5 ways to automate tasks with WordPress

Do you find yourself setting alarms or reminders to make changes to your website at just the right time? If so, these WordPress automation tips will help you reclaim your day as you schedule events in advance.

1. Schedule content releases in WordPress

In the Gutenberg editor, the Publish option allows you to schedule a time for content to go live.

The Publish option allows you to schedule a time for content to go live.

One of the best features in WordPress is the ability to schedule content to go live in the future. In the Document tab on the right side of the screen, under Status & Visibility the second option down says “Publish” and has a date listed. Click the date link to bring up a date picker where you can schedule the date and time for the content to go live.

If you’re still using the Classic Editor, you’ll find a “Publish immediately” option in the Publish tab on the right side of the screen. Click the Edit link and you can schedule a time for it to go live. This works for posts, pages, and most other custom content types (like WooCommerce products, for example).

2. Automate WordPress updates

We’ve covered this one before, but by default WordPress automatically installs minor updates but not major updates, plugin updates, or theme updates. Use our handy guide to decide which ones are best for you.

3. Automate social media posts

If you post to your social media channels when new content goes live, the Jetpack plugin can take care of that for you. The Promote feature allows you to add a custom message to the post followed by the link, or you can even create post text automatically based on the title and other information in your post (although you’ll probably want to customize it to maximize your engagement).

Use this guide to determine which method of social media scheduling is right for you.

4. Automate posting from social media

Flipping the script from #3 above, you can also do the reverse and auto-post from social media posts. Using a service like IFTTT, you can convert a Facebook post, Tumblr post, or even a tweet to a post in WordPress. You can use a IFTTT applet like this one to get started. Of course, posts generated from social media won’t be good for SEO, but if you’re in a pinch for time, it’s an option. You can even filter your posts by a hashtag or keyword so not everything gets posted to WordPress.

5. Comment filtering

If your website receives a high volume of comments, filtering them can be a tedious process. Fortunately, WordPress has a few options to help streamline this task. In Settings → Discussion, WordPress provides several options to help you filter out comments. You can require commenters to leave their name and email, you can require them to be logged in, you can automatically close comments on old articles, you can require them to be manually approved the first time they comment and automatically allow their comments after that, and you can automatically flag comments with links in them (or a certain number of links). Furthermore, the Akismet plugin can automatically filter out spam comments for you.

Each of these tasks requires a short amount of time to set up properly, but all of them can save you lots of time in the long run. While you don’t want to completely automate your website — remember, engagement is really important! — you can use some of these ideas to help streamline some of your tasks and save you some time.