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How to Automatically Schedule Content Updates in WordPress

Do you want to automatically schedule a content update in WordPress?

An automated content update allows you to update an already published post or page at a specific time without republishing it as new content, or switching it to draft.

In this article, we’ll show you how to automatically schedule content updates in WordPress for your already published posts and pages.

Scheduling content updates in WordPress

Why Schedule Updates for Posts and Pages in WordPress?

By default, WordPress allows you to schedule posts to be published at a specific time. However, you cannot schedule content updates for a post or page that is already published.

Many users frequently make changes to their old blog posts to keep them up-to-date with new information.

For example, if you run a business website, you may want to make scheduled changes appear at a certain time, such as when you are running a sales event or limited time promotional offer.

Normally, you will have to manually make changes at the exact time you want them to appear on your WordPress blog. Your changes then become live as soon you hit the update button.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you can schedule your content updates just like you would schedule new posts and pages?

Let’s look at how to easily schedule content updates in WordPress to improve your workflow and keep your old content fresh.

Scheduling Content Updates in WordPress

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the free PublishPress Revisions plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

The Revisions plugin is free, but the pro version is included automatically if you’re a PublishPress Pro member. The benefit of the pro version is that it integrates with many other plugins including WooCommerce. You can download and install the plugin from your member dashboard.

Upon activation, you need to visit the Posts » All Posts page in the WordPress admin area.

From here, you can locate the post where you want to schedule changes and then click on the ‘New Revision’ link.

Start a new revision to schedule for a content update

The plugin will create a draft copy of your original post and open it in the post editor.

You can now make any changes to this new draft version of the post.

For this tutorial, we are going to add a new download button to an existing post.

Update content

You can edit any of the content in this version of the post, and it will not change on your live site until the scheduled date you set.

Once you are done editing, click on the ‘Immediately’ button next to the ‘Publish’ option under the ‘Post’ settings.

Publish settings

A calendar will now pop up on the screen.

From here, you can set the date and time when you want this draft to replace the current live version.

Set date and time schedule

Once you have set the scheduled date and time, you are ready to save the revision.

Now, if you click on the ‘Submit’ button, then the draft will be submitted for review. It needs to be approved before it’s actually scheduled.

If you are responsible for publishing content on your website, and don’t need approval from anyone else, then you can simply click the ‘Approve’ button to continue.

Approve changes

The plugin will now schedule this revision that will be published at your chosen time.

After that, you’ll be redirected to see a preview of the draft.

At the top of the screen, you’ll see a notification bar with the date and time this draft will go live.

Preview of your scheduled update

The notification bar also includes quick shortcuts to perform different actions. For instance, you can edit the draft, view the current published version, or compare the two versions.

Your changes are now saved and the update will apply automatically on the date and time you entered.

The post’s original publish date will not change, which means the post will not appear in your feed as a new post. However, Google and other search engines will see that it has been updated with new content.

Viewing and Managing Scheduled Post Updates

You can manage your scheduled post updates from the Revisions » Revision Queue page.

The list will display all scheduled updates with their set release date.

Manage scheduled updates

You can delete or modify a scheduled update without affecting your original post.

Reverting Back to The Original Post After a Specific Time

Let’s say you want to display a special offer during the holidays. This would be a time-specific content update.

Using PublishPress Revisions, you can revert to the original published post by simply creating a new revision.

Go to the Posts » All Posts page and click on the ‘New Revision’ link below the post you want to revert.

Adding a revision to revert back changes

The plugin will start a new revision of the currently published version of the post.

You can now make any changes you want to the draft.

Offer expired notice

For instance, you may want to add a notice that the offer promoted on this page has expired. Alternately, if you want to simply revert to the original version after a certain time.

To do so, you can just remove any content you want, and then schedule a new date on the calendar.

Set new schedule

After you have added the new schedule, you can Approve this draft.

Doing so will put your revision in the queue.

Approve revision

You can see all your scheduled revisions by visiting the Revisions » Revision Queue page.

You’ll see two revisions for the same article scheduled to go live one after another.

Revision queue

We hope this article helped you learn how to properly schedule content updates in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on creating beautiful landing pages for your website or check out these useful tips on growing your website on a shoestring budget.

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Reader Interactions

16 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Hello. Do you know if it’s possible to change the homepage automatically on a monthly basis? I have a gardening website and when visitors come, each month I would like the first page they see to be ‘tasks for October’, ‘tasks for November’, etc. Do you know how to achieve this? Thank you.

    • We do not have a recommended method for automating that change at the moment. You would normally want to create pages for what you’re wanting and manually change which one is the home page when you are ready.

      Admin

  2. Hello!

    The TAO plugin mentioned has not been updated in a year / hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress.

    Do you have any suggestions for a more regularly maintained plugin?

    Thanks!

    • Thank you for letting us know, while we don’t have a specific recommendation at the moment, we will be sure to keep an eye out for a replacement should the plugin no longer work.

      Admin

  3. Is there a plugin or workaround that will allow you to schedule posts to publish more than once? For example, a monthly promotion that needs to appear on the 3rd of the month every month? It seems like an obvious need, but I can’t find one anywhere.

    I use Republish Old Posts plugin which works great, except that old posts are published at random intervals, you can’t schedule them.

    Tks.

    Rex

    • For what it sounds like you’re wanting, you may want to move the content to a page that isn’t linked on your site and then link to it when the deal should be active using a plugin like OptinMonster instead of having it on a specific republished post.

      Admin

    • Unless I hear otherwise, we don’t know of specific conflicts but you can reach out to the plugin’s support for if there are any conflicts

      Admin

  4. Hello. This plugin seems awesome, but is there a way to update an existing post without changing the date? I just want to schedule changes on a specific date without having the original date changed.

  5. I’m finding that TAO Scheduled Update is really buggy under Gutenberg 5.0+. I have used this regularly without incident, but following the same steps to clone a new page works sometimes, and not others. I’m searching for another plugin!

  6. Is the Tao plug-in stable? Your post implies it works well, but it hasn’t been updated in 4+ months. Should I be concerned?

  7. This is good info, and a cool tool to have; especially for those of us who maintain sites such as churches or charities with recurring events.

    A question not addressed in the article: What about SEO considerations regarding an updated article or event? Should the SEO be tweaked to reflect the update?

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