Most of my plugins rely heavily on WP-Cron, and this nicely summarizes its behavior. “The WP-Cron functions are not actually cron functions. Instead of executing tasks precisely as scheduled, [WordPress] waits until the front end or admin is loaded, checks if any jobs are scheduled and then fires as needed.”

An oft-used trick is to regularly "poll" wp-cron.php by means of an _actual_ cron job, rather than wait for the next HTTP request to hit your server.

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WP-Crontrol, by the way, is the best plugin ever, enabling WordPress administrators to view, trigger, and modify whichever jobs are scheduled.

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@janboddez kinda happy with wp cli. I've ssh access to my vhost tho. May be a show stopper for others.

@bekopharm WP-CLI is awesome! (Try mass deleting posts from WP-Admin, for example. Your server _will_ choke. Not so with the CLI!) But it’s not a plugin. 😃 And I actually like WordPress’s back end. 😊

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