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 The “Oldest Unpublished Post” setting simply chooses the first unpublished post (by post ID) that is ready for publication without regard to author.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. NicotineLL says:

    Hey davidjmillerorg (and everybody else reading this),

    Here’s something that I think is a great addition to this plugin.

    Let’s say we have 2 authors: Jules and Vincent and we have set our post interval for 30 minutes. If Jules makes 2 posts, the first one will be published and the other one will be scheduled, right? That’s great! Then 5 minutes later Vincent logs in and posts, but his content is also scheduled, because Jules is an a**hole and posts all the time. Now Vincent have to wait from 25 (if the plugin is set to LRA) to 55 minutes only to see his own post and share it to social networks and stuff.

    So they sat down and thought about it. Suddenly – a solution! What if the plugin could have different schedule options for different authors. In other words if Vincent haven’t posted in a while (let say the interval is set to 30 minutes) and he has no scheduled posts, then if he creates a new one – it will be publish immediately, no matter how many posts Jules (or any other author) has in the common schedule. Later on (less than 30 minutes) if Vincent wants to post again, then his posts is added to the end of the schedule. And so on…

    I hope you understood what I had in mind ;]

    • David says:

      I like that idea. Not sure how fast I’ll be able to add it but I can see the value of having the independent queues for each author.

  2. James says:

    I’m not so clear on the random posts feature. It asks for a percentage, and I’m assuming it’s a percentage of how often in a given interval it will check for posts, but I’m having a hard time figuring out if lower means less often or higher. I had posts set to be spaced out over the course of the afternoon, according to my theory anyway, and they all seem to have posted during each individual interval period–they all posted in the span of an hour (I have intervals set for 20 minutes). Not exactly the result I was expecting. I have it set at 1% right now. Did I break it?

    Using the latest versions of both WordPress and the plugin.

    • David says:

      The Percentage is supposed to be a percent chance of publishing each time it checks for publishable posts. Honestly I’m no longer confident that I got the random posts feature right. I wish I had more specifics for you but I don’t currently.

  3. Daan says:

    Hi!

    I recently transfered my site to VPS from shared hosting and actually the auto schedule was working fine, but since this afternoon he doesn’t work anymore. When I check the publishing status, it says the following:

    Now: 2012-05-18 17:21:22
    Next: 2012-05-18 17:00:00
    We should be open to publish now

    How is it possible that he “thinks” the next post should be published 22 minutes ago?

    What can be the problem here, any ideas?

    • David says:

      That definitely indicates a bug. I’ll have to look into it and see what I can find.

      • Daan says:

        Allright. Thanks for the hyperfast reply anyway!

        I did some checking around and really couldn’t find anything wrong at the server.

        One odd thing though. I de-activated the plugin and reactivated it at 18.22, then the “Next”-time jumped to 18:00 and now (19:07) it’s still on 18:00. So it’s like that value can’t be updated any longer…

        Could it be a CHMOD issue?

    • Simone says:

      I’ve the same issue, and it seems to don’t publish at all.

      • usman says:

        Hi. I am also experiencing the same problem since i moved to VPS. the next post is always behind the current time so never gets published.

        I like this plugin but it has become useless at the moment.

        • David says:

          I’m sorry to hear that. I wish I had time to maintain this. It is obviously functionality that people are interested in but nobody seems to have all the bugs worked out.

  4. Shelley B says:

    Okay, i love the idea, but it’s not working for me… I have an “auto facebook publish” add on and when I make a post – it posts to Facebook, but when someone clicks the link – they get a 404 Error. Plus, I sit and post 30 or more posts at one time. That many posts back to back on my page will upset a lot of folks. Is there a fix for this?

    Also, I have it set to start posting at 11:00 and to stop at 20:00. It was publishing every hour like I’d requested, but it started at 7:00 in the am… What is wrong there?

    • David says:

      It sounds like what is happening with the facebook link is that the post is publishing to Facebook immediately but the post is not published immediately on your site so when people on Facebook click the link they get a 404. I don’t have a fix for this but it sounds like a similar problem that I have seen with a plugin that emails the post to subscribers.

      On the discrepancy in publish times – that indicates that something is not processing the offset for your timezone correctly. Do you have the latest version of the plugin?

  5. joe says:

    hi,
    i have a question.i have 10 articles and i want to post it in my site.what is the plugin that i can upload them to my site or hosting and i can scheduled my posts using your plugin?i just want to make it automatically so i can save my time.

    need your reply.thank you.

    • David says:

      I may not have understood your question clearly. It sounds like you are asking for the name of a plugin that will automatically upload articles to your site and then have them published with Auto-Schedule Posts. If that is your question the answer is that I know of no plugin that will do the uploading for you.

      if I have misunderstood your question please clarify what you are asking.

