Updating a Wordpress Page at a future time

Ever need to update a club page at some time in the future? There’s actually a way to do it using Tao Schedule Update plugin.

References

  1. https://wordpress.org/plugins/tao-schedule-update/

Glossary

article,¬†either a page or a post so I don’t have to write “page or post” all over the place.

Installing Tao-Schedule-Update plugin

Are you satisfied with your backup? If not, make one. Code, database, and files just in case. At Pantheon, I’m working with a net but I still make a backup of my club sites before attempting code maintenance.

Once host-specific backup procedures are complete, visit the site as administrator, hop over to the add plugins dashboard, and search for “tao-schedule-update”. WordPress should find this plugin and several others. Install the plugin and activate it. There is no configuration. Tao Schedule Update is available from WordPress.org and is under active maintenance. Regression testing typically lags a minor revision behind the current WordPress revision. Because of the way the plugin is implemented, it is not sensitive to WordPress maintenance.

Follow your host-specific procedures for testing and installing the revised code base. At Pantheon, all development occurs in the Dev environment, is pushed to Test and then to Live. Git revision control handles each migration.

Update Scheduling Switchology

Tao Schedule Update is simple to use but it took some tinkering to figure it out. Here’s what I discovered. Creating a scheduled update must be done from the Posts or Pages dashboard.

  1. Visit the Pages or Posts administration page
  2. Locate the article you want to update.
  3. Over on the left side you’ll find a new option “schedule update” in addition to the usual edit and quick edit options.
  4. Click the schedule update link.
  5. Make your edits
  6. Complete the update scheduling information appearing in the right sidebar
  7. Save the update

What Tao Schedule Update Does

When you select “schedule update”, Tao Schedule Update makes a copy of the existing post. You edit this copy to make your changes, typically updating a form link to make a new form available in the future. This activity creates a replacement page that will appear at the specified time. This is why creation of a scheduled update must start from the pages/posts dashboard using the schedule update link. The original WordPress editing code is left unchanged.

Prior to saving the replacement page, you set a scheduled time for the replacement to occur. Tao Schedule Update schedules the original version of the post to un-publish at this time and the replacement version to publish at this time. The normal scheduling mechanisms take it from here.

The replacement process happens in a way that allows the replacement article to satisfy all references to the original article. Menus and article body links will point to the replacement article.

Oh, by the way

The only drawback to this method is that the article’s revision history fragments with each future replacement. Each scheduled update creates a replacement article with its own revision history. The replacement item names are derived from the source article name and each scheduled update stands out pretty clearly in the pages or posts dashboard. Filtering and sorting can quickly locate an article and its updates in the dashboard.