How to display the current date in WordPress using wp_date

The WordPress wp_date function is a utility function that allows developers to format and display dates and times in a WordPress environment. This function can be useful for displaying publication dates, last modified dates, or any other date-related information on a WordPress website.

Developers can use the wp_date function to customize the format of the displayed date and time to match the design and style of the website. This can help create a consistent and professional look across the site and improve the overall user experience.

Parameters Accepted by wp_date Function

The wp_date function accepts the following parameters:

  • $format (string, required): PHP date format.
  • $timestamp (int, optional, default value: null): Unix timestamp. Defaults to current time if not specified.
  • $timezone (DateTimeZone, optional, default value: null): Timezone to output result in. Defaults to timezone from site settings if not specified.

Value Returned by wp_date Function

The wp_date function returns a string if the input is valid and can be translated based on the locale. If the input timestamp is invalid, the function returns false.


How to get the current date and time using wp_date function

$date_time = wp_date( 'Y-m-d H:i:s' );
echo "The current date and time is: " . $date_time;

This code snippet uses the wp_date function to retrieve the current date and time in the format specified (‘Y-m-d H:i:s’). It then echoes the result in a sentence.

How to convert a date to a different format using wp_date function

$date = '2022-12-31';
$new_date_format = wp_date( 'F j, Y', strtotime( $date ) );
echo "The new date format is: " . $new_date_format;

This code snippet demonstrates how to use the wp_date function to convert a date from one format to another. It first uses the strtotime function to convert the original date to a timestamp, then uses wp_date to format it in the desired format (‘F j, Y’).

How to check if a date is in the past using wp_date function

$date = '2022-01-01';
$current_date = wp_date( 'Y-m-d' );
if ( strtotime( $date ) < strtotime( $current_date ) ) {
 echo "The date is in the past.";
} else {
 echo "The date is in the future.";

This code snippet utilizes the wp_date function to compare a given date with the current date. It first converts both dates to timestamps using the strtotime function, then uses an if statement to determine if the date is in the past or the future.


In conclusion, the wp_date function is an essential tool for manipulating and formatting dates in WordPress. With its wide range of parameters and options, it provides developers with the flexibility to display dates in a variety of formats. Whether you need to display the publication date of a post or customize the date format for a specific section of your website, the wp_date function has you covered. By understanding how to use this function effectively, developers can enhance the user experience and improve the overall functionality of their WordPress websites.