  6. Calley says:

    Hey there! Great plugin! I’ve been lusting after a plugin like this for awhile.

    So I didn’t get a chance to really see if it worked yet because it’s not cooperating with another plugin. I have a plugin called Add Link to Facebook, that posts all my posts to my facebook page. It’s really handy for me, so I kind of need it.

    So I downloaded your plugin, and got to work queuing up a few posts. Then I went to my facebook page and saw that all the posts I queued had posted to facebook. So I went in and published all of them so they wouldn’t have broken links.

    Do you either a) have a workaround or b) know of another plugin that does the same thing, and cooperates with yours?

    I’d really appreciate your help, I do love this plugin and I hope I get to use it! Thanks!

    • David says:

      It sounds like you have the same problem as Shelly (see my response here).

      I wish I had a fix but currently I have been unable to track down the actual cause.

  7. Daan says:

    Question: it worked for a while, until my VPS was upgraded to NGINX and now it’s having to difficulties sticking to the posting schedule. It’s usually late by 15-20 minutes.

    Does this plugin work with pseudo-cron? If so, could you give me the command for a cronjob? Maybe that’ll fix the issue.

    • David says:

      This plugin uses built-in cron functionality in WordPress. I can’t offer you a cronjob command although I could possibly add that to the next version.

      • Daan says:

        That would be a great idea, I think the CPU-load will be much less using a regular cron than using WP’s built-in cron functionality. Also the timing will be more accurate.

  8. matt says:

    I decided to give it a try and just had the same problem. I set 5 posts to be published at starting at 9:00am. All the posts went up great and on time to my Facebook Page but they never published on my blog. So when people were pushing the link on FB it was taking them to the error page. I then had to manually publish the posts from the settings of your plugin as they weren’t visible in the wordpress posts area.

  9. Zac says:

    Heya,

    I had a quick question regarding the Franck fix. I use IFTTT over XML-RCP to queue up posts to WordPress but the plugin doesn’t seem to be catching them. Like Franck’s last comment, when publishing on the site it works well, just not over the RCP.

    Any suggestions for a work around? I have been looking for something like this for a while to aggregate all the various work I find over different platforms into a unified place and then post it out at the set intervals.

    Thanks!
    – Zac

    • Zac says:

      FYI a downgrade to 3.2.1 fixed this and now it works like a charm. Must be something that changed with the update.

      • David says:

        Thanks for reporting on the fix. I wonder what broke in the update.

        • Gary says:

          We publish 12 articles a day. We have been setting the scheduling manually. Is your PlugIn compatible with the latest WP? IF not can you recommend something to do the same job that is reliable?

          • David says:

            Somehow I missed your question. If you are still looking for an answer the answer is yes, this plugin will do what you are talking about. I apologize for the delayed response.

  10. Joe says:

    I’ve been playing around trying to fine tune the start and end settings but I’m a bit stumped. My blog is set to Los Angeles time. It seems that the auto-scheduler is still using UTC time to post. If I put start time of 09:00 and end time of say 20:00, it will only post between 1am and 12 noon. My thought was to just ‘game’ the clock and schedule my posts UTC time but the start and end time settings have to be the same contiguous day – you can’t go from a start time of 17:00 to an end time of 04:00 the next day – the post window fails – it will start posting at 17:00 but once it seems to hit midnight, it stops until the next day time settings match again.

    So not sure what the solution is unless something isn’t working as it’s supposed to?

  11. MD says:

    Hi there.

    I am struggling to get this working at all. I have left the default time to 5 minutes. I have put several posts in as drafts and waited. Nothing seems to go.

    I have tried saving drafts and then setting the schedule.

    I have tried setting the schedule and then saving drafts.

    Am I missing something obvious…?

    Thanks!

    • David says:

      You should not save the posts as drafts, you should publish them. The publishing action is what triggers the plugin to take over. It intercepts the posts and gives them a special status then publishes them at the appropriate time.

  12. Alex says:

    Hi David,
    Thanks for nice plugin.
    Proposals: 1) post all sheduled posts at once, 2) clearing list all shed. posts, 3) deleting selected posts from list (with radio-buttons).
    Good luck!
    Alex

    • David says:

      I have decided to add your first idea in my next release (hopefully today) and your second idea can also be accomplished in the new release by deactivating the plugin – it moves all the queued posts to draft status. I am looking at the possibility of adding your third idea to this release as well. I don’t think I would make it a group function but I would make it so that each post can be deleted.

      Thanks for the ideas.

    • David says:

      I just realized that the new “queued” post list on the posts administration page would give you the ability to select a list of posts that are currently scheduled and delete them.

  13. turnipHed says:

    How cool would it be to also not include certain authors to be delayed…just like the posts that are ignored that are scheduled….

