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How to Configure Cron Jobs in WordPress?

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  • August 08, 2023
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Nothing matches the feeling we get when we have delegated our important tasks and it gets done in time, relieving us from stress, and making life easier. The automated system in technology does the same for us, where Cron jobs are an essential part of automating tasks on a WordPress website, such as regularly publishing scheduled posts, backing up data, or running maintenance scripts. However, configuring them can seem intimidating for those unfamiliar with the command line or WordPress backend. In this blog post, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to set up and configure cron jobs for WordPress, including examples of common use cases and troubleshooting tips. Whether you’re a developer or a website owner, mastering cron jobs will help you save time and streamline your WordPress workflow.

What is Cron Job?

A cron job is a scheduling feature in computer operating systems that allows you to automate tasks at specified intervals. Think of it like a reminder that goes off at certain times to execute a task. You can set it up to run scripts, perform backups, send emails, or anything else that can be automated on a regular schedule. It saves you time and effort by automatically executing routine tasks so that you don’t have to remember to do them manually. Once you’ve set up a cron job, it runs automatically in the background without requiring any further input from you. Cron jobs run at specific intervals, such as hourly, daily, or weekly. They are an essential part of WordPress maintenance because they allow you to perform tasks that would otherwise require manual intervention, such as updating plugins or running backups.

Importance of Knowing How to Configure Cron Jobs

Here are some reasons why it is important to know how to configure cron jobs:

  • Automation: Cron jobs can save time and effort by automating repetitive tasks that would otherwise need to be performed manually.
  • Efficiency: By scheduling tasks to run during off-peak hours, you can improve the efficiency of your system and avoid disrupting users or other processes.
  • Reliability: Cron jobs ensure that tasks are executed on time and with a high level of accuracy, reducing the risk of errors or omissions.
  • Flexibility: Cron jobs can be customized to suit your specific needs, allowing you to schedule tasks at intervals that work best for you.
  • Maintenance: Knowing how to configure and manage cron jobs is essential for maintaining a healthy and well-functioning system.

What is WordPress Cron and how is it different?

WordPress has its own cron system for scheduling tasks such as checking for updates, scheduling a post for publication, and deleting comments from the trash. All cron jobs are handled by WP-Cron. WordPress Cron is different from a standard cron job because it relies on website traffic to trigger the scheduled tasks. In other words, when a user visits a WordPress website, the cron system checks to see if any tasks are scheduled to run at that time, and if so, it executes them. This means that if a website doesn’t receive any visitors during the scheduled time, the tasks won’t be executed until the next time someone visits the site.

Another key difference between WordPress Cron and a standard cron job is that WordPress Cron is managed entirely within the WordPress dashboard. This means that website owners can schedule and manage their cron jobs without needing to access their server or use a command-line interface.

Overall, WordPress Cron is a powerful tool that allows website owners to automate important tasks on their site. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the system relies on website traffic to function, so it’s not always the best choice for tasks that need to be executed at precise times or with high frequency.

While the name (and the main idea) comes from UNIX cron, WordPress cron doesn’t work like that and uses intervals for task scheduling. The default time intervals provided by WordPress are hourly, twice daily, daily, and weekly. Here, the time-based tasks depend on users visiting your site, meaning that WordPress cron will only execute if a user visits your website.

To work around this issue, you can set up a system cron job to trigger WordPress Cron at regular intervals, regardless of whether there is traffic to your website or not. This ensures that your scheduled events are always triggered on time, even if your website is not receiving a lot of traffic.

Why is it Important for a WordPress user to know how to configure a Cron Job?

Some WordPress plugins and themes rely on cron jobs to perform certain functions. If these cron jobs are not configured correctly, the plugins or themes may not work as expected, or they may cause conflicts with other plugins and themes.

Therefore, knowing how to configure a cron job is an essential skill for WordPress users who want to ensure that their website runs smoothly and efficiently. It allows them to schedule important tasks and automate routine processes, freeing up time to focus on other important aspects of managing a website.

Where can I find Cron Jobs in WordPress?

You can find the list of scheduled tasks by navigating to the “Tools” menu in the WordPress admin dashboard and selecting the “Scheduled” option. Here you will find a list of all scheduled tasks, along with their scheduled time and status.

If you want to view or edit the actual code for the cron jobs, you will need to access the website files using FTP or a file manager provided by your hosting provider. The code for the cron jobs can typically be found in the functions.php file of your theme or in a plugin file.

Alternatively, you can also use a plugin like WP Control or Advanced Cron Manager to view and manage cron jobs from within the WordPress dashboard. These plugins provide a user-friendly interface for managing cron jobs, allowing you to easily view, edit, and delete them.

How to configure WP Cron Jobs?

Configuring cron jobs in WordPress involves two steps:

  1. Setting up the cron job
  2. Specifying the task to run.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Set up the Cron Job

The first step is to set up the cron job on your server. There are several ways to do this, but the most common method is to use cPanel, a web-based control panel provided by many web hosts. Here’s how to set up a cron job in cPanel:

  • Log in to cPanel.
  • Under the Advanced section, click on Cron Jobs.
  • In the Add New Cron Job section, select how often you want the cron job to run (e.g., once an hour, once a day).
  • In the Command field, enter the path to the wp-cron.php file on your server. The path will look something like this:

/usr/local/bin/php /home/username/public_html/wp-cron.php

  • Replace “username” with your cPanel username and “public_html” with the directory where your WordPress site is installed.
  • Click on the Add New Cron Job button.

