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How to Prevent the WordPress Missed Schedule Error and Keep Your Posts on Track

Scheduling posts in WordPress is a convenient way to manage your content ahead of time. You set a date, finish editing, and let WordPress take care of the rest. However, there are instances when scheduled...

Scheduling posts in WordPress is a convenient way to manage your content ahead of time. You set a date, finish editing, and let WordPress take care of the rest. However, there are instances when scheduled posts fail to publish, disrupting your editorial calendar. In this article, we will delve into the missed schedule error, understand its causes, and present two effective methods to prevent it from happening again. Let's dive in!

Understanding the WordPress Missed Schedule Error

Ordinarily, when you schedule a post in WordPress, the platform automatically publishes it on the designated date and time. This system works seamlessly, freeing you to focus on other aspects of your website. However, there are times when WordPress misses the publication date entirely. You may discover this error when checking your Posts tab, as shown below:

WordPress Missed Schedule Error WordPress Missed Schedule Error

Unfortunately, WordPress does not notify you when this error occurs, leaving you unaware of any scheduled post mishaps. To avoid any hiccups, you must manually check if your scheduled posts were published on time, defeating the purpose of scheduling in advance.

What Causes the WordPress Missed Schedule Error?

The missed schedule error stems from how WordPress handles cron jobs. A cron job, also known as a scheduler, is a vital functionality that allows WordPress to execute tasks at specific times. However, WordPress's cron jobs are not true crons because many web hosts do not grant users access to server settings for configuring crons at the system level. Instead, WordPress relies on simulated crons triggered by user visits to your website.

In essence, each time a visitor accesses your website, WordPress checks for any pending cron jobs and executes them. While this approach is clever, it has a notable downside. If your website does not receive any visits at the specified time, WordPress will not publish your scheduled posts, resulting in the missed schedule error. Additionally, even if your site receives constant traffic, external factors like temporary downtimes or caching plugins can disrupt the cron jobs.

Method 1: Use the Scheduled Post Trigger Plugin

One straightforward solution to prevent missed posts is by using the Scheduled Post Trigger plugin. This plugin monitors your website for missed cron jobs and ensures their immediate publication whenever someone visits your site. The Scheduled Post Trigger plugin adds a new cron job that performs this check, requiring no complicated configurations. Simply install and activate the plugin, and it will efficiently handle missed schedule errors.

Scheduled Post Trigger Plugin Scheduled Post Trigger Plugin

Method 2: Manage Cron Jobs Directly Through Your Server

If your hosting plan provides access to your server's settings, you have the option to configure cron jobs at the system level. However, before implementing this method, you must disable WordPress crons to avoid conflicts. By accessing your website via FTP, navigate to the root folder and locate the wp-config.php file. Right-click on the file and select the View/Edit option. Insert the following line of code before the end of the file:

define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);

Save your changes to the wp-config.php file. Next, access your hosting control panel, such as cPanel, and find the option for Cron Jobs. Through this tool, you can schedule new cron jobs to run at specific intervals. Remember, it is unnecessary to set intervals shorter than five minutes, as it may strain your server. Manual configuration of cron tasks requires familiarity with UNIX commands.

Alternatively, you can opt for a web hosting provider that takes care of cron jobs for you. Here at Kinsta, we configure your WordPress cron jobs to run at a system level with intervals of 15 minutes, which is typically sufficient. If needed, our support team can further adjust the interval to five minutes upon request.


Scheduling posts in WordPress is a valuable feature for efficient content management. However, the missed schedule error can hinder your posts from being published on time. To prevent this error, you have two effective methods at your disposal:

  1. Utilize the Scheduled Post Trigger plugin to automatically detect and publish missed cron jobs.
  2. Manage cron jobs directly through your server, disabling WordPress crons and configuring them at the system level.

By implementing these methods, you can ensure that your scheduled posts are published promptly, allowing you to focus on other essential aspects of your website.