Auto Schedule Posts

The Auto Schedule Posts plugin manages posting on a blog so that no matter how fast posts are added they only show up according to the auto schedule parameters. Blog owners can set the plugin to only post during certain hours, on certain days, and/or maintain a minimum time period between posts. Eventually I plan to have an option so that would enforce a posting schedule (such as only posting on the half hour) where a missed time holds all posts until the next scheduled time rather than simply ensuring a minimum time gap.

There is a priority setting when selecting posts to publish which only affects multi-author blogs – Selecting “Least Recent Author” creates something of a round robin when there are multiple posts ready for publication the author who has published the least recently is selected. The “Oldest Unpublished Post” setting simply chooses the first unpublished post (by post ID) that is ready for publication without regard to author. There are also options to pick a random post from the queue or a random post from the least recent author.

Latest Version 3.6 (February 6, 2013)

  • The custom post status is registered with WordPress so that posts queued for automatic publishing can be seen and edited in the WordPress Posts admin area.
  • This version updates the deactivation function so that scheduled posts functionally become orphans. Previously deactivation would result in scheduled posts staying in the database but with a post status that would not show up anywhere in the WordPress Admin interface. The new deactivation function changes the status of scheduled posts to “draft” so that they can be handled as the author sees fit after the plugin has been deactivated.
  • New function to “Publish All” on the settings page – each queued post is published.
  • New function to “Delete This” on the settings page. Individual posts may be deleted without having to go to the post administration page.
  • This has been tested in WordPress 3.5.1

174 Responses to Auto Schedule Posts

  1. I’m having issues with Twitter Tools, where the queued blogposts gets a tweet where it says their posted, when in fact their not. Is this an issue with Auto-Schedule or Twitter Tools? Do you know of any workaround for it?

    • David says:

      Unfortunately I have not been able to find a workaround. I have seen the same thing happen with Subscribe2 where scheduled posts send out an email when they get queued rather than waiting until they are published.

  2. TechDragon says:

    I have noticed that the plugin seems to have some odd behaviour, I have caught it posting & UN-posting! a pending story.

  3. Hi, Cool plugin.

    Here is a desired use case for a multi-author blog.

    1) A published post goes right into the queue (easy enough!)
    2) If no post has been published in the past 2 hours, the post publishes right away.
    3) If a post has been posted in the past 2, the post is queued until 2 hours have elapsed.

    Can I do this with your plugin?

    • David says:

      That is exactly what the plugin was designed to do. For the example you listed just set the interval to “120” and set any other settings as desired.

  4. Bruce Nielson says:

    I would really like to use this plugin. Unfortunatley, I simply will not publish for me. I read some of the older comments and I can see others have had the same problem. But is there a solution?

    • David says:

      I’d like to help you but could I get a bit more detail. Does it place comments in the queue? Are you able to see any posts on the plugin settings page? What are your current settings?

  5. Steve says:

    I’m using WP 3.1.3

    I used a plugin that automatically loaded 50 Youtube videos as Drafts. I need another plugin that automatically schedules each Draft to publish at one Post per day between, lets say, 9:21 and 19:33 in a somewhat irregular way so that it looks like a human published them.

    Here is what I did with the settings…

    1) I changed my blog date and time settings so its the same as your “Now” setting but it still says “We should not be open to publish now.”

    2) Interval: 38

    3) Schedule Priority: (For one publisher, you said it didn’t matter.)

    4) Include Manually Scheduled Posts: No (I assume selecting “No” means it won’t change the scheduled date/time for posts that I already manually scheduled for future dates before using your plugin.)

    5) Start Time: 09:21

    6) End Time: 19:33

    7) I set it to publish every day.

    8) I clicked the “Update” button.

    9) Then I went to Posts and see that nothing has changed because all 50 Drafts are still Drafts instead of Scheduled.

    Questions…

    A) After clicking “Update” in your plugins settings, shouldn’t all 50 of those Drafts now be changed to “Scheduled”?

