This is kind of a stupid question...

I scheduled a action to run every hour:

  wp_schedule_event(time(), 'hourly', 'my_hourly_events');

add_action('my_hourly_events', 'the_function_to_run');

function the_function_to_run(){
   echo 'it works!'; 

How can I test if this works without waiting an hour? :)

I tried adding wp_clear_scheduled_hook('my_hourly_events'); before this code and adding wp_cron() after, but I don't see my function running...


ok, I added a trigger_error() inside my function, checked out the apache error log, and it's there :)

So now I'm even more confused:

  • How can the wp-cron run in the background? because apparently that's what happens if I see no output...

  • this doesn't seem to work in a object context; why?

  • ok I found out the wp-cron.php is being executed with wp_remote_post(). that explains everything... Apr 10, 2011 at 23:33
  • By "object context", do you mean your callback is like array( &$this, 'my_method_name' )? That will indeed not work because the function name is stored in the database to be executed later. &$this refers to a specific object, not a class name, and this object will not exist at the next request when the cron job is executed. A static class function should work.
    – Jan Fabry
    Apr 11, 2011 at 9:34
  • yes, I had to make my function static. I didn't think wp would remotely run a local script as "cron" Apr 11, 2011 at 17:05

2 Answers 2


My favorite plugin for that is Core Control which has very nice module for display of what is going in the cron - which events are set up, when are they next firing, etc.

On getting your hands dirty level see _get_cron_array(), which returns internal stored data for cron events (top level of keys are timestamps).

  • does the HTTP Access Logger log all requests or just the ones made with WP's HTTP api? This is great for finding requests plugins make and why your page is loading slow :) Apr 11, 2011 at 17:12
  • @One Trick Pony not sure, but it would make sense to assume it's API only
    – Rarst
    Apr 11, 2011 at 17:27

wp-cli is another way:

Listing Events

> wp cron event list
| hook              | next_run_gmt        | next_run_relative     | recurrence    |
| wp_update_plugins | 2020-04-14 08:11:38 | 7 hours 24 minutes    | 12 hours      |
| wp_update_themes  | 2020-04-14 08:11:38 | 7 hours 24 minutes    | 12 hours      |
| wcsc_prime_sites  | 2020-04-14 17:00:55 | 16 hours 13 minutes   | 1 day         |

Schedule an Event

> wp cron event schedule wp_update_plugins "now +5 seconds"
Success: Scheduled event with hook 'wp_update_plugins' for 2020-04-14 00:43:54 GMT.

Then you can visit the front-end of the site and refresh a couple times to make sure it's triggered. Then run list again to see that it's no longer scheduled.

Run Directly in Terminal

> wp cron event run wcsc_prime_sites
Executed the cron event 'wcsc_prime_sites' in 0.805s.
Success: Executed a total of 1 cron event.

One quirk to be aware of is that wp-cli runs in the wp-admin context, but WP Cron runs on the front end. That usually isn't a problem, but when you're writing jobs, make sure that you require() any wp-admin/includes files that your code expects to be loaded.

If you don't, then the job will work fine in wp-cli, but will produce a fatal error when running normally.

Other commands

Run wp help cron for more details.

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