WordPress Tip: Schedule the publishing of a post

I am not sure if WordPress always supported scheduling a post for publishing in the future or if it is a new feature of the latest releases. I am quite sure though that I didn’t know about this, until today.

In order to set a saved draft to be published at a specific date and time in the future, all you have to do is to set the post’s timestamp to a future date/time. Be advised that by just setting the time/date to the future, without having checked the “Edit Timestampcheckbox, will have absolutely no effect and your post will be published with the current date/time in its timestamp. So, make sure that the checkbox is checked! Also, note that the timestamp needs to be set once. It’s not required to re-set it every time you save the post. Then, either by hitting the “Publish” button in the editor or by setting the post status to “published” and then of course save the document, the post will be scheduled for appearing to your web site at the specified date/time in the future.

Having done this, the post disappears from the draft documents list, but is still available for reviewing through the Manage->Posts panel. If you follow the View link for your scheduled post, you will notice that it is displayed in your website as any other already published post! Now, what does this mean? I assume it means that the post has actually been published like any other post, but, simply, it is not listed in your front page. The post’s permalink, which leads to the document’s single-post view, works. So, make sure you do not leak too much info about your scheduled articles, especially their title, because some evil mind might guess the permalink and read the article before its actually shown in your front page. :-)

Apart from that, this feature is great. For example, you can finish some articles during the weekend, when you probably have more free time, and set them to be published on a day during the week, when the free time is probably limited. As you have noticed, I do not post new stuff regularly. There are times that I have enough time to write 4-5 posts in a row, publish them and then stay silent for a couple of weeks. This is generally bad, not only because it’s almost impossible to make the readers come back this way, but also it’s bad for the search engine bots, as it is impossible for them to determine how often your website should be indexed, resulting in either excessive bandwidth consumption or inadequate indexing. Scheduling the posts ensures that there will be new content in your website regularly.

WordPress Tip: Schedule the publishing of a post by George Notaras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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About George Notaras

George Notaras is the editor of the G-Loaded Journal, a technical blog about Free and Open-Source Software. George, among other things, is an enthusiast self-taught GNU/Linux system administrator. He has created this web site to share the IT knowledge and experience he has gained over the years with other people. George primarily uses CentOS and Fedora. He has also developed some open-source software projects in his spare time.

7 responses on “WordPress Tip: Schedule the publishing of a post

  1. Lorelle Permalink →

    It’s been around for a very long time. ;-) It’s a great feature. Because I travel so much, I can’t blog without it.

  2. George Notaras Post authorPermalink →

    Hi Aggelos,
    AFAIK, this feature refers to wp-cron.php, which was included in WP after being around as a plugin for a long time. I am not really sure if it can be used to schedule post publishing, which would be good, as the “problem” of the working single-post-view of the scheduled posts I wrote about wouldn’t exist any more. But, I think it exists basically for scheduling maintenance tasks. When I have the time, I will search for more info about thi cron-like functionality.

    Thanks for your comment. :-)

  3. George Notaras Post authorPermalink →

    Hi Lorelle,
    I wonder how I completely missed this feature all this time! I mean, this little detail has re-defined the way I should use my blog.

    Thanks for stopping by ;-)

  4. Aggelos Orfanakos Permalink →

    Now that I think of it, you don’t really need any cron-like functionality for this kind of thing. You just need a “visible timestamp” for each post after which it will show up on the front page and in the feeds and the right SQL query to only select posts that have a “visible timestamp” older than the current. I guess my initial comment was ill-thought-out. :-)

  5. Robbert Hamburg Permalink →

    As far as i know this feature is in wordpress for quite some time. I believe even from wordpress version 1 (!).
    I read back in my notes and this was one of the main reasons i started to use wordpress in the first place, as i travel a lot.

    As long as your permalinks arent very easy to guess you should be safe from that.


    Robbert Hamburg
    The Netherlands.

  6. dileep stanley Permalink →

    It is only viewable if you are logged.Normal users can not have the permission to view the schduled.