So, you have spent countless hours crafting informative, entertaining, and all-around quality content for your blog. You have also developed a loyal audience that has come to expect blog posts from you on a regular basis by using all the best WordPress tools out there you can.
Only, you want to take a vacation. Or appeal to those in different time zones. Maybe you manage multiple websites. Or simply have so much other work that needs to be done that you cannot literally sit down and write out word-for-word every blog post at the exact time you wish to publish it.
So what do you do?
You schedule your posts ahead of time in the WordPress dashboard that’s what!
Now you can sit back and enjoy that plane ride to the Bahamas (nice right?), or enjoy an extra hour of sleep without your global readers missing their favorite morning blog post, or you can finally catch up on that admin work you have been putting off forever.
When WordPress Delivers a Low Blow
In an ideal world scheduling your website’s blog posts ahead of time is a fool-proof way to never miss regularly scheduled posts that all of your readers have come to enjoy. But, sometimes WordPress gets a little confused and after that 2 week vacation that you fully prepared for beforehand so that none of your website’s posts would skip a beat, you realize everything was a mess while you were away.
You realize that none of your scheduled posts were published according to the schedule you had set and that while you were away, so was your content, leaving your readers to wonder,
“Where did he go?”
And to make matters worse, WordPress never notified you that something was missed. So, had you just been catching up on your admin work and checked your website regularly you might have noticed after the first one or two missed posts that something was off.
But on vacation, where WiFi is sketchy and quite honestly, you were enjoying the great food, salty sea air, and swimming with the dolphins, you never even thought twice about your perfectly setup website. Little did you know, while you were far away on vacation, your blog was turning into a ghost town.
Low blow WordPress, not fair.
WordPress Missed Schedule Error
When your scheduled WordPress post does not get published properly, your dashboard will give you the ‘Missed Schedule Error’.
This means that while you were away, despite setting up your post to publish at a specific time, it did not. This can happen for a number of reasons, although the most common reason I found was due to a failed cron job.
In a nutshell, a cron job is a task that is set to run at a specified interval that will be executed regularly, automatically, and without human intervention. The user must set the program up to occur and the cron job takes over from there.
They can be scheduled to run at fixed times, dates, or intervals, and include such actions as automatic backups, deletion of temporary files, and even scheduling of WordPress posts ahead of time to publish at a future date. This is especially useful for repetitive tasks that you do not want to hassle with manually setting up every single time.
Yet, like I mentioned before, WordPress likes to have a mind of its own at times and can fail to execute your cron jobs as specified.
WordPress Cron Jobs
As explained in detail by Tom McFarlin, WordPress cron jobs are what he deems “faux cron jobs”. Typically when a cron job is set up within an operating system, the server is set to execute that job at the required interval regardless of whether anyone is at the computer or not.
With WordPress cron jobs however, things work a little differently. When a cron job is set, it is scheduled and then written to the database. Then when a user clicks on the website, the cron job scans the system checking for any scheduled tasks and executes them.
Notice the issue?
If one of your website visitors does not visit your website right before a scheduled post is set to publish, your post will not execute as planned and you will find a ‘Missed Schedule Error’ the next time you log into your WordPress dashboard.
For those of you that have well trafficked websites this may never pose as a problem. However, if you have many cron jobs set up that must execute very regularly, or your website traffic is hit and miss at times, you will find yourself with many failed cron jobs.
Don’t worry though, there is a relatively simple solution for preventing these types of mishaps from happening again. You are saving for that next vacation right? Maybe a cruise this time?
Fixing the WordPress Missed Schedule Error
The easiest way to fix the missed schedule error in your WordPress dashboard is to use a nifty plugin called WP Missed Schedule Fix Future Posts Failed. Here is a look at some of the features WP Missed Schedule provides website owners:
- No decrease in server performance, even while checking for internal WordPress cron jobs
- Missed schedule posts are the only cron jobs checked so as to not waste resources
- Any scheduled future posts stored in the database will be found and fixed by WP Missed Schedule using an index table for queries
- Full compliance with hyper db table query formatting
- Repair of 10 items each session, every 10 minutes to remain compatible with WordPress default feeds syndication
- Designed for simple or heavy use of WordPress scheduled future posts
- Compatible with popular WordPress plugins such as W3 Total Cache and Jetpack
- Automatic configuration
Let’s take a look at how to install and set WP Missed Schedule to avoid the costly mistake of not providing your readers the content they want.
Step 1: Install and Activate WP Missed Schedule
First you will want to go to Plugins > Add New > search for WP Missed Schedule (or download it from the WordPress Repository) and click ‘Install Now’. Then activate the plugin so you can start protecting your scheduled posts right away from failed cron jobs.
WP Missed Schedule will allow you to check the posts that were scheduled that would have been considered “missed” had the plugin not caught the fail beforehand and corrected it. Simply navigate to Plugins > Installed Plugins and scroll down to WP Missed Schedule. Then click on ‘Miss” and see what posts were corrected. This assures you that the plugin is working correctly.
Also, you have the option of downloading the plugin WP Crontrol to coordinate with WP Missed Schedule. This plugin, when activated on your WordPress website, let’s you view and control what is happening in the WordPress cron system.
For example, from the admin panel you can view all cron events and their associated details, edit/delete, or immediately run any cron events, add new cron events, and even add/edit, or remove custom cron events you wish to have run on your website. The admin screen will also show you a warning sign if your cron system seems to be malfunctioning.
Step 2: Enjoy Your Vacation, Extra Hour of Sleep, Admin Day, Whatever!
That’s it! After activating WP Missed Schedule your website is ready to check for failed cron jobs at all times.
Consistently providing your website visitors with high-quality content is the key to maintaining and growing a successful website. Sometimes we cannot be at our computers, logged into our WordPress website, providing a live feed of information to our readers. That is why WordPress has provided us with the solution of scheduling our content for future dates and times.
Though, as with anything in the world, things are not perfect and tend to go awry causing us frustration and costing us loyal readers and maybe even revenue.
That is why I suggest using a plugin like WP Missed Schedule to easily and automatically prevent your future posts from not publishing. Enjoy that vacation, get your beauty rest, catch up on work, or just do nothing. But don’t worry about your content not posting, at least not when WP Missed Schedule is in your arsenal of plugins.
Have you ever had the frustration of seeing the dreaded ‘Missed Schedule Error’ on your WordPress website? Have you ever been on a great vacation? Have you tried using WP Missed Schedule or anything similar? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!