Decided to publish WordPress posts later but unsure how to do so? Don’t fret—that is one of the key components of this CMS (Content Management System). After all, it is designed to fit a multi-user environment, with several writers, editors, designers, and head administrators. Even more, it works as a multisite environment that lets head administrators control tens or even hundreds of websites from a single dashboard. Also, users don’t have to install anything unless they seek extra features. To clarify, you can learn how to schedule WordPress posts to publish later in the default environment. Let’s begin.
Reasons to schedule WordPress posts for publishing
Here’s why you should publish WordPress posts later after you schedule them:
1. Website back-end organization
Organizing the workflow of your website is one of the keys to success, and having a schedule helps. There are many applications, but three examples include:
- Helping organize the writing, editing, and publishing process with multiple authors in different time zones
- Scheduling posts to distinguish them from drafts, archived posts, or pending review ones. Without a scheduler feature, they will sit in that state until the date and time of publishing approaches
- Making content and website updates that should go live at a specific time, such as holidays, sales week, or rebranding. Again, they would remain in a draft state otherwise
2. To create a backlog
Scheduling posts in WordPress lets you have a backlog of content that will be posted without intervention. The possibility of adjusting the schedule or canceling and publishing immediately has a lot of benefits. In short, it lets you stack content, so you’re never without something to post.
3. So you post consistently at the busiest time
The busiest time is the period when your website experiences the highest traffic. Once you find what that timespan is, scheduling allows you to post during that time without fail, even if you’re away from your website’s back end.
4. For SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefits
Posting consistently at the same or roughly identical time benefits your SEO. The search engine bots and crawlers eventually pick up on the time you post content. Thus, they will visit during that period, and potentially index more of your content. At the very least, they should index your content early, which is useful for viral niches.
5. To be a failsafe
Knowing your posts are scheduled for publishing is a life-saver if you plan to take time off from the website. If you plan them far enough in the future, they will go off if you have an emergency of any kind, giving you peace of mind.
6. To test the results of the publishing times
Scheduling your content for publishing at different times of the day lets you test how it performs on the analytics metrics. You can then adjust the time further, and all that without having to ruin your sleep schedule or stay logged in.
1. How to schedule WordPress posts using WordPress Block (Gutenberg) Editor
Follow these steps to schedule when WordPress will publish a new post:
- Access your WordPress Admin Section.
- In the left sidebar, go to Posts → All Posts.
- Edit a post by clicking on its title or the Edit link below the title. Otherwise, click the Add New button to create a post.
- Make necessary content changes. When you’re ready, find the Publish option under “Status & visibility”. If you don’t see the right sidebar, click the cogwheel icon in the top right corner.
- Click the Immediately link (or any added date) to modify the date.
- Schedule a date for publishing using the calendar. Once you add a time, the choice will apply automatically and appear next to “Publish”.
- Note. If someone else scheduled a post in the past, you’ll notice dots on the calendar for those dates.
- When you’re done making changes, click the Schedule button that was previously titled Publish. You’ll receive a success message with the date, time, and post URL afterward.
Note. You do not have to click the Schedule button immediately. WordPress Editor saves the date and time you set even as a draft, meaning it can be a placeholder.
2. Use WordPress Classic Editor to set up WordPress scheduled posts
You can also set up WordPress post schedules using the WordPress Classic Editor like this:
- Open your WordPress Admin dashboard, go to Posts → All Posts, and create or edit a post. We described this in steps 1-3 above.
- After editing the content, click the Edit link next to the Publish entry in the “Publish” meta box.
- You’ll see a date and time inside text fields instead of a calendar in Block Editor. Use the drop-down menu or type the date and time manually.
- Click the OK button when you’re ready. The Publish button will now turn into a Schedule button.
3. Scheduling post publishing via a WordPress plugin
You can also use plugins to handle the publishing of WordPress posts like this:
- Install a WordPress plugin of your choice. We’ll use SchedulePress by WPDeveloper since it’s the most popular choice at the time of writing.
- After activation, head to the SchedulePress option in the left sidebar of the WordPress Admin Section.
- Configure auto-scheduler or manual scheduler settings such as adding dates and times into the calendar. You can also drag posts into the calendar to set dates and times faster.
Also, when editing posts in Block and Classic Editor, you’ll see checkboxes that let you schedule posts with one click. The plugin also has a tool that checks if any posts missed the schedule and publish them a bit later, acting as a failsafe.
What can I do after scheduling WordPress posts?
You can do the following things after you finish scheduling WordPress posts:
1. Check the time zone
It’s crucial to double-check that the time zone of your WordPress website is correct. Otherwise, the scheduled time may be too early or too late for your needs. The simplest way is to repeat method 1 on any post, and when the calendar opens, note the time zone such as “UTC+0”. This only works in Block Editor. Regardless, you can view and change the time zone of your website in WordPress directly.
2. Verify that posts were scheduled and when
You can double-check which posts are scheduled and when by opening the Posts → All Posts window in the WordPress Admin dashboard and clicking the Scheduled (x) link in the top menu. The ‘x’ represents the total number of scheduled posts.
3. Fix any WordPress posts that missed the schedule
Post publishing on schedule requires a cron job, which is a command-line utility that schedules tasks in Unix-like operating systems. If your posts are not going live at the assigned time, you’ll be notified with an error. To ensure smooth operation, you must fix the “Missed scheduled post” error in WordPress.
4. Unschedule WordPress posts
To unschedule a WordPress post before publishing, do the following:
- Classic Editor. Open the post in question, then click the Edit link next to Scheduled for: <date and time>. Pick a new date. Otherwise, click Edit next to Status: Scheduled and convert it into a Draft.
- Block Editor. Click the scheduled date next to Publish in “Status & Visibility”. Choose a new date or click the Reset link in the bottom left corner.
Normally, you cannot unschedule a published post, as changes become visible immediately. The only option is to unpublish a post and schedule it for a later date.