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I have 1700 Motivational Updates + Write ups imported to WordPress.

The problem is they are all published on the same date.

I'd ideally like for them to be published once per day.

I researched a lot and found this.

$date1       = date( $date_format, strtotime("-1 year", time()) );
$date2       = date( $date_format, time() );
$post_type   = 'post'; // post, page, product or some other custom post type

// Get all the posts
$posts = get_posts( array( 
        'numberposts' => -1, // get ALL posts
        'post_status' => 'any', // published, pending, draft, future, trash
        'post_type'   => $post_type 
  ));

foreach( $posts as $post ) {

  //* Generate a random post dates
  $random_date = mt_rand( strtotime( $date1 ), strtotime($date2) );

  //* Format the date that WordPress likes
  $post_date = date( $date_format, $random_date );

  // We only want to update the post date
  $update = array(
        'ID'            => $post->ID,
        'post_date'     => $post_date,
        'post_date_gmt' => null,
  );

  //* Update the post
  wp_update_post( $update );

}

This setup works great, if am trying to randomize the post dates. However, it sometimes sets 2 or even 5 posts in the same day.

Is there someway to have it such that the published_date is set to 1 per day, the time of the day can be randomized.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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  • Note that 1700 posts into 365 days automatically means that there will be multiple posts per day. If they're fully randomized, there should be ~ 1700/365 = 4.65 posts each day. Alternately, you'll need 4.65 years' worth of dates for the posts to be 1 a day.
    – Pat J
    Jun 27 at 20:46

1 Answer 1

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You could start from today and just work backwards, one day at a time:

$start_hour = 8;

$end_hour = 17;

$date = new DateTime;

foreach ( $posts as $post ) {
    $time = sprintf(
        /* Left-pad time values with zeros to two digits */
        '%02d:%02d:%02d',
        /* Random hour between start and end */
        rand( $start_hour, $end_hour ),
        /* Random minutes */
        rand( 0, 59 ),
        /* Random seconds */
        rand( 0, 59 )
    );

    $post_date = $date->format( 'Y-m-d' );

    wp_update_post( array(
        'ID'            => $post->ID,
        'post_date'     => "$post_date $time",
        'post_date_gmt' => null,
    ));

    // Move date 1 day back
    $date->modify( '-1 day' );
}

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