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 schedule your posts. This is a very useful feature that lots of WordPress site owners haven’t discovered yet. In this article, you will learn how to schedule WordPress posts for publishing later.
Publishing new content on your WordPress blog on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive visitors to your business and keep your site readers coming back for more.
There are times, however, where you don’t necessarily want your content to show immediately.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want to publish a blog post as soon as it’s been added to the WordPress CMS:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want content to be published on your site on a regular schedule.
- You would like an already published post removed and automatically published again at a future time and date.
- You want to publish a daily update with the latest news about a certain topic for your blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You’d like them to receive your updates every day before they start work, but this means that you’d have to be awake in the middle of the night to publish your post.
- You set aside one day each week to create a whole week’s worth of blog posts, or you outsource your content writing to professional writers who send you many 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 would like the blog posts to be made available to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of content to your 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 fresh content to your site that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and be free to work on other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your blogging 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 these exactly when you have specified.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you a little-known function that lets you schedule WP posts to publish at a later date/time, and great tips for automating scheduled posts.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WP posts for publishing later.
- How To Schedule Your Posts In WP – Step-By-Step Tutorial
- Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
- Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
How To Schedule Your Posts In WP – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress allows you to easily edit the date/time of your published posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add blog posts to your WordPress website, which can then be preconfigured to go live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule WordPress posts to publish at a later time with the Quick Edit method when viewing a list of all posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing your posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Method
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WP admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In your Posts page, find the Post you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit feature expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Inline Editor Section)
Locate the “Date” section …
(Quick Edit – Date & Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to easily set the date and time of your post, simply by changing the values in the fields and choosing options from the drop-down menu …
(Edit Post date & time)
Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate post dates to show posts as having been published prior to the original publishing date.
This is useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your experiences and would like your posts to display as having been posted on the actual dates you’ve been absent. Another great use for backdating your blog posts would be to give a brand new blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Likewise, 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 date of your post to any date (and/or time) you would like it to show 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 system. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the Post Scheduling module field. The time your post will actually end up being published is determined by the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.
Remember to click the Update button to save your new settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your new post settings)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
How To Schedule WordPress Posts When Adding Or 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 if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Don’t forget to click on the Schedule button to save your settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to update your post 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 to publish on the date and time you have entered …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule the post to be republished in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: field …
(Post publish section – 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 and time settings)
Click on the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Box – Schedule)
Your post should now show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish box …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your post status will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Posts table – Date column)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, let’s show you how to republish WP posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some situations, you may need to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few options you can choose:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by editing the date and time that the post was published. Enter a new date (and time), then 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 post link 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 need the 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 …
(Republish your post)
When you do this, the post will automatically redistribute to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in the timeline will remain unmodified.
Tip: If you want a republished post to display first on your blog, you can always use the “sticky” feature …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a blog post to be published later, but then change your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your post to publish:
(Publish box – 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 publish right away …
(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. Did you save your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after changing the date/time settings? 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 hosting setup, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled items and see if this solves the issue.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts – WordPress Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later.
When you create a new WordPress post or page, the plugin gives you 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 specific order, or at certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
To learn more, go here:
Bulk Schedule WordPress
There are a number of WP plugins that let you “autopost” content (add content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler WordPress 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 can revitalize traffic.
This plugin is especially useful when importing 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 screen)
For more details about this plugin, go here: AutoPost Scheduler WordPress Plugin
Although you may not want to use 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 automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a late date.
(WPRobot – WP Autoblogging Software)
For more information, visit their website here: WPRobot – WP Autoblogging Software
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 future date.
"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com
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