatically it again at a future date and time.
- You would like to distribute a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain subject for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You’d like them to read your updates each day at a certain time, but this would require you to get up at 3 am 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 freelance writers who deliver you dozens of articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at the same time!
- You set up an online training course and would like the posts to be made available to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of articles to your website or blog in one go, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new 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 to your blog that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and free up your time to work on other areas of your business … or leave for a while and know that your article publishing is still working for you while you’re gone.
Well … with WordPress you can! If you set a date in the future for publishing your posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your posts exactly as you have set.
In the tutorial below, we are going to show you a couple of ways to schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date, as well as some great tips on automating scheduled posts.
Complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WordPress posts.
How To Schedule WordPress Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you change the date/time of your published blog posts, including setting dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add content to your website, which can then be preconfigured to go live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a future time with the Quick Edit function when viewing a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them when adding new posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit function,
Log into your WP dashboard and click on Posts > All Posts …
(WordPress Posts Menu – Add Post)
In the Posts section, find the item 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 feature expands to display all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Quick Edit Settings)
Locate the “Date” feature …
(Date Settings – Quick Edit)
WordPress allows you to easily schedule any aspect of the date and time of your post, simply by entering new values in the fields and selecting options from a drop-down menu …
(Change date & time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts to show content as having been published prior to the original date of publication.
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 blog posts to display as having been published on the actual dates you’ve been physically absent. Another great use for backdating your blog posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Conversely, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog at a future time.
Change the date of your post to whatever date (and/or time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later date & time)
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 get published is based on the location settings set in your Settings > General area.
Remember to click Update to save your new changes …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your new post settings)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(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, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date)
Click on Schedule to update your settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to save your settings)
Tip: To backdate a post in WordPress, 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 to publish on the date and time you have entered …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule the post to be republished later by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: section …
(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)
Click on the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Section – Schedule Button)
Your post will show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your post status will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
(Table of Posts – Post status)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let’s show you now how to republish existing WordPress posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some situations, you may decide 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 time that the post was published. Enter a future date (and time) and click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will jump 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, your post will immediately 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 remain the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your blog, you can always use the “sticky” feature …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A WP Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to be published in the future, but then change your mind and want to publish it immediately, just head back to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled to publish:
(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 the current time showing on your clock) as your scheduled post time and click OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now 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 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, 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 your server resources, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled items and see if this solves the issue.
Automating Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling content in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free WP plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for later publication.
Whenever you create a new post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing it for publishing later …
(Post Publish Box – Queue Button)
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 at certain times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
To learn more, go here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of WordPress plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (add content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(AutoPost Scheduler WordPress 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 old posts can revitalize traffic.
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 setting a range of other options …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options)
To learn more, go here: AutoPost Scheduler
Although you may not need 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 automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a future date.
(WP Robot – WP Plugin)
To learn more, visit their website here: WP Robot – WP 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 posts for publishing in WordPress at a future date.
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