Puzzling Behavior: WordPress Missed Schedule Error

Puzzling Behavior: WordPress Missed Schedule Error

I came across a problem here on WPMU the other day that I had never seen before. I set a post to publish on a certain day at 11:00 a.m. On the publication date at about 1 p.m., I logged into the Admin area and noticed my post had not published. Under status it said, “Missed schedule.”

I went in to edit mode on the post, hit “Update,” and the post published immediately. But what if I hadn’t logged in and seen that? What if I had scheduled a week’s worth of posts or a month’s worth of posts and gone on vacation, as some do?

Fixing WordPress’ Scheduling Errors

This got me wondering about what had happened, so I took to the web to find out. And as is often the case, you find that more people than you would imagine have exactly the same problem you do. So many had this problem, it seemed, that it warranted a plugin being made to solve the issue. (Actually, I found several “missed schedule” plugins.)

It seems that for various possible reasons–possibly something WordPress related, possibly something server related–the “missed schedule” problem occurs because of a failed cron job. (A cron job is an automated program that executes a command at a specified time.)

The problem with this missed schedule problem is that it isn’t easily reproduced, and so it’s hard to actually test the plugins out. That said, the first plugin on the list has over 16,000 downloads and a 5-star rating with 25 reviews at the WordPress plugin directory, and so it seems others are finding it effective.

WordPress Missed Schedule Plugins

WP Missed Schedule

Missed Schedule

Missed Schedule WordPress Plugin Fix

WP-Cron Control – a little more involved, controls all cron jobs.

A Task Master as Needed

If you regularly set posts to publish in the future, or you  do occasionally go away from your site for days at a time with scheduled posts, then a missed schedule plugin is definitely a good tool to have in your arsenal. And, of course, you can activate it only as needed.

Thanks to Ashtyn Renee for the image.