10 WordPress Plugins for More Powerful and Flexible Scheduled Posts
Some of us are more organized than others. Some have our future posts already written and scheduled out a month in advance.
While I can’t claim to be one of those, here at WPMU DEV, we do use the scheduled post option in WordPress quite a lot. In fact, it’s rare that any post here will be written and then published straight away.
I’d say that about 98-99% of the posts you see here have been scheduled to publish. And so we surely appreciate that function.
But that function, like most, can be improved upon. And so below we’ve found 10 plugins to help do just that – all doing different jobs, but all working to help make WordPress scheduled posts more powerful and flexible.
Where WordPress lets you schedule posts for publication, this plugin lets you schedule all sorts of functions associated with posts.
You can schedule a post to become a sticky, and then you can schedule it to unstick.
You can schedule comments to be opened, and then you can schedule them to close.
You can schedule to unpublish a post, and then you can schedule what to do with it – delete it, trash it, set it draft.
And so if you’re looking to schedule more than the post itself, this plugin offers a number of nice options.
The Bump the Schedule plugin is very handy for anyone who sets up a lot of scheduled posts in advance.
Let’s say you have 30 posts scheduled out for the next month. But something big has just happened in your industry. You know you’re going to spend the next 2 days covering it exclusively, and so you want to push ALL of your scheduled posts forward by 2 days.
In order to do that, you’ll have to go and reschedule each of the 30 posts by hand (making sure not mess each one up as well).
With the Bump the Schedule plugin, you can do that with the click of a button. Just enter when you’d like to start the bump, and how many days you’d like to bump the schedule, and then simply click.
This plugin lets you schedule a post to expire. It gives you a range of choices for what happens to the post when it expires. You can set it to go to Draft, Private, Delete, or you can move it into a special category, which makes for easier review: Category Replace, Category Add, Category Remove.
It also comes with a shortcode that will let you show the expiration time.
This plugin automatically adds a widget to your backend dashboard that shows all your scheduled posts. Very convenient if you happen to schedule a lot of posts.
Clicking on the titles takes you to the edit screen for that post.
The Auto Schedule Posts plugin is perhaps especially good if you have a number of writers on your site. Or perhaps you accept lots of posts from the public.
It lets you set somewhat random times for scheduled posts that fall within the parameters that you define.
For example, say you have a site with 10 writers, all pumping out content non-stop. However, you don’t want those posts going out at certain times (in the middle of the night, on the weekend, or even after 5 p.m. perhaps). You also don’t want writers posting on top of each other, and you don’t want certain writers taking up all the good time slots.
This plugin can solve all those issues, and you don’t even have to hire a professional logician. You could, for example, post only between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and you could both space those posts out and also randomize them so that no one writer gets preference over another.
This plugin catches posts before they are published on the front end; however, it might not play nicely with other plugins such as Twitter plugins that automatically tweet a post when it’s published. Make sure you test thoroughly for conflicts such as this.
When you create a link in the WordPress editor, at the bottom of the box that pops up, you get a list of possible posts to link to. This list, however, doesn’t include posts scheduled for the future.
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This plugin takes care of that, listing future posts as well. If you do a lot of scheduled posts, then this should come in handy.
Obviously you will need to be careful not to link to a post that hasn’t published yet. But, for example, if it’s Monday, and you already have a post scheduled for Wednesday, and you’re currently writing a post for Friday, then you could create a link in the Friday post that goes to the Wednesday post – all without leaving your link creation box.
Normally you’d need to go digging through your posts to first find the scheduled post, and then do a little more digging to then find the URL. Then you’d need to traipse back to your editor to insert the link.
The Schedules Posts Calendar gives you a calendar with the current day’s date highlighted, and then down below it you have a list of all the scheduled posts.
While the layout is nice and helps you to see things clearly, it appears that there are no links (to the actual posts, for example), and it also seems that the future posts don’t appear on the calendar (only the current day is highlighted).
Still, this gives you a handy overview of your upcoming posts, along with a calendar for easy reference.
The Show Off Upcoming Posts plugin lets you list scheduled posts in a widget on the sidebar. While many may not be crazy about that idea, this plugin points to the usefulness of doing such a thing by allowing you to encourage people to subscribe to your RSS feed or to sign up for your email newsletter.
And that seems like a pretty smart thing to do.
If you have enticing titles, but they aren’t yet published, you just may get some more followers with this little trick.
This plugin lets you schedule all your Drafts automatically (and only Drafts). You can schedule them sequentially or randomly at set intervals. You can also set it to post completely randomly within a certain time frame.
While this plugin might seem a little odd for most people’s needs, for those who might need it, well, here it is. With about 24,000 downloads in the WordPress directory, it seems more people than you might think fall into that category.
And finally we come to the WP Missed Schedule plugin.
If you schedule a lot of posts, as we do here at DEV, then there’s a good chance you’ve run across the problem of your scheduled posts not publishing. When that happens, you will get a message that the post “Missed schedule.”
I know we’ve had this issue, and lots of others have too. This plugin purports to fix the problem.
But of course the problem isn’t easily replicated, and so you’ll just have to take the word of others who have used it. With over 100,000 downloads, 46 5-star ratings, and a 4.9/5 average, I think it’s safe to say that people are finding success with it.
Photo: Aztec/Mayan Calendar