WordPress has a really neat feature that lets you postdate your posts. Lots of WP beginners don’t know about this. In this tutorial, we will show you how to schedule WordPress posts for publishing at a future date.
Publishing great content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive traffic to your site and keep your site readers coming back for more.
There are instances, however, where you may not want content to be published 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 site:
- You travel a lot but you still want to publish articles on your blog regularly while you’re away.
- You want to remove a previously published post and automatically it again at a specific time and date later.
- You would like to distribute 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 want them to receive your updates each day at a certain time, but this would require you to get up 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 content writing to professional writers who deliver you dozens of articles once a 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 would like to “drip-feed” posts to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of blog posts to your blog at once, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your readers 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 new content on your site 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 content marketing strategy is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! If you set a date/time in the future for publishing your blog posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content exactly when you have specified.
In the tutorial below, you are going to learn a little-known function that lets you schedule WP blog posts to publish at a future date, as well as tips on automating your content for scheduling.
Complete the tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule posts in WP.
- Scheduling Blog Posts In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial
- Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
- Automating Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins
Scheduling Blog Posts In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you easily alter the date and time of your published posts, including specifying exact dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add articles to your website, which can then be prescheduled to go live at any given date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a future time with the Quick Edit method when scrolling through a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them as you’re working on existing blog posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Method
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WP dashboard and choose Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
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…
The Quick Edit in-line editor expands to reveal all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Quick Edit Section)
Locate the “Date” section in the “Quick Edit” in-line editor screen …
(Change Date And Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to alter the date and time of your post, just by changing the values in the fields or selecting options from the drop-down menu …
(Schedule new Post date & time)
Tip: You can schedule WP blog posts in the future or backdate posts to show posts as having been published prior to its original publishing date.
This is great if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your day-to-day events and would like your blog posts to match the same dates you’ve been away. Another great use for backdating your posts would be to give a brand new blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Alternatively, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new blog after getting everything set up and configured.
Change the post date to whatever date (and time) you would like it to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later specified date and time)
Note: To schedule a post as being published in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour system. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the Schedule Post area. The time your post will actually get published depends on the location settings specified in your Settings > General section.
Click Update to save your changes …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your post settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(‘Scheduled’ post status)
Scheduling Posts In WordPress When Adding Or 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 box – Publish immediately > Edit)
Edit the date (and time) of your post and click the OK button …
(Change Post date & time)
Remember to click on Schedule to save your settings …
(Click ’Schedule’ to save your settings)
Note: 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 for publishing on the date and time you have set …
(Post schedule notification)
If you are editing an existing post, you can 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 the OK button …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
(Post Publish Box – Schedule)
Your post should show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts screen …
(Table of Posts – Date column)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
We’ll show you now how to republish existing posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WP pages.
Republishing A WordPress Post
In some instances, you may want to republish an old post. If so, there are a few different 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 later 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 update 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 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 automatically be redistributed 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 site, you can just use the “sticky” feature …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
How To Unschedule A WP Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to be published later, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, simply head back to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
(Post – Edit)
In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your post 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 OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will 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 your Post Status. Did you save 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, 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 reducing the number of scheduled posts and see if this fixes the issue.
Automating Post Scheduling With WordPress Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling content in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you queue new posts and pages for later publication.
Whenever you create a new post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing it for publishing later …
This is great if you are scheduling various posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a certain order, or at specific times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
For more information, visit their website: Queue Posts Plugin For WordPress
Bulk Scheduling WordPress
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (add content automatically to WordPress sites).
(Auto Post 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 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)
For more details, go here: AutoPost Scheduler WordPress Plugin
Although you may not need all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot 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 – WP Autoposting Plugin)
To learn more, go here: WPRobot – WordPress Autoblogging Software
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 WP posts to publish at a future date.
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now
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