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 your posts. Many WP users don’t know about this. In this article, we will show you how to schedule blog posts in WordPress.
Publishing new content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive traffic to your business and keep your blog readers returning for more information.
There may be instances, however, where you may not want content to show immediately.
For example, here are some instances when you may not want to show a post as soon as it has been added to your WordPress site:
- You travel a lot but you still want to publish posts on your site on a regular basis.
- You would like an already published post removed and automatically published again at a future date/time.
- You would like to distribute a daily update with the latest news about a certain topic for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time zone than you. You want them to read your posts every day at the same time, but this means that you’d have to be awake in the middle of the night to publish your blog post.
- You set aside one day every week to create a whole week’s worth of content for your site, or you outsource your content 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 set up an online training course and want to “drip-feed” posts to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of articles to your blog at once, and then have it 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 to your blog that would keep your readers regularly engaged, and free up your time to work 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! If you set a date in the future for publishing your blog posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content on the exact dates and times that you have set.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to schedule WordPress blog posts to publish at a future date/time, plus great tips on how to automate scheduled posts.
Go through the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WP blog posts.
How To Schedule WP Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress lets you alter the date/time of your published blog posts, including setting exact dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add blog posts to your WordPress blog, which can then be preconfigured to display live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing WordPress posts to publish at a future date with the Quick Edit method if you are viewing a list of all your posts, or you can schedule them as you’re adding or editing new or existing posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit function,
Log into your WordPress dashboard and choose Posts > All Posts …
(Add New Post)
In the Posts section, find the Post you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to display the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Screen – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit in-line editor expands to display all the “Quick Edit” options for editing your Post …
(Quick Edit Settings)
Locate the “Date” section …
(Quick Edit – Change Date And Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to easily edit any aspect of the date and time of your post, simply by changing the values in the fields or selecting options from the dropdown date menu …
(Schedule new Post date & time)
Useful Tip: You can schedule posts in WordPress in the future or backdate posts to show posts as having been published prior to its original date of publication.
This is very 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 display as having been published on the same dates you’ve been absent. Another great use for backdating your blog posts would be to give a brand new site 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 at a future time.
Change the post date to any date (and/or time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a specified date)
Note: To schedule a post as being published in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour system. For example, to display 1:00 PM type in 13:00 in the Post Scheduling module field. The time your post will actually end up being published depends on the location settings set in your Settings > General section.
Remember to click the Update button to save your new post settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your post settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Your post is now scheduled for publishing)
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status feature …
(‘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 future date, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Post publish section – Publish immediately > Edit)
Change the date (and time) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date & time)
Click on the Schedule button to update your post settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to save your settings)
Note: 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 to publish on the date and time you have specified …
(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: function …
(Publish section – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click the Schedule button to update your republishing settings …
Your post will now show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish section …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Posts table – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we will learn how to republish WP 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 you do, 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 future date and time, then click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will move from its current place 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 change to reflect the new publication date.
Note: When you reschedule a post, it will not redistribute to your email subscribers. If you want 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 …
(Republish your post)
When you do this, your 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 stay unmodified.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your blog, you can just make it “sticky” …
(Sticky post option)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A Post
If you’ve scheduled a WP post to publish in the future, but changed your mind and decide to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post screen 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 your current time) 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 the Post Status. Have you saved your post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after modifying 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 problem.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate various 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 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 your post for publishing later …
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 specific order, or at specific times and intervals …
(Settings For Queueing Posts)
To learn more, go here:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (adding content automatically to WordPress sites).
(AutoPost Scheduler Plugin)
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 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 Auto Post Scheduler to publish posts at whatever frequency you choose as well as setting a range of other options …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options)
To learn more, visit their website: Auto Post Scheduler – WordPress 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 set these to publish automatically at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WP Robot – WP Plugin)
To learn more, visit the plugin’s website here: WPRobot – WordPress 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 publish WordPress blog posts at a later date.
"I love the way your email series "Infinite Web Content Creation Training Series" is documented and presented. It is very absorbing and captivating. The links and tutorials are interesting and educational. This has motivated me to rewrite my content following the concepts I am learning from the email series." - Mani Raju, www.fortuneinewaste.com