Summary: Take control of WP-Cron. Prevents missing scheduled posts, race conditions in WP-Cron and other cron issues by allowing you to setup a system cron.
Some plugins are so vital that you have a hard time understanding why they’re not in core. WP-Cron Control is one of them. It deals with a process that is hardly ever seen by most users: WP Cron. WP Cron is the process that takes care of your scheduled posts, makes sure your WordPress core, plugin and theme update checks run twice daily, etc.
The workings of WP-Cron are intricate, but it relies on your site to get comments at relatively regular intervals to work. If you have a site that relies on WP-Cron to perform certain actions on regular intervals, yet doesn’t accept comments or doesn’t get enough of them, that can be quite annoying. WP-Cron Control solves all that by allowing you to schedule a “real” / system cron job yourself.
Usage of WP-Cron Control
It’s relatively easy, install and activate the plugin, then copy the line it shows in the interface (see screenshot below) into a cron job on your server. You’ll usually do the latter through cPanel, Plesk or whatever system you use, or at the prompt.
As you can see above, the interface is very simple with quite a bit of documentation in it. One minor things appears to me as weird though: it has two “primary” buttons, both the Save Changes button and the Reset to Defaults button are marked as “primary”, which makes them blue. If only the Save Changes one was blue and the other the “normal” white for a reset button, it’d be a bit better:
The code quality seems very high, which is to be expected as the author works for Automattic. It lacks proper inline documentation though, which would be nice, as WP Cron internals are not something touched very easily and this’d be a great learning resource.