WordPress Missed Schedule – How to Fix This Error Permanently

WordPress Missed Schedule

Consistently updating your WordPress blog with quality posts is an easy way to drive traffic. It is also a great way to grow your brand. But what would you do when you need to take some time off from your blog/site? The answer lies within WordPress(WP). WordPress has a feature that lets you schedule your posts. This means you can write a post today and program it to be published next week. The WP scheduling feature is an advantage for busy bloggers or those who manage multiple WordPress sites but sometimes missed post schedules can occur.

As with any other CMS, things could just go wrong. WordPress sometimes fails to publish posts when the set date arrives. This is an error in WordPress that may sound discouraging, but it can be solved – easily. In this post, we will discuss why WordPress sometimes fails to publish scheduled posts and how to solve the problem.


  1. Why does WordPress fail to publish scheduled posts?
  2. How can I solve the WordPress Missed Schedule error?
  3. Final thoughts.

Why Does WordPress Fail to Publish Scheduled Posts?

You may have heard the term ‘cron’. They are referred to as ‘schedulers’ in UNIX-based systems. A cron schedules a command to run at a specific time and date without any human assistance. The scheduled tasks to be executed are called ‘cron jobs’. For instance, you can set a cron job to handle repetitive tasks like:

WordPress uses crons to publish scheduled WordPress blog posts. A missed schedule is caused primarily by ‘failed cron jobs’.

You see, the WordPress cron system is a faux cron system.

This means WordPress cron jobs do not depend on your server. Instead, they depend on front-end requests. Thus, your scheduled post won’t be published if no one loads your site around the time it was supposed to go live.

If your site doesn’t have ‘a lot’ of traffic yet, you may experience more missed scheduled posts.

Side note: On the topic of traffic, you can learn how to improve your site’s traffic in our guide on WordPress SEO.

A site with loads of traffic also has its own problem but of a different nature. Since an event is triggered at every page visit, the interval between cron events may be too little. This may lead to a server overload, which in turn reduces the page’s speed.

As we said earlier, solving this issue isn’t really difficult. Let’s get into fixing the WordPress missed schedule error in the next section.

How Can I Solve the WordPress Missed Schedule Error?

In this section, we’ll walk you through four methods you can use to fix this error. If one method doesn’t fix the problem, try the next.

First Method: Check Your wpconfig.php File

Sometimes, the WP cron may have been disabled, and that could be the reason why WordPress isn’t publishing your scheduled posts. To know if your WP cron is disabled, check your WPconfig.php file.

Note: It is best to backup WordPress before altering your wp-config file. Just to be safe. We have carefully crafted an article to teach you how to backup your WP files.

To locate this file, login to your cPanel (most hosting providers will give you access to your cPanel). Alternatively, you can access your files using FTP.

Using cPanel, open File manager >> Public_html folder. Scroll down and locate the WPconfig.php file.

finding WP-config file

Right-click on the wp-config.php file and select ‘edit’. Check if the file has this line of code;

define (‘DISABLE_WP_CRON’, true);

If it does, it means WP cron is disabled on your site. To enable it, simply delete this line and save your changes. And that should fix the issue.

If you do not see the line of code, then cron was enabled and you should try the next fix.

Second Method: Disable Default WP Cron and Enable Alternate Cron

This method works most of the time, especially if your server settings conflict with your WP crons. All you need to do is to disable the default WP cron. And then go ahead to enable an alternative one.

To do this, you once again have to edit your wpconfig.php file to include two new lines of code. As earlier stated, find the wp-config file by logging into your cPanel or FTP. And then open File Manager >> Public_html folder.

When found, right-click on the file and select edit. Paste these lines of code at the bottom, just before the line that says ‘stop editing, happy blogging’:

define(‘DISABLE_WP_CRON’, true);

define(‘ALTERNATE_WP_CRON’, true);

And that should fix your missing schedule error in WordPress. You should test if this procedure worked by scheduling a post. 

Third Method: Install A Plugin to Fix WordPress Missed Schedule Error

WordPress plugins help to improve the functionality of a WordPress website. In this case, we will install WordPress plugins to help us publish our Missed scheduled posts. This method is probably the easiest way to fix the Missed Schedule error.

We will show you how to use the Scheduled Post Trigger plugin, and the WP Scheduled Post plugin. Please read our WordPress guide titled ‘how to install a plugin’ to learn how to install and activate plugins.

Using the Scheduled Post Trigger Plugin

When people visit your WordPress site, this plugin checks if there are any missed scheduled posts. If it finds any missed posts, it publishes them immediately. The Scheduled Post Trigger plugin has over 20,000 active installs. It is compatible with WordPress version 3.0.1 and higher.

Here’s how to use this plugin.

Step 1: Visit your WordPress dashboard.

Side Note: If you are having trouble logging in to your WP admin area, learn how to fix WP login issues quickly.

Step 2: Click Plugins >> Add New (located at the left-hand side of your dashboard). You will be directed to a page where you can search for new plugins.

