WordPress has a really cool hidden feature that lets you postdate or backdate your posts. This is a very useful feature that many users don’t know about. In this latest installment of our WordPress tutorial series, we will show you how to schedule your posts in WordPress for publishing at a later date.
Publishing fresh content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive visitors to your business and keep your site readers coming back for more information.
There are times, however, where you don’t necessarily want content to show when you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want blog posts to display as soon as it’s been added to your site:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want blog posts to be published on your blog regularly while you’re gone.
- You want an already published post removed and automatically republished at a future date and time.
- You want to publish a daily post with the latest news about a certain topic for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You’d like them to receive your new post each day at the same time, but this would require you to be awake at 3:30 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 article writing to freelancers who send you dozens of articles once a month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You launch an online training course and would like to “drip-feed” blog posts to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of articles to your site at once, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your readers 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 on your site that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and free up your time to focus on other areas of your business … or leave for a while and know that your article marketing strategy is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date in the future to publish your posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish these on the exact dates and times that you have specified.
In the tutorial below, you will learn a couple of ways to schedule WordPress posts to publish at a future date/time, as well as some great tips for automating your scheduled blog posts.
Complete the tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule blog posts in WP.
- How To Schedule Posts In WP – Step-By-Step Tutorial
- Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
- Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
How To Schedule Posts In WP – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can modify the date/time of your published posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add articles to your website, which can then be pre-scheduled to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a later date with the Quick Edit method if you are viewing a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing existing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Method
To schedule WP posts using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP dashboard and choose Posts > All Posts …
(WordPress Posts Menu – Add Post)
In the 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…
(Posts Section – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit in-line editor expands to reveal all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Quick Edit Options)
Find the “Date” feature …
(Quick Edit – Date And Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to easily alter any aspect of the date and time of your post, simply by entering new values in the fields or choosing options from a drop-down menu …
(Edit Post date & time)
Tip: You can schedule WordPress blog posts in the future or backdate post dates to show content as having been published prior to the 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 posts to match the actual dates you’ve been away. 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. Likewise, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog after getting everything set up and configured.
Change the date of your post to any date (and time) you would like your post to show as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later specified date)
Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, to display 1:00 PM enter 13:00 in the post scheduling area. The time your post will actually get published is based on the location settings set in your Settings > General section.
Click Update to save your 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 status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(Quick Edit – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Scheduling 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…
(Publish section – Publish settings)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date)
Remember to click Schedule to update your post settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to save your settings)
Note: 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 notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule your post to be republished in the future 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 the OK button …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Remember to click the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
Your post will show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish area …
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts area …
(Posts table – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we will show you how to republish WP blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
How To Republish A WP Post
In some situations, you may need 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 editing the date and the time the post was published. Enter a future date (and time), then 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 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, the post will automatically redistribute to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in the timeline will stay unmodified.
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)
Un-Scheduling A WP Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a blog post to be published in the future, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just go back to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your post to publish:
(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 your current time) 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 button – Post 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 the Post Status. Have you saved your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you 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 reducing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the issue.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for later publication at a specified interval.
When you create a new WordPress post or page, you have the option of queuing it for publishing later …
(Post Publish Section – Post Queue)
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 between specific times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
For more details, go here:
Bulk Scheduling WordPress
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (add content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler 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 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 Auto Post Scheduler to publish posts at whatever frequency you choose as well as setting a range of other options …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options screen)
For more details about this plugin, go here: AutoPost Scheduler Plugin
Although you may not need 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 and then set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WP Autoposting Software)
For more details about this plugin, visit the plugin’s website here: WP Robot – WordPress Autoblogging Plugin
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 WP blog posts at a future date.
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)
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