WordPress: Missed Schedule for Scheduled Posts – A Plugin Fix

0624090813.jpg (by kwbridge)

Scheduled WordPress posts missing the schedule has been an ongoing problem for some users since WordPress 2.5. There isn’t a single solution although I did find a possible one for people using WordPress 2.6 and IIS servers.

Before I continue, I have a confession to make. I haven’t yet upgraded this site to 2.8+. I was waiting for the security updates and we’ve had two so far and I am so busy upgrading other sites that I keep putting mine off. So, I decided to wipe out the installation on my test server, make it exactly the same as this site, and upgrade everything there before upgrading here.

And I’m getting the Missed Schedule error on my test server now. Normally I wouldn’t have known this because I don’t schedule posts on the test server but when I imported the database from here to there was a scheduled post in it. I also don’t know if scheduled posts EVER worked on the test server. But it is on the same webhost. There are, however, a couple of differences such as it’s private and password protected. (And if it’s the same host and it did work before 2.8.2 wouldn’t that be a WordPress issue rather than an issue with my host? Just sayin’ – the webhost is frequently blamed.)

So, I’ve more hesitant to upgrade now because I schedule ALL of my posts – often a week in advance – more if I’m going to on vacation or especially busy. I will probably upgrade, test scheduled posts, and downgrade immediately if they don’t work. Then I will continue working on the problem on my test server rather than on my live site.

Ok – now to the point if this article. There is a plugin called Scheduled M.I.As that will search for posts marked as Missed Schedule every 15 minutes and will publish any that it finds. I tried it out on my test site and it worked great – it published all of them. (Maybe Stratos can stop by and tell us about the overhead of the plugin.)

There are, however, a couple of issues or things to know about this plugin.

  1. The author makes you register with his blog for you to download it. Ok, whatever, he wrote the plugin. But in my contrary way that makes me less likely to be super supportive and actually inspires me to immediately unsubscribe once I have the plugin. But I needed it and wanted to test it. so I registered.
  2. Once you register, confirm your email, blah blah blah, you are not presented with a neat zip file to download. Instead you are shown a bunch of code. I know a lot of users aren’t going to know what to do with this – I was even unsure what to name it.
  3. Copy the code and then paste it into a text editor like Notepad. Don’t use Word. Use a text editor.
  4. Save the files as mias.php or scheduled_mias.php. I discovered it doesn’t really matter what you name it but it does have to be .php and it should be named something that tells you what plugin the file is for.
  5. Upload it to your wp-content/plugins directory
  6. Activate it.
  7. If you have posts marked Missed Schedule they should be published in a couple of minutes. If you schedule one after installing the plugin and it misses the schedule, it should be published within 15 minutes.

Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t end up having this problem on my live site. I certainly don’t want to depend on a plugin to schedule my posts but it’s better than not being able to schedule them. I suppose if I DO have the problem, I can view it as a new research and learning opportunity.

For not so fun reading about the ongoing Missed Schedule problem in WordPress, you can check out the WordPress forums.

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  1. says

    No serious overhead other than an extra query every 15 minutes. If there are unpublished posts though, beside that query, one query for every unpublished post PLUS any time taken for pinging and any other activity you do on publishing a post (sending newsletters etc). If there are many posts it can make a hell of a loading time for the “lucky” visitor….
    .-= stratosg´s last blog ..The VPS neighborhood =-.

    • says

      Hi Stratos – Thanks for taking a look at it. I only post 4 times a week so
      I guess the overhead is minimal. I suppose it could be a bigger problem for a site that posts a lot every day.

    • says

      Hi Madhur – I really don’t want to have the Missed Schedule problem on this site. I’m about halfway done testing in my test area and don’t really
      have the motivation to finish it up ;-)

    • says

      Hi Nihar – It doesn’t happen to you all the time? I find that all scheduled posts either get posted or miss the schedule. Perhaps your host had a glitch – that happened to a friend of mine.

    • says

      Just a quick update: I installed the plugin with help from your procedures, but it had absolutely no effect, i.e. posts continued to show up as “Missed Schedule”. I deactivated it and deleted it from my Plugins folder.

      I was about to implement the solution that seems to have worked for most, i.e. backrevving the WP cron files, but I see that my latest post was published without incident!? I have no idea why.
      .-= Maskil´s last blog ..Greening the Negev – Lessons from the Sahel =-.

      • says

        Hi Maskil – That’s odd. Are you sure the plugin didn’t work? The posts
        will show as missed schedule and then every 15 mins, I think, the plugin will search for missed schedule posts and publish them.

        • says

          Yes, quite sure. To test, I left the one post sitting there for over 2 hours with the Missed Schedule status before I eventually manually changed the status to Published.

          Because the problem now seems to have gone away on its own, I assume that in my case there was something else to blame (e.g. in the official bug report, WP pointed the finger at changes on the Web host provider side).

          I’m just glad it’s gone away (at least for now)!
          .-= Maskil´s last blog ..Greening the Negev – Lessons from the Sahel =-.

    • says

      Hi Yohan – That’s a great idea! Thanks for making it available but do
      you think that will be ok with the developer. I thought about doing the
      same thing but wasn’t sure if it would acceptable.

    • says

      Hi Regina – I have a client on 2.9.2 where the problem just started too – I’m wondering if the webhost changed something. Is the client using godaddy?

      I haven’t tried the modification so I don’t know if it will work – and of course, it can vary from host to host. I would backup the original cron.php file, modify it and then see if it fixes the problem. If it doesn’t, put the original back. Just keep in mind that if the modification works that file will get overwritten the next time WordPress is upgraded.

  2. Regina Fried says

    Hi Kim,

    Yes, I realized I would have to update the file each time WP is upgraded (sigh). It seems like a problem that should be addressed as many people use the scheduled post feature.

    Client is hosted on Network Solutions; never had a problem until the recent upgrade to 2.9.2.
    .-= Regina Fried´s last blog ..LinkedIn Goes Social =-.

    • says

      Hi Regina – Usually the issue is with the host, not with WordPress so it’s been hard to “fix”. But it’s also been one of those things where some fixes work for some people but not for others. There’s never been a complete solution for everyone. I’ve been following this problem and working on it on and off for almost 2 years now.

      Fortunately, it hasn’t happened to me – yet. I schedule all of my posts and my posts would be really disrupted if I couldn’t schedule them.

  3. Regina Fried says

    Guess I’ll have to check with Network Solutions, then. I’m sure the line will be, “It’s a WordPress problem.”

  4. says

    Hi Sara – Check her timezone settings – WordPress might think it’s in a different time zone than the client does. Set her zone to the city closest to her.

    Otherwise I’m not sure what would be causing that.


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