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 great feature that allows you to postdate your posts. Lots Of bloggers haven’t discovered this yet. In this tutorial, we will show you how to schedule WordPress posts and pages for publishing later.
Publishing fresh content on your WordPress site on a regular basis helps you get more pages indexed on search engines, drive visitors to your business and keep your site readers returning for more.
There may be times, however, when you may not want your content to appear immediately.
For example, here are some situations when you may not want to display a blog post as soon as it has been added to your blog:
- You travel a lot but you still want posts to be published on your blog while you’re away.
- You want a previously published post removed have it be automatically published again at a future date and time.
- 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 posts each day at a certain time, but this would require you to get up at odd hours of the night to publish your post.
- You set aside one day every week to write a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your content writing to freelancers who send you dozens of 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 would like the content to be made available to members over a period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of posts to your blog at once, and then have it automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new post 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 on 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 article strategy is still working for you.
Well … with WordPress you can! If you set a date in the future to publish your posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content exactly as you have set.
In the tutorial below, you will learn a little-known feature that lets you schedule WP posts to publish at a future date/time, and tips on article scheduling.
Complete the tutorial below to learn how to schedule blog posts in WP.
How To Schedule WordPress Blog Posts – Step-By-Step Tutorial
With WordPress you can change the date and time of your published blog posts, including setting 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 a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule posts to publish at a future date using the Quick Edit method if you are scrolling through a list of all your existing posts, or you can schedule them when you’re editing blog posts.
Scheduling Posts In WordPress Using The Quick Edit Function
To schedule WordPress blog posts using the Quick Edit feature,
Log into your WordPress admin area and select Posts > All Posts …
(WordPress Posts – Add Post)
In the Posts screen, 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 display all of the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Quick Edit Options)
Locate the “Date” feature …
(Change Date And Time)
WordPress lets you easily schedule any aspect of the date and time of your post, simply by changing the values in the fields or selecting options from the drop-down menu …
(Edit date and time of your Post)
Tip: You can schedule posts in WordPress in the future or backdate post dates to show posts as having been published prior to the 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 posts to reflect the same dates you’ve been physically absent. Another reason to backdate your blog posts would be to give a brand new website a little bit more of an “established” look. Similarly, you can set all blog posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new 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) …
(Schedule Post to publish at a specified date)
Note: To schedule a post in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour system. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the Post Scheduling module. The time your post will actually publish depends on the location settings set in your Settings > General area.
Remember to click the Update button to save your post settings …
(Click the ‘Update’ button to save your new post settings)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(Quick Edit – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
How To Schedule Posts In WordPress When Adding Or 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)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date and time)
Click Schedule to save your post settings …
(Click on the ‘Schedule’ button to update your post settings)
Tip: To backdate a blog 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 to publish on the date and time you have set …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule your post to be republished in the future by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …
(Publish box – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date settings)
Click on the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
Your post should show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
(Publish button – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
Your post status will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Table of Posts …
(Table of Posts – Post status)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WP dashboard’s ‘Activity’ screen …
(WP Dashboard – Activity screen)
We’ll show you now how to republish existing posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
How To Republish A WordPress Post
In some instances, you may want to republish an old post. If you do, there are a few different options you can use to do this:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by editing 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 position in your timeline to the most recent spot on your blog and display the new date and time. The post link 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 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)
When you do this, the post will automatically redistribute to your 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 site, you can always use the “sticky” feature …
(Make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Unscheduling A WordPress Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a WP post to be published later, but then change your mind and decide to publish it immediately, simply return to the Edit Post page for your scheduled post.
In the Publish module, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your post 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 settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will now publish immediately …
(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. Did you save the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you remember to click the “Schedule” button after modifying the date/time? For the 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 decreasing the number of scheduled items and see if this solves the problem.
Automating Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate various aspects of publishing and scheduling 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 publishing later.
When you create a new post or page, you have the option of queuing your post …
(Publish Section – Post 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 certain order, or between certain times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more information, visit the plugin website here:
Bulk Scheduling Posts
There are a number of WP plugins designed for “autoposting” or “autoblogging” (add content automatically to WordPress sites).
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 are importing a large number of 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)
To learn more, go here: AutoPost 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 bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site and then set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WPRobot – WordPress Autoblogging Plugin)
To learn more, go here: WP Robot – WordPress 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 posts for publishing in WordPress at a later date.
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum