The thorny issue of WordPress posts and missed schedules

WordPress has a great facility that allows you to schedule posts to be published at specific times on specific days. This is very handy if, say, you may write a number of posts at a time but wish to spread their publication out over a longer period of time.

However, during the many years I’ve used WordPress I’ve been plagued with the schedule being missed. When the schedule is missed, WordPress doesn’t even attempt to resolve it – it simply tells you (and only then when you list your posts in the administration screen) that the schedule has been missed. Great, but if you know that, why not make it live now?

The WordPress forums have been full of people reporting this for a long time, and still are. However, the current advise seems to be the WordPress equivalent of “turn it off and on again” – deactivate all your plugins and re-load your WordPress installation, as the issue is apparently fixed. Yes, it must be a plugin fault. Which is odd because the Trac system that WordPress use to record bugs and fixes appears to have numerous tickets open related to post scheduling, some of which show fixes that have been made but have been awaiting review for 7 months.

In fact a recent update to the Akismet plugin, written by Automattic, the company who also produce WordPress, stated that one of the changes was…

Prevent retry scheduling problems on sites where wp_cron is misbehaving

That would certainly suggest to me that there is a known issue.

I’ll admit to not understanding what the issue is.  I still get it and I was approached by another WordPress user at BlogCampUK with the same issue last Saturday – and the WordPress forums prove that this affects others too.

Plugins exist to try and resolve the issue and there are also suggested changes to WordPress to ease the issue, even if they can’t resolve it. If you try anything that seems to resolve the problem, please comment and let me know!

Talk to me!

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