One of the great things about blogging is that quantity matters. Quality, sure, that’s on the to-do list — but the quantity of your blog posts shouldn’t take a beating just because you’re a perfectionist. WordPress is great, but it can’t do its magic with a handful of posts spread over weeks and months. You need to fatten up your website with quality AND quantity, and the post publication date in WordPress can help you manage the flow.
Confession time: Committing to frequent blog posting is difficult. Sometimes writer’s block is a problem, and sometimes business and personal reasons get in the way. Before you know it, weeks have passed since your last post, so you start adding guilt to the mix. It’s bad enough to have to write something new and interesting, and it doesn’t help when your date-stamps show a big gap between posts.
Lucky for you, WordPress is the king (or queen) of revisionist history. If you want to add a new blog post or two after being AWOL for a while, just tweak the post publication date in WordPress. As an example we’ll use my first blog post, which I posted Dec. 7. At the time it seemed sort of fitting, coming on the anniversary of the invasion of Pearl Harbor during World War II. Today, it doesn’t seem fitting at all, so let’s change the date.
The default when you publish a WordPress post is to use the current date and time, which is tres cool most of the time. Here you can see the post was published Dec. 7 at 16:49, or 4:49 p.m. for non-military types. Click the Edit link next to it, and voila!
That’s right, you’re now the master of your own space-time continuum. Since I missed out on the whole 12/12/12 excitement, I changed the fields to show my first blog post was published at 12:12 on Dec. 12. Hit OK to make the desired changes, then Publish or Update.
The time of day doesn’t appear on my post because of my blog’s display settings, but you can see the new date show up in the date box. If you made the change but the old date still shows up, chances are you forgot to Publish/Update the post and/or refresh your web browser.
At first, old newshounds (like me) may think it deceptive to mix and match publication dates, but trust me: The space-time continuum won’t collapse just because you fiddle with the date display on your blog posts. If you find yourself writing in sporadic bursts of creativity, you can spread the wealth around by adjusting the time gaps between posts after you publish them. If you’re one of those rare people who can “write ahead” of the calendar, you can stack up blog posts that go live exactly when you want them to.
On the technical side, your WordPress blog displays posts in reverse-chronological order, so the publication date of each respective post controls the top-to-bottom order in which it appears. To the average reader, I’ve gone from a slacker who let 11 days pass between posts to a blogger who posts every week (so far, at least). Yes, it’s a little bit of a lie, but it’s a useful and utilitarian one for busy blog owners.
Next time 12/12/12 rolls around, you’ll be ready with a topical blog post that’s published at the perfect time, relatively speaking. Just edit your post publication date in WordPress. Einstein would approve.