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 feature that allows you to postdate posts. Many WordPress website owners don’t know about this. In this tutorial, we will show you how to schedule WP blog posts.
Publishing new content on your WordPress site on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive visitors to your site and keep your blog readers coming back for more.
There may be times, 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 published immediately after adding it to your WordPress site:
- You need to travel but you still want to publish blog posts to your blog regularly while you’re away.
- You need an already published post removed have it be automatically published again 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 would require you to be awake between 3 and 4 am to publish your post.
- You set aside one day every week to write a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your article creation to freelancers who send you dozens of articles once a month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at the same time!
- 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 bunch of posts 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 fresh content on your blog that would keep your visitors 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 marketing strategy is still working for you.
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 on the exact dates and times that you specify.
In the tutorial below, you will learn a couple of ways to schedule WordPress posts to publish at a future date, and tips for publishing scheduled posts.
Complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WordPress blog posts.
How To Schedule WordPress Posts For Publishing Later – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress allows you to easily alter the date and time of your published posts, including specifying exact dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add articles to your WordPress website, 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 date using the Quick Edit feature when viewing a list of all your existing WordPress posts, or you can schedule them when adding or editing new or existing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Method
To schedule WordPress blog posts using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WP admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
In your Posts section, find the item you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu. Click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Quick Edit Settings)
Locate the “Date” feature …
(Quick Edit Area – Change Date & Time)
WordPress lets you schedule the date and time of your post, just by entering new values in the fields or selecting options from the dropdown date menu …
(Edit Post date and time)
Useful Tip: You can schedule WordPress posts in the future or backdate post dates to show posts as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
This is useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your experiences and would like your post dates to reflect the same dates you’ve been absent. Another great use for backdating your posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Likewise, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch your site after getting it all ready and finished.
Change the date of your post to any date (and time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Schedule your posts to publish at a later specified date)
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 type in 13:00 in the Post Scheduling section. The time your post will actually publish depends on the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.
Remember to click Update to save your post settings …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your post settings)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(Quick Edit – 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 box – Publish settings)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date)
Don’t forget to click on Schedule to save your post settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to save your post settings)
Tip: To backdate a post, 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 message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule your post to be republished later by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …
(Publish box – Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click on the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
Your post will show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish section …
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Posts table – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Let’s show you now how to republish posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some situations, you may want to republish an old post. If so, 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 time that the post was published. Enter a new date and time and click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will move 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 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 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)
When you do this, the post will automatically 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 unchanged.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your blog, you can always make it “sticky” …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A WP Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WP post to publish in the future, but then change your mind and decide to publish it immediately, simply go 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 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 the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now publish right away …
(Publish section – 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. 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, 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 decreasing the number of scheduled items and see if this fixes the issue.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling content in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin For WordPress)
Queue Posts is a free WordPress plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for later publication.
When 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 between certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
To learn more, visit their website here:
Bulk Schedule WP
There are a number of WordPress plugins that let you “autopost” content (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(AutoPost Scheduler WP 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 older posts keeps your site looking fresh.
This plugin is especially useful if you plan to import 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)
For more details about this plugin, go here: AutoPost Scheduler WP Plugin
Although you may not want to use 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 automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a late time.
(WPRobot – WP Plugin)
For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin website here: WPRobot – WP 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 publish your WP posts at a future date.
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