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 great feature that allows you to postdate or backdate your posts. Many users haven’t discovered this yet. In this latest installment of our tutorial series, we will show you how to schedule WP posts and pages for publishing at a future date.
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 information.
There may be times, however, when you may not want your content to display when you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want your blog post published immediately after adding it to your WordPress site:
- You travel a lot but you still want content to be published on your blog on a regular schedule.
- You need to remove a previously published post and automatically republish it at a specific time and date in the future.
- You would like to publish a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain subject for your blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You’d like them to receive your new post every day at a certain time, but this means that you’d have to be awake between 3 and 4 am to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day each week to create a whole week’s worth of blog posts, or you outsource your article writing to freelancers who deliver you dozens of articles each 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 to “drip-feed” posts to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of blog posts to your blog in one go, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new blog 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 on your site that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and be free to grow other areas of your business … or leave for a while and know that your content strategy is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date in the future to publish your blog posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your posts exactly as you specify.
In the tutorial below, we are going to show you a couple of ways to schedule WP posts to publish at a later date/time, and some great tips on blog post scheduling.
Complete the tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WP blog posts.
Scheduling WP Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can easily edit the date/time of your published blog posts, including setting dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add content to your site, which can then be pre-set to go live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule WordPress posts to publish at a later date with the Quick Edit feature if you are viewing a list of all your existing posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing or adding new blog posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WP dashboard and select Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In your Posts page, 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)
The Quick Edit inline editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Quick Edit Options)
Find the “Date” feature …
(Date Settings – Quick Edit Screen)
WordPress allows you to alter any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields and selecting options from the dropdown date menu …
(Schedule Post date & time)
Useful Tip: You can schedule WordPress blog posts in the future or backdate posts to show content 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 day-to-day events and would like your posts to show as having been published on the actual dates you’ve been absent. 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. 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 show as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled 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 scheduling area. The time your post will actually publish is based on the location settings set in your Settings > General area.
Remember to click Update to save your settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your post settings)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
Your post will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(‘Scheduled’ post status)
How To Schedule WordPress Posts When Adding And Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a future date, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish box – Publish settings)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date & time)
Don’t forget to click on the Schedule button to save your settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to save your settings)
Note: To backdate a blog 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 specified …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can also schedule your post to be republished later by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: section …
(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 update your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Section – Schedule Button)
Your post will show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish area …
Your post status will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Table of Posts – Date column)
You can also see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we will take a look at how to republish blog posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
How To Republish A WP 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) 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 need 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 …
(Republish your post)
When you do this, the post will automatically be re-sent to your email subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will stay the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your blog, you can always use the “sticky” feature …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A WordPress Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to publish later, but then change your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just go back to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled to publish:
(Post 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 OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
(Post publish button)
Your post will now be published right away …
(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 the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after editing the date/time? For a 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 your hosting setup, 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 – WordPress Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free WP plugin that allows you to place new posts and pages in a queue for later publication.
Whenever 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 a number of posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a certain order, or at certain times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
For more information, go here:
Bulk Scheduling Posts
There are a number of plugins that let you “autoblog” (add content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(Auto Post Scheduler Plugin For WordPress)
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 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 plugin 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, go here: AutoPost Scheduler – WordPress 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 import bulk posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WordPress Autoblogging Plugin)
For more details about this plugin, go here: WPRobot – WordPress 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.
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum