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 neat feature that allows you to postdate or backdate posts. This is a very useful feature that many WP users haven’t discovered yet. In this article, you will learn how to schedule WP posts.
Publishing fresh content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive traffic to your business and keep your site readers returning for more information.
There are times, however, when you may not want content to be published as soon as you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want to display a blog post as soon as it has been added to your website:
- You need to travel but you still want to publish posts to your blog on a regular schedule.
- You need to remove a previously published post and automatically it again at a specific time/date in the future.
- You want to distribute a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain topic for your blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You want them to receive your updates every day at a certain time, but this would require you to be awake 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 articles for your website, or you outsource your content 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 launch a private content membership area and want the posts drip-fed to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of content to your website or blog at once, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your readers so that only one new post 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 site that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and free up your time to work on other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your article 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 blog posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content exactly when you have set.
In the tutorial below, you are going to learn how to schedule WP posts to publish at a future date, plus tips on article scheduling.
Complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WordPress blog posts.
How To Schedule WP Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you edit the date and time of your published posts, including specifying dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add blog posts to your site, which can then be prescheduled to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule WordPress posts to publish at a future date with the Quick Edit function when viewing a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing existing posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP dashboard and choose Posts > All Posts …
(Posts Menu – Add New)
In your Posts page, find the item you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit inline editor expands to reveal all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(In-line Editor Settings)
Go to the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” in-line editor screen …
(Quick Edit – Change Date And Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to easily edit any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by entering new values in the fields or choosing options from a dropdown date menu …
(Edit date & time of your Post)
Useful Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate post dates to show content as having been published prior to its original publishing date.
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 post dates to display as having been posted on the actual dates you’ve been away. Another great use for backdating your blog posts would be to give a brand new website 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 your blog at a future time.
Change the date of your post to any date (and time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later date and 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 depends on the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.
Click the Update button to save your new settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your new settings)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(Quick Edit – 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…
(Post publish box – Publish immediately > Edit)
Edit the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Remember to click on Schedule to save your post settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to save your settings)
Tip: 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 for publishing on the date and time you have specified …
(Post schedule notification)
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: section …
(Post publish box – 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)
Remember to click the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
(Publish Section – Schedule)
Your post will show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish section …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your saved post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
(Posts table – Date column)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
We’ll show you now how to republish blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some situations, you may want 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 changing the date and the time the post was published. Enter a later 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 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 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, your post will automatically be redistributed to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will stay unchanged.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your site, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A WP Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to be published in the future, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just 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 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 on OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now be published right away …
(Post publish section – 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 remember to click the “Schedule” button after editing the date/time settings? For a 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 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 is a free WP plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for publishing later.
When you create a new WP post or page, you have the option of queuing your post for publishing later …
(Post Publish Section – Queue Button)
This is great if you are scheduling multiple posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a certain order, or between specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more details, go here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler Plugin)
Auto Post Scheduler is a free WP 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 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 …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options screen)
For more details, go here: Auto Post Scheduler
Although you may not need to use all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that lets you import bulk posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WP Plugin)
To learn more, go here: WPRobot – WordPress Autoposting 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 later date.
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