Step 2: Specify the Task to Run

The second step is to specify the task to run. WordPress has several built-in tasks that you can schedule, such as checking for updates, publishing scheduled posts, and deleting old post revisions. You can also create custom tasks using plugins or code. Here’s how to schedule a built-in task:

  • Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  • Go to Settings > General.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and find the section labeled “WordPress Cron Jobs.”
  • Check the box next to “Enable WordPress Cron Jobs.”
  • Choose how often you want WordPress to check for scheduled tasks (e.g., every 15 minutes, every hour).
  • Click on the Save Changes button.

That’s it! WordPress will now run the scheduled tasks at specified intervals.

Note: Sometimes WordPress themes are developed in such a way that cron jobs don’t Work In this case you need to get in touch with the theme author.

How to Set Up WordPress Cron Jobs with WP-CLI

Setting up WordPress Cron Jobs with WP-CLI is a fairly simple process. Here are the steps you can follow:

  • Connect to your server using SSH.
  • Navigate to your WordPress site’s root directory.
  • Type the following command to access WP-CLI:


  • Next, you need to check if your WordPress cron jobs are working correctly or not. To do this, type the following command:

“wp cron test”

This command will return a message letting you know if your WordPress cron jobs are working correctly or not. If the output is “Cron spawn failed”, it means that your WordPress cron jobs are not working.

  • To set up a new cron job, type the following command:

“wp cron event create EVENT_NAME –interval=TIME_INTERVAL –display-admin-notices=TRUE/FALSE”

Replace EVENT_NAME with the name of your event, TIME_INTERVAL with the interval you want your cron job to run, and TRUE/FALSE with whether you want the cron job to display admin notices or not.

For example, to set up a cron job that runs every hour and displays admin notices, you can use the following command:

“wp cron event create my_hourly_event –interval=hourly –display-admin-notices=true”

  • You can also view a list of all your WordPress cron jobs using the following command:

“wp cron event list”

That’s it! You have now successfully set up WordPress cron jobs with WP-CLI.

How to Manage WordPress Cron Jobs With a Plugin

There are several WordPress plugins available that can help you manage your WordPress Cron jobs. In this guide, we will show you how to manage WordPress Cron jobs using a plugin.

Step 1: Install and Activate the WP Control plugin

The WP Control plugin is an excellent tool for managing your WordPress Cron jobs. To install and activate this plugin, follow these steps:

  • Go to your WordPress dashboard.
  • Click on “Plugins” in the left-hand menu.
  • Click on the “Add New” button at the top of the page.
  • In the search bar, type “WP Control.”
  • Click on the “Install Now” button next to the WP Control plugin.
  • After installation, click on the “Activate” button to activate the plugin.

Step 2: Access WP Control

After activating the WP Control plugin, you can access it by clicking on “Tools” in the left-hand menu of your WordPress dashboard, and then selecting “WP Control.”

Step 3: Manage Your Cron Jobs

Once you have accessed WP Control, you can manage your WordPress Cron jobs by following these steps:

  • Click on the “Cron Jobs” tab.
  • Here, you will see a list of all the Cron jobs currently running on your WordPress site.
  • You can click on the “Delete” button next to a job to remove it.
  • You can also click on the “Run Now” button to run a job immediately.
  • To add a new Cron job, click on the “Add Cron Job” button.
  • Fill in the details of the new Cron job, including the schedule and the command to run.
  • Click on the “Save Cron Job” button to save the new job.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Sometimes cron jobs can fail to run or run at the wrong time. Here are some common issues and how to troubleshoot them:

Issue: Cron jobs are not running at all.

Solution: Check that the cron job is set up correctly in cPanel. Make sure the path to the wp-cron.php file is correct and that the cron job is enabled.

Issue: Cron jobs are running at the wrong time.

Solution: Check that the time zone is set correctly in WordPress. Go to Settings > General and scroll down to the “Timezone” section. Choose the correct time zone for your location.

Issue: Cron jobs are running too frequently or not frequently enough.

Solution: Adjust the frequency of the cron job in WordPress. Go to Settings > General and adjust

How to disable WP con jobs

To disable WordPress cron jobs, you can follow these steps:

  • Open the wp-config.php file located in the root directory of your WordPress installation.
  • Add the following line of code to the file, just before the line that says /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */:

define(‘DISABLE_WP_CRON’, true);

  • Save the wp-config.php file and exit.

This code will disable WordPress’s default cron system, and instead, you can use a server cron job to run scheduled tasks. You can set up a server cron job by following these steps:

  • Log in to your web hosting account and open the cPanel dashboard.
  • Find the “Cron Jobs” icon in the “Advanced” section and click on it.
  • In the “Add New Cron Job” section, select the frequency at which you want to run the cron job. For example, if you want to run the job every hour, select “Hourly.”
  • In the “Command” field, enter the following command:

wget -q -O – >/dev/null 2>&1

Make sure to replace “” with your actual domain name.

  • Click on the “Add New Cron Job” button to save the changes.

That’s it! With these steps, you have successfully disabled WordPress cron jobs and set up a server cron job to run scheduled tasks.


Configuring WordPress cron jobs is an essential task for website owners who want to automate routine tasks and improve the overall performance of their website. You can get the Best Theme out of the Mishkat WordPress Theme Bundle for better performance. By understanding the basics of how cron jobs work and using the appropriate plugins and code snippets, you can easily schedule tasks such as backups, updates, and content publishing, thereby freeing up your time and resources to focus on other aspects of your website. Whether you choose to use a plugin or manually edit your website’s code, it’s important to test your cron jobs regularly and ensure that they are running smoothly to avoid any potential issues. With the right approach, configuring WordPress cron jobs can be a simple and effective way to optimize your website’s functionality and improve your overall online presence.

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