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Optimal posting time? (via: Are there optimal days/hours to post questions in order to get visibility and answers? – Meta Super User)

Posted by jpluimers on 2014/09/22

A while ago, i came across this interesting question: Are there optimal days/hours to post questions in order to get visibility and answers? – Meta Super User.

The recommended time 1400 UTC is related to my blog post scheduling behaviour.

Virtually all my blog posts are either (when both apply at the same time, that is pure coincidence):

I schedule posts on Monday through Friday:

Difference between 0600 UTC and 1400 UTC

So why the time difference of about 8 hours between 0600 UTC and 1400 UTC?

That has to do with the public I generally interact with: software developers speaking English, mainly living in European and USA, with a minority in India, Asia and down-under.

  • At 0600 UTC, most Europeans are about to wake up or just arrived at work, so they get fresh content. Still quite a few people from India and Asia are up (returning from work) can read it the same day it was posted. And virtually everyone in the USA is still sleeping, so they get fresh content too.
  • At 1400 UTC, most Europeans are at work, people at the USA East Coast just started working and the rest of the USA is waking up and (hopefully) going to work. So you get a huge group of on-line people online with a high chance if comment/answer interaction on your question: great for getting answers on the same day.

“Missed Schedule” on WordPress blogs

There basically are two issues with the WordPress scheduling algorithm:

  1. It is based on your blog front-page visit frequency (i.e. if nobody visits your front-page, your scheduled posts will not appear)
  2. When you have scheduled more than 100 posts, only the first 100 posts will be taken into account. This”feature” was introduced at about early may 2012.

Front-page frequency

Two quotes about the need of visiting your frontpage in order to trigger the scheduling of posts:

If you see that the scheduled time has come and gone and your post has not published, simply log out of and view your blog’s front page. Your visit should cause the post to appear.

via Schedule a Post — Support —

The 100 posts limit: because of  “security”

Your WordPress list of scheduled post can indicated “Missed Schedule”, so the software is aware that posts didn’t make their schedule, but don’t push it to publication:

Google search for “Missed+Schedule”

There seems to be an artificial limit of 100 in the scheduling algorithm blaming “security”:

It is just the blog, and since we can’t consistently raise limits whenever asked (it’s too much of a security issue), I will ask that you limit your scheduled posts in other scenarios to 100.

via Missed Schedule « Forums.

What I think that basically happens is that the query for scheduled posts looks like this:

<br />select top 100 *<br />from posts<br />where state=scheduled<br />order by draft-timestamp<br />

The correct query would be more like this:

<br />select top 100 *<br />from posts<br />where state=scheduled<br />order by schedule-timestamp<br />

(If you wonder what the escaped html br tags do in the above source code: that is cause by yet another WordPress bug which has been unresolved for years: WP adds <br /> before <select even where there is no line break in source code).

This is what they should have looked like:

select top 100 *
from posts
where state=scheduled
order by drafttimestamp

select top 100 *
from posts
where state=scheduled
order by scheduletimestamp

(this final line in the quoted text is to convince WordPress that within Quoted Text the final gist source code listing is indeed a gist).

If you run WordPress on your own rig, you can perform two workarounds:



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