How To Schedule WordPress Posts

Learn how to schedule WordPress posts for publishing your content at a later (or earlier) date.

How To Schedule WordPress Posts

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 really neat hidden feature that lets you postdate or backdate your posts. This is a very useful feature that many WP website owners haven’t discovered yet. In this latest installment of our WordPress tutorial series, you will learn how to schedule posts in WordPress.

Publishing great content on your WordPress site on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new visitors to your site and keep your blog readers coming back for more.

There are instances, however, when you don’t necessarily want your content to be published immediately.

For example, here are some situations when you may not want to display a WordPress post as soon as it has been added to your WordPress blog:

  • You need to go away for a while but you still want posts to be published on your site on a regular basis.
  • You would like an already published post removed and automatically published again at a future date/time.
  • You want to start publishing a daily blog 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 posts every day at the same time, but this would require you to get up at 3 am to hit the “publish” button.
  • You set aside one day each 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 once!
  • You launch a private content membership area and want 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 content to your site in one go, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your readers so that only one new post 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 to your site that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and free up your time to work on other areas of your business … or leave for a while and know that your article publishing 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 your posts exactly when you specify.

In this tutorial, we are going to show you a couple of ways to schedule WP posts to publish at a future date/time, and some great tips on how to automate scheduled blog posts.

Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to schedule WP posts.

How To Schedule WordPress Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial

With WordPress you can easily edit the date and time of your published posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add content to your WordPress blog, which can then be preconfigured to display live at any given date and time of your choice.

You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a later time using the Quick Edit method if you are scrolling through a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them as you’re editing blog posts.

Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Function

To schedule blog posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit feature,

Log into your WP admin area and choose Posts > All Posts

WordPress Posts Menu - Add Post

(Add New Post)

In the Posts section, find the item you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu. Click on Quick Edit

Posts Section - Quick Edit

(Posts Section – Quick Edit)

The Quick Edit in-line editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …

Quick Edit Settings

(Inline Editor Section)

Go to the “Date” feature …

Date & Time Settings - Quick Edit Area

(Date & Time Settings – Quick Edit Screen)

WordPress lets you alter any aspect of the date and time of your post, simply by entering new values in the fields or selecting options from the drop-down menu …

Schedule new Post date and time

(Schedule date & time of your Post)

Useful Tip

Tip: You can schedule WordPress blog posts in the future or backdate post dates to show posts as having been published prior to the original publishing date.

This is very 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 show as having been published on the same 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. Likewise, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch your blog at a future time.

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Change the post date to any date (and/or time) you would like your post to show as having been published (future or past) …

Schedule your posts to publish at a later date

(Schedule your posts to publish at a later date)

Info

Note: To schedule a post as being published 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 publish is determined by the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.

Click the Update button to save your new changes …

Click the 'Update' button to save your new settings

(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your new settings)

Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …

Scheduled Post

(Post status: Scheduled)

Your post status will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …

'Scheduled' post status

(Quick Edit – ‘Scheduled’ post status)

How To Schedule 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

Post Publish Section - Publish Settings

(Publish box – Publish settings)

Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK

Change Post date & time

(Change Post date and time)

Remember to click Schedule to update your post settings …

Click on 'Schedule' to update your settings

(Click on ‘Schedule’ to update your settings)

Tip: To backdate a post in WordPress, 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 set …

Post schedule message

(Post schedule notification)

If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule the post to be republished at a future date by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: section …

Publish Section - Edit

(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 and time settings

(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)

Remember to click the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …

Publish Box - Schedule

(Publish Box – Schedule Button)

Your post should show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish box …

('Scheduled' Status)

(Status: ‘Scheduled’)

Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …

Table of Posts - Date column

(Table of Posts – Post status)

You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …

Dashboard - Activity Screen

(Dashboard – Activity screen)

Now, we will learn how to republish posts.

Useful Tip

Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.

How To Republish A WordPress Post

In some situations, you may decide to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few 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 later 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 by changing the status of your post to Draft, clicking Update, and then clicking Publish again …

Republishing your post

(Republish your post)

When you do this, the post will automatically be redistributed to your subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will remain unmodified.

Useful Tip

Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your blog, you can just make it “sticky” …

Make post sticky

(Tick box to make post sticky)

Learn more about making posts sticky here:

Unscheduling A Post

If you’ve scheduled a blog post to publish in the future, but then change your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.

Edit Post

(Edit Post)

In the Publish feature, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your blog post to publish:

Publish box - Edit

(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 your current time) as your scheduled post time and click on OK

Click 'OK' to set your new date and time settings

(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)

Click Publish

Post publish box

(Post publish box)

Your post will now be published right away …

Post status: 'Published'

(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 your Post Status. Have you saved the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
  • Did you click the “Schedule” button after editing the date/time? 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 posts and see if this fixes the problem.

Automating Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins

You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress using plugins.

Queuing Posts For Publishing

Queue Posts

Queue Posts - WordPress Plugin

(Queue Posts)

Queue Posts is a free plugin that allows you to place new posts and pages in a queue for publishing later.

Whenever you create a new WordPress post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing your post for publishing later …

Queue Post

(Queue Post)

This is great if you are scheduling a number of posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a certain order, or at specific times and intervals …

Settings For Queueing Posts

(Settings For Queueing Posts)

For more details, go here:

Bulk Scheduling Posts

There are a number of WP plugins that let you “autoblog” (add content automatically to WordPress sites).

Auto Post Scheduler

Auto Post Scheduler Plugin

(AutoPost Scheduler)

Auto Post Scheduler is a free WordPress 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 when importing 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 …

AutoPost Scheduler Options screen

(AutoPost Scheduler Options)

For more details, visit their website: AutoPost Scheduler

WP Robot

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 at a future time.

WP Robot - WP Autoposting Software

(WP Robot – WP Autoblogging Software)

For more information about this plugin, visit their website here: WPRobot – WP Autoblogging Software

Drip-Feeding Posts

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 …

Missed post schedules

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.

How To Schedule WordPress Posts

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"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as How To Schedule WordPress Posts.