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 Timestamp” checkbox, 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.
The WordPress Tip: Schedule the publishing of a post by George Notaras, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.