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 lets you postdate and backdate your posts. Lots of WP website owners don’t know about this. In this latest installment of our WordPress tutorial series, you will learn how to schedule WordPress blog posts.
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 site and keep your blog readers returning for more.
There may be times, however, when you don’t necessarily want content to appear immediately.
For example, here are some situations when you may not want to publish a WordPress post as soon as it’s been added to your site:
- You need to travel but you still want to publish articles to your blog while you’re away.
- You want an already published post removed have it be automatically published again at a specific time and date in the future.
- You want to distribute a daily post with the latest news about a certain topic for your blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You’d like them to read your new post every day at a certain time, but this would require you to be awake at 3 am to publish your blog post.
- You set aside one day each week to write a whole week’s worth of blog posts, or you outsource your content writing to freelancers who send you dozens of articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You set up an online training course and want the blog posts to be drip-fed 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 all be 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 readers regularly engaged, and free up your time to focus on 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! You can set a date/time in the future to publish your posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your posts exactly when you have specified.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you a couple of ways to schedule WP posts to publish at a later date/time, plus great tips on content scheduling.
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
- Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
- Automating Post Scheduling With Plugins
How To Schedule WordPress Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can easily edit the date/time of your published posts, including setting dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add articles to your site, which can then be pre-set to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a later time using the Quick Edit function if you are scrolling through a list of all posts, or you can schedule them when editing or adding new blog posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Method
To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP dashboard and select Posts > All Posts …
(WordPress Posts – Add Post)
In your Posts area, find the item you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Screen – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit editor expands to reveal all the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Inline Editor Settings)
Locate the “Date” section …
(Quick Edit – Date Settings)
WordPress lets you easily set any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields or choosing options from a drop-down menu …
(Edit date and time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate post dates to show posts as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
This is convenient 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 display as having been published on the actual dates you’ve been physically absent. Another reason to backdate your posts would be to give a brand new website or blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Similarly, you can set all blog posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new site after getting everything set up and configured.
Change the post date to whatever date (and time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule your posts to publish at a later date and time)
Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour system. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the Post Scheduling module field. The time your post will actually get published depends on the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
Remember to click Update to save your settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your changes)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts area …
Your post will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(Quick Edit – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
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 later date and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish box – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date and time)
Click on Schedule to save your settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to save your settings)
Note: 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)
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: function …
(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 on the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
(Post publish section – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Table of Posts – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we’ll take a look at how to republish posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some instances, you may decide to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few different 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 new date and time and 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 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 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 unmodified.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your site, you can just use the “sticky” feature …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to publish later, but then change your mind and want to publish it immediately, simply return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
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 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 publish immediately …
(Post publish box – 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 changing 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 your server resources, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the issue.
Automating 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 WP Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free WP plugin that allows you to queue new posts and pages for publishing later.
Whenever you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing your post …
This is great if you are scheduling various 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)
For more details, go here:
Bulk Scheduling WordPress
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (add content automatically to WordPress sites).
(Auto Post 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 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 plugin to publish posts at whatever frequency you choose as well as setting a range of other options …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options screen)
To learn more, go here: AutoPost Scheduler Plugin For WordPress
Although you may not want all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that allows you to bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site and then set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WP Autoblogging Software)
For more information, visit their website: WP Robot – WordPress 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 WP posts to publish at a later date.
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