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 schedule your posts. This is a very useful feature that many WP bloggers haven’t discovered yet. In this latest installment of our tutorial series, we will show you how to schedule posts in WordPress for publishing at a later date.
Publishing fresh content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive new visitors to your business and keep your blog readers coming back for more.
There are instances, however, when you may not want content to be published immediately.
For example, here are some situations when you may not want to show a WordPress post as soon as it’s been added to your website:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want to publish posts to your site regularly while you’re gone.
- You need to remove an already published post and automatically republish it at a future date/time.
- You would like to start publishing a daily update with the latest news about a certain topic for your blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You want them to read your new post every day before they start work, but this would require you to get up between 3 and 4 am to hit the “publish” button.
- You set aside one day every week to write a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your article writing to freelancers who send you many articles once a 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 want to “drip-feed” blog posts to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a bunch of articles to your website or blog in one go, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new article 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 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 content marketing strategy is still working for you while you’re gone.
Well … with WordPress you can! You can set a date in the future for publishing your posts and WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your posts on the exact dates and times that you specify.
In the tutorial below, you will learn how to schedule WordPress posts to publish at a future date/time, as well as great tips on how to automate scheduled content.
Complete the tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WP posts.
- How To Schedule WordPress Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
- Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
- Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
How To Schedule WordPress Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress allows you to easily change the date/time of your published blog posts, including specifying exact dates and times in the future. This enables you to create or add articles to your website, which can then be prescheduled to display live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing posts to publish at a later date using the Quick Edit feature if you are scrolling through a list of all your existing WP posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing or adding new posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WP admin area and click on Posts > All Posts …
(WP Posts Menu – Add Post)
In the Posts area, find the item 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 in-line editor expands to display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Inline Editor Settings)
Find the “Date” section …
(Quick Edit – Date & Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to easily schedule any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by entering new values in the fields or choosing options from the dropdown date menu …
(Change date & time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule blog posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts to show posts as having been published prior to its original publishing date.
This is convenient if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your experiences and would like your blog posts to match 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. Alternatively, you can set all content to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog at a future time.
Change the date of your post to any date (and time) you would like your post to display 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 post scheduling module field. The time your post will actually get published is determined by the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.
Click Update to save your changes …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your changes)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts area …
(Your post is now scheduled for publishing)
Your post will also show as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status section …
(Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
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 and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish box – Publish settings)
Change the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date)
Click on Schedule to update your post settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to save your post 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 for publishing on the date and time you have set …
(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: function …
(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 and time settings)
Remember to click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Publish Box – Schedule)
Your post should now show as being “Scheduled” inside the Post Edit > Publish box …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Table of Posts – Post status)
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 posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WP Post
In some situations, you may want to republish an old post. If so, there are a few options you can choose:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by changing the date and the time the post was published. Enter a future date and time, then click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will jump 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 your 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 …
(Republishing your post)
When you do this, your post will immediately redistribute to your blog subscribers. However, the publication date and time will remain the same, so the post’s link and position in the timeline will remain the same.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your blog, you can just use the “sticky” feature …
(Making a post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
How To Unschedule A Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to be published later, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
In the Publish section, click on the “Edit” link next to the date your post is scheduled to publish:
(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 the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will publish immediately …
(Post publish box – 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 modifying 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 the resources of your web server, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled posts and see if this solves the issue.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling your content in WordPress using plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts WP Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that allows you to queue new posts and pages for later publication at a specified interval.
When you create a new post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing your post for publishing later …
This is great if you are scheduling multiple posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a specific order, or between certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more information about this plugin, visit their website:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of WP plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (add content automatically to WordPress sites).
(AutoPost Scheduler WP Plugin)
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)
To learn more, visit their website: Auto Post Scheduler WP 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 and then set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals at a late time.
(WP Robot – WordPress Plugin)
To learn more, go here: WP Robot – WP 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.
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)
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