Scheduling WordPress Posts.
To be honest, not much can go wrong. It’s an easy procedure, practically foolproof.
(First, find your fool.)
The Process. . .
1 . Review until you never want to read it again.
2 . On your Draft screen, the Settings sidebar should be showing. If it isn’t, click on that universal icon for Settings: the little cog on the right of the top bar.
3 . If Block (top of the sidebar) is underlined in blue, click on Document, to the left of it.
4 . Assign your post’s Categories and Tags if you haven’t already.
5 . Save Draft.
6 . DO NOT click on Publish. Instead, find the blue link that says Immediately. (Fear not – it lies. WordPress won’t actually publish immediately; a calendar will appear.)
7 . Change the time of publication (if you want to) before choosing your date from the calendar, because once you click on a date, the calendar will close. You can still change time or date by clicking on them again, but your time is precious. (Yes – I went on those Time Management courses once upon a time. My time now is more precious than paid working hours ever were.)
8 . Click on Schedule. WordPress will then ask you to click Schedule again to confirm. If, at any time, you are asked whether you really want to leave, beware. This means you have forgotten to Save or to confirm your last action and you risk losing changes.
9 . You are still not committed (assuming you have not made the error described below). Re-edit your scheduled post at any time by opening it, making your changes, and clicking on Schedule again.
Let’s go back to point 8.
Before you click on that button at the top of the column, read it to make sure you know what you are clicking.
If it in fact reads Publish instead of Schedule, DO NOT click on it.
You have probably forgotten to change the month, and have selected a date which has already passed. When you click on Publish, WordPress will not warn you of your error; this time it will publish immediately. (I speak from experience here.)
If you really don’t want your post out there yet, the only thing you can then do is go back to your list of posts and Trash it (3-dot menu to the right of posts’s picture) but the email to alert your Followers to your post will already have gone out.
You can reinstate this post from Trash, but it will reappear on your blog; you don’t have the option to send it back to Drafts. (I tried it with this post just to check my assumption was correct. It is.)
Your only other options are to re-draft it from scratch, or to leave it in Trash until you want to publish and reinstate it on that day.
To Sum up…
Beware the three gremlins. . .
Your biggest enemy is Familiarity (aka Overconfidence). If you read what you are about to activate, all should be well.
The next pitfall is Haste. Never let that Nearly Finished thought enter your head when you want to be somewhere else. (I equate this to the times – note that plural – when, driving late at night, I’ve thought, Nearly Home, just before I woke up on hitting the kerb.)
Do not drive, schedule or publish when Tired.