    B) Based on the settings I showed above, I’m assuming all 50 Drafts should now be changed to “Scheduled” and that each of those will publish at the rate of 1 per day for the next 50 days between the hours of 9:21 and 19:33 and at no less than 38 minutes apart. Is that what your plugin is supposed to do?

    C) Why does it say “We should not be open to publish now.” What does that mean?

    D) If I have done anything wrong, please tell me how I can get this to work.

    Thanks very much! 🙂

    • David says:

      Question A: One minor problem here is that this plugin does not schedule drafts. It only schedules posts once you publish them. This way you will not have a draft that is not yet complete get published before it is ready.

      Question B: Based on the settings you have described and if you were to change the status of each of those posts from “Draft” to “Published” (which should then automatically be changed to “Scheduled”) the plugin would publish the posts at a rate of one every 40 minutes (it can only check every 5 minutes to see if something is available to be published and if the necessary time has passed) between 9:21 and 19:33 (that would work out to 16 post being published each day).

      Question C: “We should not be open to publish now.” is an indicator so that you could know whether the it is currently within the scheduled publishing time period (9:21 to 19:33 each day based on the settings you have described). If that message is appearing instead of “We should be open to publish now.” during times you would expect it to publish then there is a problem with your settings.

      Question D: in order to get close to the description of what you want you would need to change the status of each of those posts to “Published” and then you would have to change your interval to “1478” so that the plugin would publish once a day a little bit later each day than the day before. The result would be that it would bullish each day except that ever couple of weeks it would skip a day as the 1478 minute interval would not yet be completed by the end of your publication hours that day.

  6. Matt says:

    Is there an update on the status of this plugin? I’ve searched on and off for a few days now and there doesn’t seem to be a stable option to queue posts in this way available anywhere. I’ve got this installed but after reading this page a few times I still can’t get it to post. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  7. peter says:

    hi

    PLEASE FIX PLUGIN AUTO SCHUDELE FOR VIDEOS IN IFRAME AN OBJECT ASAP THANX

    • David says:

      The plugin operates independent of the content of the posts. If you have the latest version of the plugin (version 2.2 – released two weeks ago) it should work. If not, try using it on a post that does not contain videos in an iframe. If that works then I will see if I can figure something out but it should either work for any content or not work for any content.

      • Damien says:

        I have the same problem here. Whenever I add an iframe it is removed when the article is automatically posted, but if I post it using the “publish this” button then the iframe is kept. I’m not sure but I think it might be linked with the fact that WordPress removes iframes when you switch from “HTML” to “Visual” tab in your editor for security reasons.

  8. dave says:

    Hi,

    This is a gr8 plugin. the best I could find around. One thing I would like to ask is, by default your plugin is setting 5 minutes between each posts. I want to reduce the time to 1 minute. Is this possible?

    Dave

    • David says:

      You can change the setting to 1 minute but it might not act as you expect. The plugin only attempts to publish each time a post is submitted plus once every 5 minutes. If you were to try publishing a post 2 minutes after one had published it should publish the next post but if you queue up 30 posts and want to walk away and have it post every minute you would find that 30 minutes later only 6 of the 30 posts had published.

      It would be possible to alter the code to attempt to publish each minute but I don’t plan to do that in the official plugin.

      Honestly I you are trying to publish every minute I wander that you would even try to queue them at all – I can’t imagine that readers could keep up with anywhere near a new post every minute. If you are not trying to slow it down for readers, what’s the point of regulating the publishing frequency?

      • dave says:

        Hi David,

        My site is based on wordpress but is used for a different purpose. We do not have any authors who submit the articles. Its an automated site which imports offers. There is only one user who owns the content and we want it to auto publish. As a offer site we get close to 500-600 various offers everyday which we want to be seen the same day if you are getting my point. Publishing them every 5 mins is posting only 12 posts and hour and 288 in a day.

