I'm trying to insert posts using a cron job, but I keep running into errors where WP is missing functions (is_user_logged_in, wp_get_current_user).

Is there a proper way to run wp_insert_post using a cron job?

This is the code I have so far.

phrets_hourly is the WP_CRON hook

add_action('phrets_hourly', 'run_listings_update' );

function run_listings_update(){
  $fetch = new Fetcher();

This is the code inside the $fetch object (Fetcher class) that is run.

public function fetch(){
  $options['class'] = 'RES';
  $options['limit'] = 10;
  $options['offset'] = 0;
  $options['silent'] = true;     
  $data = $this->query( $options );
  foreach ( $data as $datum ) {
    $this->place( $datum, true );

public function place( $data, $silent ){
  $rets = $this->connect_to_rets();
  $listing = new Listing( $data );
  // check to see if listing already exists
  $post_id = $listing->check_listing_exists( $data['MST_MLS_NUMBER'] );
  if ( ! $post_id ) {
    $action = $listing->put();
  } else {
    $action = $listing->update($post_id);

This is the method called from the $listing object (Listing class) that puts the data into the DB

public function put(){
  $title = $this->create_title( $this->data );
  // setup the 'post' data
  $post = array(
    'post_type' => 'listing',
    'post_title' => $title,
    'post_content' => $this->data['Remarks'],
    'post_status' => 'publish'
  // add new meta data
  if ( ! is_wp_error( $post_id ) ) {
    $this->add_meta_data( $post_id );
    $this->assign_community( $post_id, $data );
  // set the action
  $action = 'inserted';
  return $action;


  • 1
    Please add the relevant code that you've tried so far.
    – birgire
    Aug 19, 2014 at 3:40
  • Here is gist of the important stuff. gist.github.com/nathanaelphilip/1063641c3a8c8d84530d Aug 20, 2014 at 21:42
  • Did you check out this Trac ticket? There are some workarounds mentioned there, for example calling wp_set_post_terms() explicitly after wp_insert_post() with an empty tax_input argument.
    – birgire
    Aug 21, 2014 at 17:26
  • I think best way here is create a cron user, maybe with a custom role and custom capabilities, programmatically login that user using wp_signon inside cron and finally insert post and other stuff. If having that posts being published by that specific user is not a problem for you I think this is the easiest approach.
    – gmazzap
    Aug 21, 2014 at 18:38
  • There must be a lot more to this. You claim that running a WPCron task doesn't have basic WordPress functions like is_user_logged_in() and wp_get_current_user(), but they are nowhere in your code examples. Your code example also never attempts to actually insert the post.
    – BA_Webimax
    Aug 21, 2014 at 19:16

2 Answers 2


For those who stumble upon this later, use either option 1 or 2 found here: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/19373.

“For other developers who run into this and need to work around it, either of these 2 options work: call wp_set_post_terms() to add your taxonomies after calling wp_insert_post() set up a "current user" in your script before calling wp_insert_post()”


I found a way around this one.

Couldn't make sense of the core trac and it still hasn't been patched even though it's a 4 year old ticket. Here is the code I went with for inserting a custom post. The include_once directive is important here.

I should also note that the wp_set_auth_cookie(1) sets access rights for this script to the administrator. If you don't use an ID of 1 for your admin, then you'll need to update this. The function is also deprecated so you need to include the pluggable.php file.

//Add in the pluggable functions
include_once( ABSPATH . WPINC . '/pluggable.php' );
wp_set_auth_cookie( 1 );

$slug = strtolower("test-example");
$title = "Test Example";

//See if post exists or not then handle accordingly
$post_id = get_page_by_title( $title, OBJECT, 'cars' );

if( $post_id == NULL ) {
    $post_id = wp_insert_post(
            'comment_status'    =>  'closed',
            'ping_status'       =>  'closed',
            'post_author'       =>  1,
            'post_name'         =>  $slug,
            'post_title'        =>  $title,
            'post_status'       =>  'publish',
            'post_type'         =>  'cars'
} else {
    $post_id = $post_id->ID;

Simply change cars to whatever post type you want. The slug/title will also need to change accordingly.

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