WordPress offers a handy feature to schedule blogs. This way you can easily work ahead and have blogs published automatically at a later time. Do you also use this function? Then you have probably noticed that something can go wrong. You will receive a message saying, ‘missed schedule post’. Where does this error come from and how can you solve it? I would like to give you some explanation.

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Why do I get the ‘missed schedule post’ error?

Normally, when you want to publish a post at a later date, WordPress uses the technology called ‘Cron’ or ‘WordPress Cron’. Cron is the name of a task scheduler used in Linux.

However, if your server or plugins affect the Cron, WordPress may not be able to post your scheduled post on time. Once the set time has passed, WordPress will no longer publish the blog by itself.

This problem does not occur to many WordPress users. If it does occur, it is often one of the main issues on that website. Fortunately, it is a problem that is relatively easy to solve.

Solving the problem with a cronjob

There are two ways I use to solve this problem. One is to set up a cronjob and the other is to activate a plugin on your WordPress website.

What is a cronjob?

A cronjob is nothing more than a task scheduled in your WordPress website. Not only your blogs are scheduled with this, but also plugins or your server use cronjobs to, for example, to make a backup every so often.

In its default configuration, WordPress does not use actual cronjobs. Every time a page is loaded, WordPress will run a wp-cron.php file. Although this virtual cronjob is useful, it has its drawbacks:

  • Running the file every time a new page is loaded is unnecessary work. This will cause delays, especially for websites with a lot of traffic.
  • It is also disadvantageous for websites with little traffic. It will slow down a page’s loading time and cause other side effects such as missing scheduled posts.

To solve this problem, it is useful to disable the virtual cronjobs and set up real cronjobs.

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Disable WordPress Virtual Cronjobs

To disable the virtual WordPress cronjobs, please follow these steps:

1. Log in to your account via DirectAdmin, cPanel or SHH.

2. Go to your cPanel File Manager and open the wp-config.php file in a text editor. The file is usually located in the public_html directory.

3. Add the following sentence to the file:

define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);

Be sure to add this sentence above the last sentence:

/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing. */

4. Save your changes and close the text editor. Your virtual cronjobs should now be disabled.

Setting up a real cronjob for your WordPress website

Again, we need cPanel for this:

1. In the ‘advanced’ section click on cronjobs

2. If you want to receive emails, you can enter your email address under ‘cron email’. You will then receive a notification every time your cron job is running. This is not mandatory.

3. Under ‘Add new cron job’ in the settings, select ‘twice an hour’. This will make your cron run every 30 minutes, which is an efficient schedule.

4. In the ‘Command’ text box, type the following line:

cd ${HOME}/public_html; /usr/local/bin/php -q wp-cron.php

5. Then click on ‘add new cronjob’ and your settings are activated.

Solving the problem with a plugin

Another way to solve the problem is with a plugin, namely the WP missed schedule plugin. You can easily download it and activate it in your plugin dashboard of your WordPress website. It works completely autonomously and does not require any further settings.

How does this work then? The plugin checks your website every 15 minutes to see if there are any scheduled posts that haven’t gone live. If he finds one, he changes the status himself from ‘scheduled’ to ‘published’ in order to still publish the blog.

The tool works for blogs, but also for other pages and even custom page types. It is also built in such a way that it does not slow down your website.

So, now you know what to do if you see the ‘missed schedule post’ error on your website again. It is a bug that is easy to fix and usually a one-off. When you have either set up the cronjob or activated the plugin, the error should no longer occur.

Do you still have questions or problems with your WordPress website? Please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would like to help you!