        Dave

  9. Gabriel says:

    Hi, very good Plugin!

    Is there a way to get this also working if a post is updated, because I have my posts ordered by modified time on the Homepage.

    Thank you !!!

  10. Megan says:

    Firstly I love this plugin! You have done a wonderful job!

    It interferes with CollabPress though, which is a bummer. Is there any way to have Auto Schedule recognize the difference in post types?

    I’ll still use it. It’s REALLY handy! Thank you!

  11. Paul says:

    I have to say this plugin is a fantastic plugin, some of the elements of it should be in WordPress as standard as its a publishing tool that is a must have for most professional sites.

    Anyway, my question is whether there is a chance to add a small new feature I would find incredibly useful and I believe other people may as well?

    Put simply, could it be possible to include a “Random Post To Publish” option alongside the current options? Basically the plugin will choose one of the posts awaiting auto-publishing at random to publish rather than select the next in queue or the one by the least published user. I believe for an experienced coder like yourself it should be very easy to include an option to pick content at random and publish it, and I noticed other similar plugins offer this and I have been swayed to try them (only to find them incredibly inferior overall) because of this Random Post Publishing” feature.

    The reason for this is, I have a lot of different categories and writers who write for each category. Some writers like to write maybe 20 articles in bulk so they don’t have to keep posting each day and as it stands right now, the auto-publish is publishing the next in queue and publishing all 20 articles for that category, it means other categories get neglected for a long time as they are further down the queue. It would be great if all articles written and submitted to the auto-publish were then able to be selected at random rather than in order, and published so that it isn’t always the same category that is being posted to every post.

    If you could consider that option (and fingers crossed heavily, include it in an update) then I would be extremely happy and I believe it will be another incredibly valuable option to an already well thought out and very usedful plugin.

    Many thanks 🙂

    • David says:

      Quite simply, yes. I can see how it would be useful to randomly select from the queued articles and I could add that to the next version.

      If you were to use the Least Recent Author it should prevent a single author from having many articles published successively unless there are no other posts in the queue – in which case the random publish option would not do any good either.

      I’ll look at adding that option but I think your problem could be mitigated by using the “Least Recent Author” option rather than the “Oldest Unpublished Post” option.

      • Paul says:

        Thanks, at the moment the least published author is a handy tool, but some of our authors use multiple categories and and do 20 posts to category A and then another 20 to category B and it is publishing all A first and then B second, whereas the random post feature would (hopefully) just randomly pick posts from A and B to publish regardless of the fact it is the same author.

        It also helps for other sites who may only have one or two authors but have multiple categories.

        Many thanks for considering it, I look forward to see if you include such an option. I am off now to log into WordPress and give the plugin a 5 star review 🙂

  12. Youssef says:

    Hey there David,

    I can’t seem to figure out how the plugin works. I activated it, and played with the settings then went on and created a post and clicked “publish” normally. Page reloaded and wordpress told me the post has been published, click here to view it. I clicked, the post loaded normally.

    It’s as if the plugin isn’t there? Can you point me in the right direction? Sorry for the ignorance and thanks a lot!

    • David says:

      I don’t know what your settings were so all I can offer is the general observation that if you test at a time when publishing would be allowed the first test post will generally publish – usually it will have been long enough since you last posted that any post will go through. Without more specifics on what settings you tried I can’t be more helpful than that.

  13. Franck says:

    Hi,

    I have a problem on some sites with your plugin, the date for next schedule is always (Next: 1970-01-01 00:00:00).
    I saw the previous comments on that, but in my case I find a different reason of the cause : it happens on my multisites wordpress.

    I own several blogs with “standard” installation (one domain name, one wordpress install) and your plugin works fine on them.
    But I have alse some multisites installation (one wordpress install but with several blogs on several subdomains), called in the past WPMU, and it doesn’t work.

    All these installations are on the same server, so it’s not the server.

    Do you have any idea for this case ?

