WordPress App: How not to accidentally publish posts you meant to schedule

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

August 2016 update:

I have an update to this as I’ve now accidentally published a few more posts. 

Here’s what I did:

  • Set the date to publish later 
  • Scheduled it
  • Kept writing, editing, etc.
  • I went back in and added a photo and a link and some more text and clicked update. The update published the post live – as opposed to keeping it as a scheduled post. 

That of course can be a problem with a few hundred on the mailing list and headlines pushing to tens of thousands on social media. Hey, I wasn’t done. 

So, what’s the solution? Some ideas: 

  • Only save and schedule the final version. This gives me some heartburn because how do I know my intermittent work is being saved automatically? It seems like it is, but how do I make sure?
  • Write in another app and then copy the final over and set up the post and images in one sitting. 

I really wish this would be easier but unfortunately has cropped up again. 

On a positive note, I would recommend the WordPress app to anyone. It has allowed me to blog from just about anywhere and I appreciate that ability.

Novemver 2015 post:

I’ve now accidentally published two blog posts right away when I actually tried to schedule them for later. Both times I was filing from the mobile WordPress app.

When it happened once, I figured I pushed the wrong button. When it happened again, I was starting to wonder: what is going on here?

I did think there might be a problem with the WordPress mobile app. I tested this a few more times and figured out what was happening.

There are three publishing options in the app, which is available on all major smartphone operating systems. The options are:

  • Draft
  • Pending review
  • Published (which includes future scheduled posts)

I was using DRAFTS to save posts I was actively working on. Since I’m used to saving, saving, saving while working on something that made sense here.

I had already set the draft post to the date I want it to publish – a few days from now.

Today is the 19th and this draft was scheduled to publish on the 23rd.

Since the date was set already it made sense to me to change the status to PUBLISH but keep the future date attached – and with that would schedule the post instead of publish it now.

But when you go back to the post view your only option is to POST. When in drafts this button says SAVE and when correctly scheduling a post it says SCHEDULE. (Something to remember as well.)

Clearly, the text should remind us of what we are going to do by clicking it, but since I just set the post up to what I thought was schedule it, this was easy to overlook. And I probably misanalyzed POST for POST AT THAT FUTURE DATE JUST SET.

The good news: There’s an easy “fix” to prevent accidental publishings. When you are ready to publish, change the date, then change the status to PUBLISH and it will schedule it.

Perhaps, the easiest way to handle this might be to never add future dates to DRAFTS and just save them in the moment and then add a future date when you are ready to schedule for publication.

Sometimes you have to flip dates back and forth some to get it to work. Save in between. You are on the right track when these screens below both read SCHEDULE or SCHEDULED.

Of course once you click the button the app lets you know if it published or scheduled. I did get it to work correctly with this post.

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