Install plugin to fix WordPress missed schedule error

Step 3: Type ‘Scheduled Post Trigger’ in the search bar (at the top-right corner of your screen).

Step 4: Install the plugin.

Scheduled Post Trigger Install

Once the installation is complete, click Activate.

And that’s all! You don’t need to configure the plugin. Once it’s activated, you no longer need to be worried about having missed schedule posts.

If you install this plugin and your scheduled posts still go unpublished, check your time setting. Ensure your time zone is set correctly. Also, watch out for plugin conflicts. You can do this by turning off your other installed plugins one after the other, especially caching plugins.

Install the WP Scheduled Post Plugin

You can install the WP Scheduled Post plugin to help you take care of your missed schedule. This plugin offers you three other functions, which include:

  • Managing your content with a visual calendar.
  • Creating schedules for your posts.
  • Automatically sharing your WP posts on social media.

82% of the people who reviewed the plugin gave a 5-star rating. It is compatible with WordPress version 4.0 and higher.

To use this plugin, open Plugins >> Add New on your dashboard. Next, type the name of the plugin (WP scheduled post) in the search bar. When found, click ‘install now’ and then activate.

WP Scheduled Post plugin - For WordPress missed schedule errors

After activation, if there are any missed scheduled posts to publish, the WordPress plugin takes care of it. Also, you can schedule your new posts with the plugin and view all the posts on a calendar. It is very easy to use.

To enjoy every benefit the plugin offers, you may need to get the premium version of the plugin. It comes in four offers: Individual ($39), Small Business ($59), Developer ($149), and Agency ($299).

The only difference between each offer is the number of sites on which you can use the plugin. Anyone who buys the ‘individual’ package can activate the plugin on only one site. Purchasing the Agency package lets you activate the plugin on up to 100 sites.

That’s all for this method. Plugins for WordPress are very helpful pieces of software. We have compiled a list of the best WordPress plugins every WP site owner must have. You should check it out.

Fourth Method: Fixing the WordPress Missed Schedule Errors Through Your Server

This method is a bit more technical than the first three methods. If you are comfortable working with your server, then you should use this method. It’s a permanent way to fix the ‘missed schedule errors’. After completing this process, you’ll be using real crons to trigger WP schedules (instead of faux crons).

Step 1: Disable WordPress Cron (done to avoid any conflict).

To do this, log into your cPanel and open the file manager >> public_html folder. Scroll down in search of the wp-config.php file. When found, click ‘edit’. Next, add the following line of code at the bottom of the file and save changes.

define(‘DISABLE_WP_CRON’, true);

We have successfully disabled the WordPress cron. The next step involves implementing manual crons. You’ll do this through your server again. Let’s get into the details.

Step 2:

Log in to your cPanel and scroll to the advanced section. You’ll see ‘Cron Jobs’. Click on it.

Permanently fix WordPress missed schedule error with server cron

Step 3:

To add a new cron job, scroll to the section labeled accordingly. First, you need to set how often you want cron events to take place.

To do this, click on the ‘Common Settings’ dropdown and pick an option that suits you.

If you set a 5-minute interval, it means system cron will trigger WP cron every 5 minutes. That could be overbearing on your server. Thus, it is best to give a wider interval between cron events like twice per hour, or even once per hour.

Add new Cron Job

Step 4:

At this step, we need to input the cron command that should be run. You can do this by pasting the following line of code in the input box labeled ‘Command’:

wget -O /dev/null http://yourwebsite.com/wp-cron.php?doing_wp_cron

Don’t forget to replace ‘yourwebsite’ in the code with the actual name of your site. For instance

wget -O /dev/null https://fixrunner.com/wp-cron.php?doing_wp_cron

Finally, click ‘Add New Cron Job’ to finish the process.

Adding new crons

Henceforth, WordPress won’t miss any of your scheduled posts. This is because you no longer depend on WP faux crons but on real crons.

Note: Most managed WordPress hosting can help you configure your crons. See a compilation of the best WordPress hosting providers.

Final Thoughts

The scheduling posts feature available in WordPress is a relief to most WP bloggers. With it, you can keep engaging your audience even when you are away on a vacation. However, many WP users who rely on this feature complain of WordPress not publishing their posts.

If you have been getting the WordPress missed schedule error messages, I hope this article has helped you. Having gone through the methods covered, you should no longer be bothered about missing your scheduled WordPress posts.

Have you ever experienced the WP missed schedule error? Did you solve it some other way? Let us know in the comments below. And if you want to know more about WordPress, we’ve got you covered. See a list of different WP subjects on our WordPress tutorial page

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 This post was written by FixRunner Team

The FixRunner team - an awesome combination of WordPress experts, and technically savvy content creators - are determined to give the WordPress Community a solution to every problem. This diverse team - spanning 3 continents, young and mature, ladies and gentlemen - work seamlessly to keep the wheels running on WordPress sites across the globe.

Last edited by: FixRunner Team