    Thanks a lot

    • David says:

      Franck,

      A multisite install is not necessarily the problem. I know because this site is part of a multisite install of WordPress 3.2.1 and I just tested with Auto Schedule Posts 3.0 and everything worked fine. Posts were held and later published exactly according to the settings.

      I’m not exactly sure what to suggest based on my results. It is possible that there are problems with older versions of the plugin and/or WordPress.

      • Franck says:

        Thanks for your quick answer !
        Ok I will be more precise. My multisite is for example on mydomain.com.
        I have install the extension (v3.0, and the wordpress is also up to date) on the network site admin, and the activate it on all sites.

        And it works on only 1 site : mydomain.com
        For this one, it’s perfect. The “next” time is ok.

        But on all other sites mysite1.mydomain.com, mysite2.mydomain.com… it doesn’t work (time is 1970…).

        Have you test it on you main site or on some “sub sites” of your network install ?

        For information, I have try to change the timezone (as explained in some comments) but it doesn’t work 🙁

        Thanks if you have some ideas that I can try…

        • David says:

          My testing was on a subdomain of my WordPress install. It sounds like you have network activated the plugin. If that is the case that is one difference between my setup and yours. You might try network deactivate and then activate it on a couple of individual sites to see if it works that way. If it does I would have to figure out how things differ between activating on each site and network activating the plugin. If it does not work please let me know but I’m not sure where to look if that is the case since it is working fine on my multisite install on a subdomain.

  14. Franck says:

    YES ! You’re right !

    I desactivate the plugin on the network, then I activate manually the extension on 1 blog (via its panel) and then it works !
    It’s the beginning of a good news !

    Do you think it will be possible to fix it ?
    And the million dollar question : have you an idea of the delay for this fix ?

    I don’t want to be a “pressure man”, it’s just to choice between two solutions for me :
    1 : wait for the fix
    2 : manually activate each blog (but I have… a lot !)

    Thanks (again!)

    • David says:

      I would encourage you to begin manually activating the plugin on each blog because right now I have no idea where to look to figure out why there is a problem with network activating so I can’t give an estimate on when I would be able to get it fixed.

      • Franck says:

        Ok, thanks a lot. I will spend some evenings doing this while watching TV 🙂
        (Great job this plugin ! I have search one like this during a long time.)

  15. Mobius says:

    Question about the Interval Time. Is it how often the system will check, or how often it will post if there is a valid post in the queue? For example i want to set it up so once every 2 days a random post from the ones i have queued is used.

    • David says:

      The interval time is how often it will post if there is a post in the queue. Set the interval to 2880 if you want it to post every two days.

      • Mobius says:

        hmmm for some reason it keep default to 1440 if i put in more

        • David says:

          Sorry – I forgot that I had put in a condition that would not allow you to specify more than 1440 for the interval. If you are comfortable with PHP all you would need to do is remove the line of code that says:
          if ($options['interval'] > 1440) $options['interval'] = 1440;

          If you are not comfortable doing that let me know if you would be comfortable installing a customized version of the plugin that removes that condition.

  16. Jonathan says:

    Hi

    I am facing a issue after upgrading the auto schedule plugin to the latest version. The time format we are using is UTC+0 and in the plugin the next time is 30 mins less than the now time as shown below, which is causing hindrance in publishing the scheduled posts.
    Now: 2012-01-09 10:34:56
    Next: 2012-01-09 10:00:00

    Can you please help me fix this. This plugin in is of a great help to me.

  17. Jonathan says:

    I am facing another issue, the new posts are not scheduled for the planned date but are getting published immediately. Please help me solve this issue.

  18. Franck says:

    Hello David,

    I notice a recent problem with post sent to the site with the XML-RPC protocol (which I use to publish on my network sites).

    I don’t know exactly when it stop to work. But it still works in december. Maybe it’s due to a recent upadate of WordPress or maybe the 3.5 version of your plugin ?