  14. Pingback: WP Plugin to dripfeed posts?

  15. Hello says:

    Hi, I love this plugin, but I have a need to be able to set posts randomly over the next week instead of only the next day, perhaps within the scheduled time window. Is this possible to do?

  16. Aaron says:

    Hi David — great plugin!

    Could you make it so when you make changes to posts — it keeps the page “scheduled”.

    Right now – if you use your plugin, then go back into the post to make changes — it will then be published immediately.

    Many thanks!

    • Aaron says:

      Ohh – i think i’ve answered my own question!

      I found this line in your code – and uncommented it — and i think… thats solved it!

      add_action(‘auto-schedule_to_publish’,’auto_schedule’,1);

      Thanks so much David! 🙂

      • Aaron says:

        oh, no – that didn’t work 🙁 – it just stopped all posts being published.

        I’ll stop trying to guess now – and just wait for your reply.

        Thanks again.

        • David says:

          Aaron,

          Sorry for the delayed response. The reason that line was commented out was that it caught all posts and entered a perpetual loop so that nothing would post. I had hoped to find something that would work which is why I left the line commented out but I have little time to devote to supporting this plugin. Unless you have multiple authors on your site I would recommend trying out the Publish to Schedule plugin if you are having issues with this plugin. It does most of the same things but seems to be less buggy.

  17. Vahan says:

    Hi! thank you for nice plugin
    I used this plugin and it worked fine until I updated it to the Latest Version 3.6 which should work with wp 3.5.
    It stopped work it says that post should be publish for example after 5 min but it do NOTHING! absolutely nothing. All posts remain in the queue as before.
    second when I set publish interval to a 60 min it remains the same as default ie. 5 min.

    please correct this bugs.

  18. Plkinx says:

    Time Interval not working. Its always 5 minutes. If I want to set 30 Minutes or 1 hour its not working.

  19. I installed this the other day and set a post to be posted at 9am. It was posted shortly after midnight or much earlier. At least it posted. But I would have rather it posted when I had set it to post.

    Is there a way to set my current local time? How does it determine the time? Also, I don’t know how to set that interval setting. I left it on default for now. I don’t know if I can depend on this plug-in or not.

  20. Jimmy says:

    Hello David, thanks for the plugin. I just tried to use it but can’t seem to get it to work. I activated it, and then set the interval to 30 minutes. Then I publish 10 posts, but all the 10 posts are published immediately. Shouldn’t it wait 30 minutes after each posts? Is there anything else I should do?

    Thanks

  21. Does work for me. :-/

    It doesn’t delay close published Posts and even don’t respect the Days I’ve chosen to post. Where can I find instructions? Maybe my answer is right there.

    • David says:

      Have you set the “Posting Days Type” setting to “Specific Days”? If you have it set to daily it does ignore the days you select.

      As for not delaying close published Posts – I’m not quite clear on what you are talking about.

  22. David says:

    Unfortunately I have little time to maintain this plugin (as evidenced by my slow responses). I’m sorry for those who are having troubles with my plugin and would recommend that you try Publish to Schedule instead to see if it works better for you. Unless you are trying to publish overnight or dealing with multiple authors it does basically the same thing as this plugin but seems (from my limited exposure to it) to be more reliable.

    Please let me know if you find that plugin to be helpful. I am hoping to help the author of that plugin integrate the overnight scheduling and multi-author management that Auto Schedule Posts does (when the plugin is functioning properly).

  23. kathy says:

    The queue is posting fine, but my problem is that the new scheduled posts are not showing up on the first page of my site. Instead some new posts first show up on page 2 or 3! Any advice here??? thank you!

  24. Pat says:

    Hi,
    a tiny little bug report.
    I had to change my webserver to another one. So, I make
    – Files transfert
    – database transfert.
    Then I have seen the next time a post will be automatically publish is “xxxx 1970” (o_o)
    Ok, I desactivate the plugin, an reactivate it : time is ok.

    But : non published post has been move to the “Brouillon”

    Suggestion to improve plugin :
    – Detect if “next time post” is “in the past”.
    – The option to remember which post was in the queue and the possibility, with a magic button ^^, to make them back in the queue.

  25. Steffen says:

    hey David,

    your plugin is pretty nice, but i have this problem: when a post has only the embed code of a youtube video in it, then the code vanishes when the post is posted automatically (the headline is there, but the post is just empty). when i use the “post now” or “post all” button the code remains inside the post and the video shows up.

    too bad that u’re not developing it anymore, the plugin u suggested instead is not working at all for me. even when i set the number to anything bigger than one on a specific day, it will only shedule one post on that day. it will even shedule one post on that day when i set the number to sero.

    • David says:

      I am hoping to find someone who has the time and skill to take over maintaining this plugin. It is clear that there is interest in it if only someone could work out the bugs and keep up with changes to the WordPress core.

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