Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video Publishing and scheduling posts, part of WordPress 4 Essential Training.
- When you've finished creating and editing your post, it may be time to publish it. This is where the Publish panel comes into its own. We've already touched on the Publish panel previously, when we previewed the post on the front end and when we looked at the Revisions tool. Now it's time to take a closer look and see what the Publish panel can do. The main functionality of the Publish panel is to control the status of your post. From here, you can Publish, Schedule, and Update your post, as well as move it to Trash. The big blue button will change its function depending on context.
Right now, since we are in a Draft post, it says Publish. If we click it, the post will go live right at that moment and the button will change to Update. We can change this by changing the Publish on date and time. You'll see right now the post is set to Publish Immediately. However, this function can be used to schedule a post to be published sometime in the future, in which case the Publish button changes to Schedule, or we can set the publishing date to sometime in the past. So if I want to plan ahead, and I write a series of posts, and I want them to publish over time in the future, I can simply go into this Publish panel, change the publishing date to, let's say, next month, and click OK.
And you'll see the blue button changed from Publish to Schedule. Now WordPress will monitor the clock, and when we hit this particular date and time, the post will automatically go live on our behalf. Likewise, I can go in and Edit again and set the publishing date of this post back in the past. This will change the position of the post in the reverse chronological stream on index pages, and it's useful if you're moving content from one site to another, or publishing old content and want to preserve the chronology or original publishing date.
You can also change the Status of your post. As you're writing a new post, it will be saved as a Draft. You can see it up here, it currently says Save Draft, and under Status it says Draft. Once you Publish a post, say if I click Publish right now, you'll see the Status is changed to Published. You can also change the Status manually, by clicking this Edit button and then using the drop-down, to Pending Review or to Draft. If you change the Status and Update the post, the post is taken off the front end of the website and is now flagged as Pending Review.
On a sidenote, this Pending Review Status is the automatic Status that is applied to posts written by contributors. We'll talk more about that in the movie about roles and capabilities later in the course. Finally, we have Visibility. By default, all Published posts are visible to the public. You can modify this status to have a post become a sticky post by opening the editor for Visibility, and then checking this Stick this post to the front page option. This can be useful if you want to showcase a specific post on the front page or bring it back up from the history of your site.
Some themes also use this sticky function to populate featured content sliders or panels on the front page or do other things. You have to test your particular theme to find out exactly how sticky posts are handled. You can also choose to set the post Visibility to either Password protected, in which case you have to enter a Password, and whoever wants to see it needs to enter that same Password, or Private. If you set a post to Private, only logged-in users will be able to see the post, and only users with the status of author or above.
These options are less commonly used, and generally used only for membership sites or sites that share personal content or content for small groups. For the most part, you'll only be using the Save Draft, Preview, and Publish buttons from within the Publish panel. That said, it's always good to remember that if you Publish a post and then have second thoughts and want to edit it some more, go back to the Publish panel, use the Status section to change the Status to Draft, click OK, and then click Update, and you'll take the site off the front end of your site, and it's ready to be edited some more.
But if you've created your post, you're happy with the content, you can click Publish, jump to the front end of your site, and you'll now see your new post on the front end and so will everyone else.
Note: This course covers an older version of WordPress, which features the Classic Editor. Watch this course only if you are using the Classic Editor plugin or using WordPress 4.9 or earlier. Otherwise, watch WordPress 5 Essential Training, which covers the new Block Editor experience.
- Creating posts and pages
- Formatting text
- Publishing and scheduling posts
- Adding images, audio, and video
- Bulk editing posts and pages
- Customizing themes and menus
- Using widgets
- Extending WordPress with plugins
- Editing users profiles
- Configuring settings
- Getting new readers
- Keeping WordPress up to date and secure