How to Fix the Missed Scheduled Post Error in WordPress (2 Methods)

How to Fix the Missed Scheduled Post Error in WordPress (2 Methods) thumbnail

Scheduling your posts in advance on your WordPress site can be a lifesaver. Writing multiple blog posts and scheduling them out should give you peace of mind knowing they’ll be published on time. However, sometimes this feature doesn’t work as expected, and you might end up with the missed scheduled post error.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to troubleshoot this common issue. Whether you prefer to use a plugin or get under the hood yourself, you should be able to fix the missed scheduled post error and get back to business in no time.

In this article, we’ll explain what the missed scheduled post error is and look at a few possible causes. Then we’ll share three easy ways to troubleshoot the error and two simple methods for fixing it. Let’s get started!

What the Missed Scheduled Post Error Is (And What Causes It)

When you schedule a post in advance, WordPress uses a “cron job” to publish it. “Cron” is a software utility that schedules tasks, while a cron job is the task itself. Typically, you’ll see cron used to handle repetitive tasks.

Since WordPress is expected to run in a variety of environments, it can’t rely on traditional cron, which is intended to work in Unix-like operating systems. Instead, WordPress has WP-cron, which can simulate a system cron. When something goes wrong with the cron job publishing your scheduled posts, you’ll see the missed schedule error.

There are a few potential causes of this error. One possible scenario is that your server or a plugin could be affecting your cron jobs. Common culprits include caching plugins. While these plugins are valuable for improving your site’s performance, they can also interfere with WP-cron.

Another cause stems from the fact that WordPress uses simulated cron jobs. These simulations require someone to visit your website at the same time that the task is supposed to be run. If no one lands on your website at the right time, your post won’t be published.

Obviously, if your site has experienced some downtime, then no one can visit it. This could prevent a cron job from running as expected.

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How to Troubleshoot the Missed Scheduled Post Error (3 Ways)

If you’ve encountered the missed scheduled post error, there are a few simple ways to go about troubleshooting it. Let’s take a closer look at them.

1. Check Your Timezone Settings

If the timezone you’ve set in WordPress doesn’t match the timezone you use for publishing posts, it’s unlikely that these posts will go live as expected. Fortunately, there is a simple fix for this timezone issue, so it’s a good place to start.

To check your timezone settings, go to your admin dashboard and navigate to Settings > General. Scroll down, and you should see a dropdown menu where you can select your timezone.

Adjusting the timezone in General Settings.

Using the dropdown, select the timezone you want to use for your WordPress website. Then, click on the Save Changes button, and you’re all set!

2. Clear the WordPress Cache

As we mentioned earlier, occasionally a WordPress plugin can interfere with the cache being cleared. So while caching can help to speed up your website, sometimes it can make it difficult for changes to take effect the way they should. Fortunately, clearing the WordPress cache manually is a simple process.

The first step is to clear your browser’s cache. The steps you’ll need to follow will differ depending on which browser you use. If you’re still not seeing your scheduled posts, try clearing the WordPress cache as well.

If you’re using a caching plugin, you’ll need to clear your cache through it. For example, if you’re using the WP Super Cache, go to Settings > WP Super Cache and select the Easy tab. Next, click on the Delete Cache button.

How to delete the cache using WP Super Cache.

Even if you use a different caching plugin, chances are the steps will be similar. Most of these plugins feature one-click cache deletion.

Managed hosting plans tend to work a little differently. If you’re a DreamPress customer, you should already have the Proxy Cache Purge plugin installed to handle this for you. However, you can also purge the cache manually.

To clear the entire cache, you just need to hover over the Cache icon in your dashboard menu and select Purge Cache (All Pages).

Purging all pages using the Proxy Cache Purge plugin.

You can also purge the cache for an individual post or page. To do this, you’ll need to navigate to the desired post either by entering the URL or by locating it in your dashboard and clicking on the View option.

Once again, you’ll need to hover over the Cache icon in your dashboard menu, but this time you’ll have the option to Purge Cache (This Page).

Purging a single page using the Proxy Cache Purge plugin.

Don’t worry if your scheduled posts still aren’t showing up. There is one more troubleshooting method to try.

3. Increase the WordPress Memory Limit

Finally, it’s possible that your WordPress site needs more memory than what is currently allocated. An easy way to increase the memory limit is by editing the wp-config.php file.

To access this file, you’ll need to use a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) client, such as FileZilla. Alternatively, you can use the file manager in your hosting account.

If you have a DreamHost account, start by navigating to Websites > Files in the sidebar. Next, locate your domain and click on the Manage Files button.

Accessing the file manager through your DreamPress hosting account.

This will take you to the file manager. To access your site’s directory, you’ll need to open the folder labeled with your domain name. Inside it, you should find the wp-config.php file.

