I created a plugin with a cron to update all posts of a certain type every 5 minutes. I installed WP Crontrol to check if the cron is registered correctly and everything seems to be okay.

This is how I registered my cron:

function custom_cron_interval( $schedules ) {
    $schedules['fiveminutes'] = array(
        'interval' => 300,
        'display' => __('Every five minutes')
    return $schedules;
add_filter( 'cron_schedules', 'custom_cron_interval' ); 

if ( ! wp_next_scheduled( 'recalculate_all_scores' ) ) {
    wp_schedule_event(time(), 'fiveminutes', 'recalculate_all_scores');

It is registered correctly but when the function executes, nothing happens. For testing purposes I hooked the function to the save_post action. Everything works fine this way. But when the scheduled task is called, it won't execute.

Here is the code of the function

function recalculate_all_scores() {
    global $wpdb; 

    $customers = $wpdb->get_results("SELECT * FROM wp_posts 
                                WHERE post_type = 'customer' 
                                AND post_status = 'publish';");

    foreach ($customers as $customer){

function set_score($customer){
    $acf_key = "score";
    $score = rand(0,50);
    update_field( $acf_key, $score, $customer->ID );

I also added the following lines to my wp-config.php:

define('ALTERNATE_WP_CRON', true);
define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', false);

Any idea what is stopping the function from executing?


  • I'm aware that the wp_cron system is not a real cron and that it relies on site visits.
  • If I execute the function manually it takes about 15 seconds so the PHP execution time limit should not be a problem.
  • Are you aware the wp_cron is not a true cron system and infact relies on site visits to kick off? Also are you aware that there are execution times in your PHP settings which could limit execution? i.e. A task execution limit may be set to 3 minutes in your PHP ini and if your task is waiting 5 minutes the execution may be getting cancelled Jan 22, 2015 at 9:52
  • @CraigPearson I'm aware of that and I updated my question. Thanks for the reply! Jan 22, 2015 at 10:28

2 Answers 2


I was having the same issue recently, until I followed an example from the Wordpress Codex which suggests using action hooks to run the function.

I think if you add the following...

add_action( 'recalculate_all_scores_hook', 'recalculate_all_scores' );

...and amend the wp_schedule_event function to use the action hook name rather than the function directly...

wp_schedule_event( time(), 'fiveminutes', 'recalculate_all_scores_hook' );

...you might be in business.

Good luck!

  • I tried this before but it didn't change a thing... In the end I solved it by hooking it in to an existing event. Feb 16, 2015 at 9:27

WordPress only support hourly, daily and twise daily, so change five minutes with any of three and set your function with sleep(10); or any other time which suitable for your plugin

Check here

  • That is not true, you can define, as the OP is doing, custom time intervals with the cron_schedules filter. hourly, daily and twise daily are the intervals defined in the core but WordPress supports any desired interval.
    – cybmeta
    Nov 16, 2015 at 11:02

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