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 neat hidden feature that allows you to schedule posts. Many newbies haven’t discovered this yet. In this latest installment of our tutorial series, you will learn how to schedule WP posts and pages for publishing at a later date.
Publishing great content on your WordPress site on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new prospective customers to your business and keep your blog readers coming back for more.
There may be times, however, when you don’t necessarily want your content to appear as soon as you hit the publish button.
For example, here are some situations when you may not want to display a post immediately after adding it to your blog:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want to publish articles on your site regularly while you’re gone.
- You would like to remove a previously published post and automatically republish it at a specific time/date later.
- You would like 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 want them to read your updates each day before they start work, but this means that you’d have to get up at 3:30 am to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day every week to create a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your article creation to freelancers who send you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at the same time!
- You set up 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 blog 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 new content to your blog that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and be free to grow 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 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 little-known feature that lets you schedule WP blog posts to publish at a later date, plus some great tips on post scheduling.
Complete 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
With WordPress you can edit the date/time of your published posts, including specifying dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add posts to your WordPress website, which can then be prescheduled to display live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule posts to publish at a future date with the Quick Edit function when viewing a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them as you’re editing your posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WordPress admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
(WP Posts Menu – Add Post)
In your Posts area, find the Post you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
The Quick Edit inline editor expands to reveal all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Inline Editor Options)
Find the “Date” feature …
(Quick Edit Screen – Change Date And Time Settings)
WordPress lets you alter the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields or selecting options from a dropdown date menu …
(Edit date & time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule WP posts in the future or backdate posts to show content as having been published prior to the 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 reflect the actual dates you’ve been away. Another reason to backdate your 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 your site 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 in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, to display 1:00 PM enter 13:00 in the Schedule Post module. The time your post will actually get published is determined by the location settings set in your Settings > General section.
Remember to click Update to save your post settings …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your changes)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
(Post scheduled for publishing)
Your post will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Scheduling Posts In WordPress When Adding / 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…
(Publish box – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date and time)
Click Schedule to update your post settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to save your post 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 specified …
(Post schedule message)
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 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 settings)
Click on the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Publish Box – Schedule)
Your post will now show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish section …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your saved post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Posts table – Date column)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, let’s learn how to republish posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
Republishing A WP Post
In some instances, you may need 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 changing the date and time that the post was published. Enter a future 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 post link 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 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 immediately be re-sent to your blog subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will remain unchanged.
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 Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WordPress post to publish in the future, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, simply head back to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
In the Publish feature, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled for publishing:
(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 the current time showing on your clock) as your scheduled post time and click on OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
(Post publish box)
Your post will now publish 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 your Post Status. Did you save the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you click the “Schedule” button after editing the date/time settings? 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 lowering the number of scheduled items and see if this fixes the problem.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts WordPress Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that allows you to queue new posts and pages for later publication.
Whenever you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing your post …
(Post Publish Box – Queue Button)
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 between specific times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
To learn more, go here:
Bulk Scheduling Posts
There are a number of WordPress plugins that let you “autoblog” (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
(AutoPost Scheduler Plugin For WordPress)
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 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 …
(AutoPost Scheduler Options screen)
For more information about this plugin, go here: Auto Post Scheduler – WordPress Plugin
Although you may not want 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 publish automatically at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WordPress Plugin)
For more information, visit the plugin’s website here: WP Robot – WP Autoposting 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 WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date.
"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum