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 posts. Many newbies don’t know about this. In this latest installment of our training series, we will show you how to schedule posts in WordPress for publishing at a later date.

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

There may be instances, however, when you may not want your content to display as soon as you hit the publish button.

For example, here are some situations where you may not want to show a blog post as soon as it’s been added to your blog:

  • You go on a trip but you still want blog posts to be published on your site regularly while you’re gone.
  • You need a previously published post removed have it be automatically published again at a specific time/date in the future.
  • You would like to publish a daily blog 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’d like them to receive your new post each day before they start work, but this would require you to be awake in the middle of the night to hit the “publish” button.
  • You set aside one day each week to write a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your article writing to freelance writers who send you many articles once a month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
  • You launch an online training course and want to “drip-feed” 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 website or blog in one go, 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 readers 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 marketing strategy is still working for you while you’re gone.

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

In the tutorial below, we are going to show you a couple of ways to schedule WP posts to publish at a future date/time, and tips for publishing scheduled blog posts.

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

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

With WordPress you can easily edit the date and time of your published blog posts, including specifying dates and times in the future. This allows to create or add posts to your WordPress blog, which can then be pre-scheduled to display live at a future date and time of your choice.

You can schedule posts to publish at a future time with the Quick Edit function when viewing a list of all posts, or you can schedule them when adding new blog posts.

Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature

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

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

Posts Menu - Add New

(Posts Menu – Add New)

In the Posts page, find the Post you want to edit, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu. Click on Quick Edit

Quick Edit

(Posts Section – Quick Edit)

The Quick Edit editor expands to display all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …

In-line Editor Section

(Quick Edit Options)

Find the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” inline editor screen …

Date & Time Settings - Quick Edit

(Date Settings – Quick Edit)

WordPress allows you to schedule any aspect of the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields or selecting options from a dropdown date menu …

Edit Post date and time

(Schedule new date & time of your Post)

Useful Tip

Useful Tip: You can schedule WP blog posts in the future or backdate post dates 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 post dates to reflect the actual dates you’ve been physically 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. Conversely, you can set all blog posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch your site at a future time.

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Change the post date 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

(Posts scheduled to publish at a later date)

Info

Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour system. For example, to display 1:00 PM enter 13:00 in the Schedule Post module field. The time your post will actually publish depends on the location settings set in your Settings > General section.

Remember to click Update to save your new settings …

Click 'Update' to save your new settings

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

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

Scheduled Post

(Post status: Scheduled)

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

'Scheduled' post status

(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 later date and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit

Publish Box - Publish Settings

(Post publish box – Publish immediately > Edit)

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

Change Post date

(Change Post date)

Don’t forget to click on the Schedule button to save your post settings …

Click 'Schedule' to update your post settings

(Click ’Schedule’ to save your settings)

Tip: 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 specified …

Post schedule notification

(Post schedule message)

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

Publish Section - Edit

(Post publish section – Edit)

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

Click on the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …

Publish Section - Schedule

(Schedule Post)

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

(Post status: 'Scheduled')

(Post publish button – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)

Your post will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Posts area …

Posts table - Post status

(Table of Posts – Post status)

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

Dashboard - Activity Screen

(Dashboard – Activity screen)

Now, we will take a look at how to republish blog posts.

Useful Tip

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

How To Republish A WP Post

In some instances, you may need 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) 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 post link 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 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

(Republishing your post)

When you do this, the post will automatically be redistributed 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.

Useful Tip

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

Sticky post option

(Sticky post option)

Learn more about making posts sticky here:

How To Unschedule A Blog Post

If you’ve scheduled a post to publish in the future, but then change your mind and want to publish it immediately, simply head back to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.

Post - Edit

(Post – Edit)

In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your post for publishing:

Publish box - Edit

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

Click Publish

Publish button

(Publish section)

Your post will publish right away …

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 your 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, 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 server resources, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled items and see if this solves the issue.

Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins

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

Queuing Posts For Publishing

Queue Posts

Queue Posts

(Queue Posts WP Plugin)

Queue Posts is a free plugin that allows you to queue new posts and pages for publishing later at a specified interval.

When you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing the post for publishing later …

Queue Post

(Post Publish Section – Queue)

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 specific times and intervals …

Settings For Queueing Posts

(Settings For Queueing Posts)

For more information, visit their website here:

Bulk Scheduling Posts

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

AutoPost Scheduler

Auto Post Scheduler

(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 can revitalize traffic.

This plugin is especially useful if you are importing a large number of blog posts, as you can set the Auto Post Scheduler to publish posts at whatever frequency you choose as well as specify a range of other settings …

Auto Post Scheduler Options

(AutoPost Scheduler Options)

For more details, visit their website: AutoPost Scheduler

WP Robot

Although you may not need to use 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 in the future.

WPRobot - WordPress Autoblogging Software

(WP Robot – WordPress Autoblogging Software)

For more information, visit the plugin’s website here: WPRobot – WP 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 publish your WP posts at a future date.

How To Schedule WordPress Posts

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"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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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 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.