Scheduling a post to be published in the future is a neat little feature built into WordPress that’s easy to miss. Once you know about it, it could become the most used tool in your toolkit!
What does the scheduling feature do?
It gives you the ability to schedule a post to go live at a specific time on a specific date.
Want to publish next Tuesday at 1.03 am?
When to schedule blog posts
Scheduling blog posts to publish in the future might seem pointless. After all, it doesn’t take long to log in and do it yourself.
But what about when you’re on holiday?
You won’t want to interrupt an evening meal or day out with the kids just because you need to log into WordPress to publish your next post.
What’s the point in doing that when you have a cool tool to do it for you?
Then there are business trips, weekends away, and a busy schedule.
And, here’s another scenario – maybe most of your readers live in a different timezone to you. Hitting publish when they’re awake and at their machines makes a lot of sense. Especially if you also automatically update your social networks through tools like Hootsuite.
We’ve looked at why and when you should automatically set up your blog posts so they publish in the future, let’s look at the very simple process for setting this up.
How to set up a blog post so it automatically publishes in the future
The first step is to make sure your blog’s timezone is correctly set.
Navigate to Settings > General and from the drop-down menu, choose a city in the same timezone as you.
(If you’re setting this up because your readers are in a different timezone to you, choose a close-by city instead.)
You only need to do this once.
Now, go ahead and compose your post.
When the post is ready to go, instead of hitting the publish button, click on the Immediately link in the Status and Visibility pane.
Now change the date and time to the intended publication date on the pop-up calendar.
When you do this, the text on the blue button changes to Schedule…
Click the button and hit Schedule again to confirm.
Your blog post is now scheduled to go live at whatever time and date you chose.
Want to make changes to your post but already committed it to a schedule? Don’t worry. Just log in as you would normally and make the changes.
The scheduled date doesn’t change.
Sometimes the automatic scheduling doesn’t work
Unfortunately, this method isn’t fail-safe.
WordPress can and does miss scheduled posts, so it’s always best to check, or get somebody to check for you, as soon as possible after the intended publication date and time.
If it does fail, all you have to is do is click the publish button and the post goes live.
I know this defeats the object of the whole process, so I suggest you try it out on your site before relying on it to post on your behalf while you’re away.