If you’re using FileZilla, the first step is to connect to your website. You may need to obtain your credentials from your web host if this is your first time using it. Once connected, locate the wp-config.php file.

Locating the wp-config.php file using FileZilla.

Next, right-click on this file to download it. Now you can use a text editor to open and edit the file. Add the following line of code anywhere before the line that reads /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */:

define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', 'XXXM' );

You’ll want to replace the “XXX” with the amount of memory you’d like allocated to PHP, such as “96MB”. Remember to save your file before closing it. You can then use FileZilla to re-upload your updated wp-config.php file.

How to Fix the WordPress Missed Scheduled Post Error in WordPress (2 Methods)

If none of the above troubleshooting methods worked or if the error keeps happening, you might want to try a more advanced fix. Let’s look at two effective ways to resolve the missed scheduled post issue.

1. Use a Plugin

Scheduled Post Trigger is a free plugin that you can use to ensure that your cron job runs properly. It works by checking if any scheduled posts have been missed each time a visitor lands on your website.

The Scheduled Post Trigger plugin.

When it comes to plugins, setup doesn’t get much easier than this. Simply install and activate the plugin, and you’re ready to go.

However, it’s best not to rely on this plugin for a permanent solution. Like with WP-cron, caching plugins can interfere with the Scheduled Post Trigger. If you experience any compatibility issues with this plugin, you might want to troubleshoot by disabling your other plugins one at a time to find the culprit.

2. Manage Cron Jobs Directly Through Your Server

Another option is to manage cron jobs directly through your server. This takes a couple of steps, but we’ll walk you through them.

Step 1: Disable WordPress’ Crons

The first step is to disable WordPress’ default crons. Otherwise, any new cron jobs you create may not function properly.

To do this, you’ll once again need to access your wp-config.php file via SFTP or the file manager in your hosting account. This time, you can add this line of code to stop WordPress’ crons. You can add it anywhere above the /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ comment:


Finally, save your changes. You can then re-upload your wp-config.php file and move on to adding your own cron job.

Step 2: Add a New Cron Job

Start at the DreamHost panel. Log in to your hosting account, then go to More > Cron Jobs. Click on the Add New Cron Job button.

Adding a new cron job from the DreamHost panel.

From here, you can fill in the required fields to set up your custom cron job. Having some knowledge of UNIX commands will be helpful to do this, but we’ll show you the basics that should get the job done.

Adding a cron job manually.

First, choose a User. It’ll need to be a shell user since they’re the only ones that can run cron jobs. You can also add a title to help you remember this job, such as Scheduled Post Trigger.

Next, you can add an email to send the output to. If you don’t need an alert every time your site checks for scheduled posts – which you probably don’t – simply leave it blank.

Now you’ll need to enter the command. First, take a look at this sample command from Zero Point Development:

/usr/bin/php -q /home/zpd/public_html/wp-cron.php

You can copy and paste the first part (/usr/bin/php -q) as is. However, the second part will take some customizing. You’ll need to write your own unique path to the wp-cron.php file. For example, the following code represents DreamHost’s server standard:

/usr/bin/php -q /home/username/domainname/wp-cron.php

If you’re not sure what that looks like, check out our support article on creating cron jobs. You can also reach out to our support team if you need further assistance.

Once you’ve set up your cron job, you can schedule when it’ll run. We recommend somewhere around five minutes. Then, click on the Add button. That’s it! You can always return to the Crontab if you need to troubleshoot your cron job in the future.

Have Another Error? We’ve Got a WordPress Tutorial for That

Do you want to learn how to resolve other technical problems on your site? We’ve put together a number of guides to help you troubleshoot every common WordPress error:

And if you’re looking for more information and best practices for running a WordPress site, check out our WordPress Tutorials section. This is a collection of expert-written guides designed to help you navigate the WordPress dashboard like a pro.

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WP Scheduled Post Made Easy

The WordPress missed scheduled post error typically occurs when something goes wrong with the cron job that publishes your content. Starting out with a few basic troubleshooting methods, such as checking timezone settings or clearing the WordPress cache, may be enough to get your posts published reliably.

In this post, we’ve also looked at two ways to resolve the WordPress missed schedule error:

  1. Use a plugin such as Scheduled Post Trigger to ensure that your cron jobs run properly.
  2. Manage cron jobs directly through your server.

Thanks to DreamHost’s intuitive, user-friendly panel, managing your cron jobs and other maintenance tasks is a straightforward process. Check out our WordPress-optimized hosting plans to get started!

Photo of Jason Cosper
About the Author:

Jason is DreamHost’s WordPress Product Advocate, based out of Bakersfield, CA. He is currently working on making our DreamPress product even better. In his free time, he likes to curl up on the couch and watch scary movies with his wife Sarah and three very small dogs. Follow him on Twitter.