How to stop WordPress blog posts missing their schedule

How to stop Wordpress blog posts missing schedule

How to stop WordPress blog posts missing schedule

WordPress has a handy feature that allows you to schedule blog posts. But what do you do when your blog posts start missing their schedule? 

The scheduling feature is something we, and our clients, use regularly because it allows you to make sure posts go out at a time when you may be busy. When blog posts begin missing their schedule it can be frustrating because you may not have time to check and publish it until a few hours later.

Let’s take a look at why WordPress posts may miss their schedule and how you can fix this.

 

Why do blog posts sometimes miss their schedule in WordPress?

To understand this you need to know a little bit about cron jobs. A cron job is something that runs on your website’s server and is a timer to make sure that things happen when they should do.

WordPress doesn’t use a normal cron job because it doesn’t always have access to a server. So it uses a virtual cron called WP-Cron. This gets loaded every time a page on your website or blog is loaded. When a page is loaded, the WP-Cron will run and check to see if something needs doing. Such as a blog post needs publishing.

The problem here is that since WP-Cron only runs when a page is loaded. Blog posts can miss their schedules if a page isn’t loaded around the time it’s due to be published.

For example: if you publish a blog post to go live at 9am but no one visits your website until 11am, it won’t be published until 11am.

There are other reasons why a blog post may miss its schedule. Such as bugs in WordPress, conflicts with plugins, issues with the server or database, or the wrong time zone being selected in the settings.

 

What can I do to stop WordPress posts missing their schedule?

There are three things that can be done to prevent blog posts from missing their schedule.

The first thing you should do is check the time is correct in your website’s / blog’s settings.

It may be that your website is set up in the wrong time zone. You’re expecting to see a blog post go live at 9am but WordPress is using a time zone a few hours behind the zone you’re in.

WordPress time zone settingsTo check the time in your WordPress settings, go to ‘Settings’ and click ‘General’. Halfway down the page, you will see ‘Time zone’ which lets you choose which time zone you’re in.

Don’t worry if you live in a country that uses daylight saving. WordPress will automatically update when the clocks go back or forward.

If WordPress is using the right time zone, you then have two options. Both will do the same job, but it really depends on your resources and skills:

  • Install a free plugin
  • Set up a real cron

 

Free plugins

This is the easiest option of the two. There are plenty of free plugins available for preventing blog posts from missing their schedule.

They work by checking your blog every few minutes and when they spot a post which has missed schedule, they’ll publish it.

These plugins are easy enough to install and don’t require any technical know-how. Which means you can install them and have them working in a matter of minutes.

 

Set up a real WordPress cron

As we mentioned at the top of the post, WordPress doesn’t use a real cron job. However, you can set up a real cron job and disable WP-cron, though disabling it isn’t necessary.

Setting up a cron will require access to your server control panel. While it’s not too difficult to do you may not feel comfortable doing it. If that’s the case, get in touch with your web developer who will be able to do it for you.

Church Themes offer a good walkthrough and explanation about what to do. Again, speak to your web developer if you’re unsure. Depending on your hosting company and the level of support you get, they may also be able to do this for you.

Why should I be blogging for business?

Why should I be blogging for business

Why should I be blogging for business

There are plenty of articles out there giving you advice about blogging for business but why exactly should your business be blogging? And does it really make a difference anyway?

The short answer is yes blogging does make a difference! There are also a number of reasons why you should be blogging for your business and the benefits it can bring which we’ll cover in this post.

 

Help your target audience

‘How-to’ type posts are very popular and help your customers get the best out of your products and service. It will also encourage your audience to use your blog as a helpful and trusted resource.

Helpful blog posts also show that you care about your customers and are going the extra mile to help them get the most out of your products and services.

 

Engage with customers

Like Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, your blog is another opportunity for you to talk to your existing and potential customers through comments left on your posts.

Before you set up your blog it’s worth talking about what you will do if you receive a negative comment. The general rule is that if it’s a customer complaining about your product or service you should reply to the comment informing them of the best way to get in touch to resolve the issue.

It can be tempting to delete a negative comment but doing so will only further annoy the person who left the comment.

 

Boost search rankings

If you are regularly producing high quality, interesting content containing some of the keywords you want to rank for, you will begin to see your search rankings improve. The changes won’t happen over night and it may take weeks before you see a difference but if you persevere with producing high quality content it will make a difference to your rankings.

Depending on the quality of the content on your website you may find that your blog posts rank above your website, so it’s important to make sure that everything you post is of the highest quality and will make a good impression on anyone seeing your website, brand, products and services for the first time.

It’s important to make sure that your blog is on the same domain as your website. For example your blog should be at www.yourbusiness.com/blog rather than www.yourbusinessblog.com.

Keeping your blog on the same domain as your website improves usability and means that your website and your blog will not be competing with each other in search engines.

 

Share your expertise and knowledge

Your blog is a good place to share your knowledge and expertise in your industry and prove to your readers and customers that you know what you are talking about, which can help you build up trust with potential and existing customers who will view you as knowledged and experienced.

 

News

Your blog can be used to put a more human face on your business by sharing news about your business.

For example, our customers love The Marketing Dogs and often ask us how they are. Last year George had to have an operation and the phone was ringing off the hook for days with customers asking for the latest update, so we began to update our blog with news about how George was getting on.

If you don’t send out a newsletter to your customers to let them know what’s going on, your blog is a great place to keep them up to date on the latest news, promotions, offers and new products.

 

Promotion

Talking of promotions, your blog can be used to promote your latest offer, product or service.

 

Yes! Blogging really does help.

A HubSpot study found that both B2B and B2C businesses who blogged at least 15 times a month received five times more traffic than businesses who didn’t blog at all.

It also found that B2C companies who blog one or two times a month will generate 70% more leads through their website than those who don’t blog at all.

 

It’s hard to find time to blog sometimes and when you’re busy it’s usually the first thing to be pushed aside. Try and make time each week to sit down and write at least one blog post, and if you find you have more time one week write another one so you’ve got a post ready and waiting if you find you’re too busy one week.

Alternatively we can manage your blog for you by writing blog posts and posting them to social media, or if you haven’t got a blog we can design and implement a blog into your website for a seamless experience for the user.

To find out more about our blog management services, call us on 01543 495 752 or fill in our online contact form.