    Before that, the posts I send to my blogs via XML RPC went to the Autopost queue. It was good.
    Now they go directly on the site. So they are all published in on time.

    But if I publish manually some posts, they go in Autopost queue. So Autopost works right in this case.

    Do you have some idea ? (I can make some tests if you need, like for the problem in the network activation in december)

  19. Camille says:

    Hi,

    I am using this plug in for my website where we want an article posted everyday. However, all of our posts are under a custom post type. Guests are able to submit articles for moderation and it is directed to the custom post type.

    Is there a way to make this plug in work with the post type ? I was able to make it work for regular posts, but am not sure what to tweak (if I could) in the code so that it pulls information from the post types.

    Any help would be wonderful. Thank You.

  20. tommy says:

    Could you please fix this error for me ?

    My site General settings are as follows:

    Timezone: UTC + 7
    Date format: 2012/04/12
    Time format: 19:11
    Week starts on: Monday

    Firstly, when I had the Date format of style: April 12, 2012 => Nothing happen when I pulish the post ( it doen’t go into the queue ).

    Then I changed the date format to 2012/04/12 => It works, but I notice that no matter what I set the interval for how many minutes, it always open for publication every 5 minutes.

    Please help ! Thank you so much!

  21. Lance Morgan says:

    How does this plugin read the timezone?

    Can I change the timezone in the plugin?

    • David says:

      The plugin reads the WordPress setting for gmt_offset. In other words whatever you set as the timezone under general settings for your WordPress site will be what the plugin uses.

  22. Michael says:

    Hi David,

    Sorry for double posting, I noticed this is the most recent post.

    I’m using your plugin with a couple dozen blogs and on some of them the plugin works, but on most it unfortunately doesn’t. My WP version is 3.3 and the plugin version is 2.5. I noticed people talking about the settings on the timezone. Is that something I need to change?

    Thanks,
    Michael

    • David says:

      The timezone setting is a setting for the blog. Even if you don’t set anything there is a default in the system. If I were you the first thing I would do to try making things work is upgrade to plugin version 3.5.

  23. Michael says:

    The start time is 14:30, end time is 23:16 en interval is 127 minutes.
    Randomize is on and set to 50%.
    Schedule priority is oldest first.

  24. muhammed says:

    hi David, first i want to thank you for that amazing plugin. But i have a question about it. i downloaded it and i install it very good. And i did settings. My settings is that:

    interval: 180 minutes
    start time:09.00
    end time: 21.00

    But top of my control panel:

    Now: 2012-04-23 19:33:21
    Next: 2012-04-23 19:35:00

    is that any problem? i want to publish my posts per every 3 hours. it should be start 9.00 morning and end 21.00 in evening. but why says control panel your next post will be in 19:35 to me ? i did any wrong setting? sorry for my bad English. and thank you

    • David says:

      The Now and Next lines are there to help with troubleshooting. The Now line should show the current time based on your timezone settings. The Next line should show the next time the plugin will check to see if there is a post to publish and whether it is time to publish a new post. The plugin checks every 5 minutes so that line should always list the next 5 minute interval after the current time.

      As far as I can tell your settings are correct.

      • muhammed says:

        ok i understand it and thank you so much for helping me

      • Michael says:

        That’s odd. My blogs say “Next: 1970-01-01 00:00:00”. Why does that happen?

        • David says:

          It sounds like something is wrong but I am not quite sure why it would do that.

          What are your settings?
          What version of the plugin and WordPress are you on?
          Does it seem to be working?

          • Michael says:

            My settings are those I posted earlier:
            The start time is 14:30, end time is 23:16 and interval is 127 minutes.
            Randomize is on and set to 50%.
            Schedule priority is oldest first.

            I already tried changing time settings and the date format but that didn’t work. The plugin is version 3.5. WordPress version is 3.3.

          • David says:

            Have you tried turning off Randomize?

  25. Michael says:

    Yes I tried running it off random, but that didn’t help unfortunately.

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