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 feature that lets you schedule your posts. This is a very useful feature that many WordPress site owners haven’t discovered yet. In this tutorial, we will show you how to schedule blog posts in WordPress.

Publishing new content on your WordPress blog on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive traffic to your site and keep your blog readers returning for more.

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

For example, here are some instances where you may not want to display a WordPress post immediately after adding it to your blog:

  • You need to travel but you still want blog posts being published on your site while you’re gone.
  • You want to remove a previously published post and automatically republish it at a specific time and date in the future.
  • You want to start publishing a daily post with the latest news about a certain subject for your blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You’d like them to read your updates every day at the same time, but this means that you’d have to get up at odd hours of the night to hit the “publish” button.
  • You set aside one day every week to write a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your content writing to freelancers who deliver 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 would like to “drip-feed” content to members over a period of time.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of posts to your site at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog 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 on your blog 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 publishing is still working for you while you’re gone.

Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date/time in the future for publishing your posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish these on the exact dates and times that you have set.

In the tutorial below, you will learn how to schedule WP blog posts to publish at a future date, as well as tips on post scheduling.

Go through the tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule your posts in WordPress.

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

WordPress allows you to easily change the date and time of your published posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add articles to your website, which can then be pre-scheduled to display live at any given date and time of your choice.

You can schedule posts to publish at a future time using the Quick Edit feature if you are viewing a list of all your existing posts, or you can schedule them as you’re editing your posts.

Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Method

To schedule WP posts using the Quick Edit function,

Log into your WP admin area and click on Posts > All Posts

WP Posts Menu - Add New

(WordPress Posts – Add Post)

In your Posts screen, 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

Posts Screen - Quick Edit

(Posts Screen – Quick Edit)

The Quick Edit inline editor expands to reveal all the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …

Quick Edit Options

(Inline Editor Options)

Go to the “Date” section …

Quick Edit - Date Settings

(Change Date & Time)

WordPress allows you to easily edit the date and time of your post, simply by entering new values in the fields or choosing options from a dropdown date menu …

Schedule new Post date and time

(Schedule Post date and time)

Useful Tip

Useful Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts to show content as having been published prior to its original date of publication.

This is quite useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your experiences and would like your blog posts 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 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.

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Change the date of your post to whatever date (and time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …

Schedule Post to publish at a later specified date

(Posts scheduled to publish at a specified 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 scheduling module. The time your post will actually get published depends on the location settings specified in your Settings > General area.

Remember to click Update to save your new post settings …

Click the 'Update' button to save your new settings

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

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

Scheduled Post

(Scheduled Post)

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

Quick Edit - Post status: 'Scheduled'

(Quick Edit – ‘Scheduled’ post status)

Scheduling 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

(Post publish box – Publish immediately > Edit)

Change the date (and time) of your post and click OK

Change Post date & time

(Change Post date & time)

Don’t forget to click Schedule to update your post settings …

Click on the 'Schedule' button to update your post settings

(Click on ‘Schedule’ to save your settings)

Tip: To backdate a 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 set …

Post schedule message

(Post schedule message)

If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule your post to be republished in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …

Publish Section - Edit

(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

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

Click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …

Publish Section - Schedule

(Schedule Button)

Your post should show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish box …

('Scheduled' Status)

(‘Scheduled’ Status)

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

Posts table - Post status

(Table of Posts – Post status)

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

WP Dashboard - Activity Screen

(Dashboard – Activity screen)

Let’s show you now how to republish existing WordPress blog posts.

Useful Tip

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

Republishing 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 time that the post was published. Enter a later 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 update 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 …

Republish your post

(Republish your post)

When you do this, the post will automatically redistribute to your email subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will stay unmodified.

Useful Tip

Tip: If you want a republished post to display 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:

How To Unschedule A Blog Post

If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to be published later, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, simply go back 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 your post is scheduled for publishing:

Post 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 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 ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)

Click Publish

Publish button

(Publish post)

Your post will be published immediately …

Post status: 'Published'

(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. Have you saved the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
  • Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after changing the date/time? 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 reducing the number of scheduled items and see if this solves the issue.

Automating Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins

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

Queuing Posts For Publishing

Queue Posts

Queue Posts Plugin For WordPress

(Queue Posts Plugin For WordPress)

Queue Posts is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to queue new posts and pages for later publication.

When you create a new WordPress post or page, you have the option of queuing your post …

Queue 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 at certain times and intervals …

Queue Posts - Settings

(Queue Posts – Settings)

For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin’s website here:

Bulk Schedule WordPress

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

Auto Post Scheduler

AutoPost Scheduler - WordPress Plugin

(AutoPost Scheduler)

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 specify a range of other settings …

Auto Post Scheduler Options screen

(AutoPost Scheduler Options)

For more information about this plugin, go here: Auto Post Scheduler

WPRobot

Although you may not want all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WP Robot includes a module that allows you to bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals in the future.

WPRobot - WP Autoposting Plugin

(WP Robot – WordPress Plugin)

To learn more, go here: WP Robot – WP Autoblogging Plugin

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 WordPress posts to publish at a later date.

How To Schedule WordPress Posts

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress to grow your business online at minimal cost with no coding skills required!

Originally published as How To Schedule WordPress Posts.