This article will show you how to schedule content (both HTML pages and documents) to automatically publish or unpublish. This is especially useful if you know that your content is only relevant for a specific period of time. Telling the CMS to unpublish content once it is no longer useful will keep the site from becoming cluttered with out-of-date information.
Scheduling content is deceptively powerful. It may require a little thoughtwork ahead of time. You can do all of these:
Schedule a date for new content to publish
Schedule a date for new content to unpublish
Schedule both dates
Schedule a time for a new draft of existing content to publish
Schedule a time for existing content to unpublish
Schedule a time for a new draft of existing content to publish, and then to unpublish (the end result here is the same as just unpublishing content)
Any HTML content you schedule will appear in the “Scheduled: publish” and “Scheduled: unpublish” tabs on the “All Content” screen.
Any documents you schedule will appear in the "Scheduled: publish" and "Scheduled: unpublish" tabs in the "All Documents" screen.
You’ll find a dropdown called Scheduling options in the gray box on the right side of the editing interface. (It doesn’t matter what content type you’re working in — the gray box is always in the same place.) Click the ➕ to open it.
Use the calendar tool to tell the CMS when to publish or unpublish your page. Use the up and down arrow keys to adjust the date and time. Also, don’t forget to choose a.m. or p.m.
You should select "Prepublished Draft" from the dropdown menu at the bottom of the page and hit "Save."
You can choose "Published" and "Save." On the date and time you’ve listed, the CMS will unpublish your page.
You’ll find a dropdown called scheduling options in the box on the right side of the editing interface. Click the ➕ to open it.
Use the calendar tool to tell the CMS when to publish or unpublish your document. Use the up and down arrow keys to adjust the date and time. Also, don’t forget to choose a.m. or p.m.
Choose "Draft" from the dropdown at the bottom of the screen and hit "Save."
Choose "Published" from the dropdown, then click "Save." On the date and time you’ve listed, the CMS will unpublish your document.
The steps above also apply to existing content (with minor exceptions, such as "Draft" rather than "Prepublished Draft" being your choice when scheduling publication of an existing page).
It’s important to remember that a published page and a draft (a new version of that page) can exist at the same time. If you create a new draft of an existing page, add a scheduled publication date, and save a “Draft,” then your existing content will update (i.e., the new draft will be automatically published) at the time and day you’ve specified.
If you decide you want to schedule a date to unpublish content after it’s already been published, you would open the page in “edit” mode, add an “unpublish date,” and then choose "Published" from the dropdown and hit "Save."
Let’s say your organization holds an annual contest where it awards prizes for the best photo of black-capped chickadees. You announce the new winners at 10 p.m., December 31st, each year. You currently have last year’s winners published in an Information Details page, but you already know who this year’s winners will be. You create a new draft of your Info Details winners page, tell the CMS to publish it on Dec. 31 at 10 pm., and "Save" as a "Draft."
In this scenario, last year’s contest winners would be published until 9:59 p.m., Dec. 31. Then, last year’s content would be automatically replaced with this year’s content.
Later, your organization decides that it does not want this content to be published for a full year because, after 6 months, constituents begin asking when the new results will be announced. To schedule your contest winners content to unpublish in June, you open your Info Details page in “edit” mode, and in scheduling options, you tell the CMS to unpublish your content on June 1 at 10 p.m. Then, you choose "Published" and "Save." On June 1, your page will be automatically unpublished.
Come December, if you decide you want to generate excitement for this year’s content, you might choose to re-publish the winners from last year, and then repeat the procedure above to add the new winners to a new draft (which you could schedule to publish at 10 p.m. Dec. 31 again).