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Scheduled publishing

Introduction

Scheduled publishing is a Contentful feature that allows you to make changes to your content at any time in the future.

Content creators often have a need to release content at a specific date and time. This isn't always convenient if you aren't near a computer. Just some of the reasons for time-sensitive content release are:

  • Plan and schedule promotional campaigns, even over the weekend.
  • Publish new product launch content at specific times & places across the globe and deliver embargoed content as soon as the embargo is lifted.
  • Swap out seasonal collections of content across channels automatically, all from one central hub.

Now you can schedule a content entry to publish or unpublish at any time in the future. You no longer need to be at your computer when the time comes for your campaign to start or your product to launch. You can also retire that content when the promotion or campaign is scheduled to end.

With scheduled publishing you can:

  • Schedule an entry to publish or unpublish
  • Create multiple scheduled actions on an entry at different times (e.g. publish at 12:00, unpublish at 01:00, publish again at 05:30)
  • See the timeline of an entry's future publish and unpublish actions in the entry editor
  • See a lists of all scheduled, completed, and actions

Scheduled publishing is a key enabler of your content operations workflow.

Scheduling publish and unpublish actions for an entry

Getting Started

  1. Navigate to the desired entry from the Content tab or create a new entry.
  2. Make any edits or changes you might want to publish.
  3. Click the drop-down arrow on the Publish button and select Set Schedule.
  4. The Set Schedule dialog appears. Here you can select whether you want to set a schedule for a publish or unpublish action in the Action drop-down box.
  5. Select a date and time for the new scheduled action. The time zone defaults to the time zone of your computer but you can select another time zone to make it easier for you to ensure that regional content is managed at the correct local time.
  6. Click the Schedule button to save your scheduled action.
  7. Your new scheduled action is now shown in the entry sidebar. You can repeat the scheduling process to add more scheduled publish and unpublish actions to suit your needs.
    To change a scheduled action, you need to cancel the scheduled action and set a new schedule using the above steps.

Canceling a scheduled action

  1. Navigate to the entry in which you want to cancel an action.
  2. Locate the action in the entry sidebar and click the ... action menu.
  3. Select Cancel Schedule then click the Cancel the schedule button in the confirmation dialog.
  4. The selected action will be canceled leaving any other scheduled actions in place.

Make sure if you cancel an action that the any other following actions still make sense. If you cancel a publish action, for example, ensure that the next scheduled action will not attempt to unpublish an already unpublished entry.

Viewing scheduled actions

There are two ways to view scheduled actions. Scheduled actions are shown in the entry sidebar of the relevant individual entries as you saw earlier.

There is also a list of all scheduled actions, completed actions, and failed actions. You can see it in two ways.

  • Click the View all scheduled entries link in the entry sidebar of an entry with at least one scheduled action set
  • Open the Content list and click the Scheduled Content link in the upper left

The Scheduled Content page

In the Scheduled Content page you can see entries that have pending scheduled actions in the Scheduled tab. The scheduled date and time is shown along with the action (publish or unpublish) and a card showing information about the entry itself. You can click on the entry card to go straight to the entry editor and make changes as needed.

If you click the Completed tab, you see the scheduled actions that have completed successfully in the past. Again, click on the entry card to go directly to the entry editor.

Finally, the Failed tab shows any scheduled actions that were not successful. Click a failed action to go to the entry editor page and you can then fix the problem and publish manually or set a new schedule.

What can go wrong?

The primary cause for failed publish actions is validations. Validations are customizable and ensure that fields in an entry contain the appropriate contents before an entry can be published. We check these validations when you set the schedule for an entry and when a publish action happens, scheduled or manual. It is currently possible to edit entries that already have scheduled publish actions in which case it is possible to edit a field in a way that invalidates the entry. In this case the preexisting scheduled publish action will fail. When this happens we send an email notification to whomever scheduled the action so they can take the appropriate steps to fix the validations and publish the entry.

The other possible reason for a failed publish action is if you try to publish an entry that is in the Archived state. Ensure your entry is in the Draft or Changed state before you schedule a publish action.

Limitations

  • You can have up to 500 pending scheduled entries in each environment within a space
  • You can have up to 200 entries scheduled to be executed in a single minute