How To Schedule WordPress Posts

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

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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 neat hidden feature that allows you to schedule posts. Many WP bloggers don’t know about this. In this tutorial, 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 on search engines, drive new prospective customers to your business and keep your blog readers returning for more.

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

For example, here are some situations when you may not want to display a post immediately after adding it to your WordPress site:

  • You need to go away for a while but you still want to publish articles on your site regularly while you’re gone.
  • You would like an already published post removed and automatically republished at a future date/time.
  • You want to start publishing a daily post with the latest news about a certain subject for your blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You’d like them to receive your new post every day before they start work, 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 write a whole week’s worth of blog posts, or you outsource your article writing to professional writers who deliver you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
  • You launch a private content membership area and would like to “drip-feed” articles to members over a set period of time.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of articles to your site in one go, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new article 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 site that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and be free to grow other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your content marketing 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 your content on the exact dates and times that you specify.

In the tutorial below, we are going to show you how to schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date, as well as tips on how to automate scheduled posts.

Complete the tutorial below to learn how to schedule WP blog posts.

How To Schedule WordPress Blog Posts For Publishing Later – Step-By-Step Tutorial

With WordPress you can easily edit the date/time of your published blog posts, including setting dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add posts to your site, which can then be preconfigured to go live at a future date and time of your choice.

You can schedule existing posts to publish at a later time using the Quick Edit method if you are viewing a list of all your existing WP posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing blog posts.

Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Function

To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit method,

Log into your WordPress admin area and select Posts > All Posts

Add New Post

(Posts Menu)

In your Posts area, 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 Section - Quick Edit

(Quick Edit)

The Quick Edit feature expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …

Quick Edit Section

(Inline Editor Options)

Go to the “Date” section …

Quick Edit - Date Settings

(Change Date And Time)

WordPress lets you set any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields and selecting options from the drop-down menu …

Schedule Post date and time

(Edit date & time of your Post)

Useful Tip

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

This is quite 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 post dates to show as having been posted on the actual dates you’ve been physically 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. Similarly, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch your blog after getting everything set up and configured.

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

Schedule your posts to publish at a later date

(Posts scheduled to publish at a later specified date)

Info

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 module. The time your post will actually publish is determined by the location settings set in your Settings > General area.

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

Click 'Update' to save your new post settings

(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your changes)

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

Post status: Scheduled

(Post status: Scheduled)

Your post status will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …

Post status: 'Scheduled'

(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)

Scheduling Posts In WordPress When Adding And 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 Section - Publish Settings

(Publish section – Publish settings)

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

Change Post date and time

(Change Post date)

Remember to click Schedule to update your settings …

Click on the 'Schedule' button to update your settings

(Click on ‘Schedule’ to update 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 set …

Post schedule notification

(Post schedule notification)

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: field …

Post Publish Box - Edit

(Post publish box – Edit)

Change 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 on the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …

Post Publish Section - Schedule Button

(Publish Box – Schedule)

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

(Post status: 'Scheduled')

(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)

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

Posts table - Post status

(Table of Posts – Date column)

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

Dashboard - Activity Screen

(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)

Let’s show you now how to republish existing WP blog posts.

Useful Tip

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

Republishing A WP Post

In some situations, you may want to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few options you can use to do this:

Edit Post Date And Time

You can reschedule your post by changing the date and the time the post was published. Enter a later date and time, then 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 post link 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 by changing the status of your post to Draft, clicking Update, and then clicking Publish again …

Republishing your post

(Republish your post)

When you do this, your post will automatically be redistributed to your email subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will stay the same.

Useful Tip

Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your site, 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 WordPress Blog Post

If you’ve scheduled a blog post to be published later, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.

Post - Edit

(Edit Post)

In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your blog post to publish:

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 the current time showing on your clock) 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 and time settings)

Click Publish

Publish post

(Post publish box)

Your post will now publish immediately …

Post status: 'Published'

(Post publish button – 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. Have you saved your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
  • Did you 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 decreasing the number of scheduled posts and see if this solves the problem.

Automating Post Scheduling With Plugins

You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress with plugins.

Queuing Posts For Publishing

Queue Posts

Queue Posts Plugin

(Queue Posts WP Plugin)

Queue Posts is a free WP plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later.

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

Post Publish Section - 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 certain order, or at certain times and intervals …

Settings For Queueing Posts

(Settings For Queueing Posts)

To learn more, go here:

Bulk Scheduling Posts

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

Auto Post Scheduler

Auto Post Scheduler - WordPress Plugin

(AutoPost Scheduler – WordPress Plugin)

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 keeps your site looking fresh.

This plugin is especially useful when importing 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

(AutoPost Scheduler Options)

For more information about this plugin, go here: Auto Post Scheduler

WPRobot

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

WP Robot - WordPress Plugin

(WPRobot – WordPress Autoblogging Plugin)

For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin website 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 posts for publishing in WordPress at a future date.

How To Schedule WordPress Posts

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"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

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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.