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How to Quickly Change the Date and Time Format in WordPress

How to Quickly Change the Date and Time Format in WordPress

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Have you ever wanted to change your WordPress site’s date and time format?

There are various ways to express date and time. A date and time format that works for one might not necessarily work for the other. You may prefer writing the month and then the date, or vice versa. Perhaps you’re a fan of abbreviated months or prefer expressing the months as numbers.

The same goes for time. Some prefer to utilize 12-hour clocks, while others only use 24-hour time. However, understanding how to format the date and time comes in handy. It gives you the freedom to make a date more readable for users.

For example, “On Monday the 4th of Apr, 2024” is more readable than minimal date displays like “04.04.2024”. However, the latter does have its place. The same goes for formatting the current time on a website. Some sites may benefit from a 12hr display like “9:30 pm” while others (like military or medical sites) would rather have a 24hr display like “21:30”.

Whatever your preferred format is, you’ll be delighted to hear that it’s possible (and very easy) to change the date and time format from your WordPress dashboard.

1 Change the Date and Time Settings in WordPress

WordPress has built-in functions allowing users and developers to format dates and times. You can change the date and time format by navigating to Settings → General page from your WordPress dashboard.

Scroll down to find Timezone, Date Format & Time Format sections. You can then change the date and time format as per your preferences. Let’s look at each of the sections in detail.

change the date and time format in WordPress

1.1 Timezone

You can start by typing in the city’s name and then choosing from the results in the dropdown menu.


Alternatively, you can set the UTC time zone, as shown below.

UTC timezone

1.2 Date Format

You’ll notice the Date Format settings just below the Timezone settings. You can select the date format per your preference or even set a custom date.

date format setttings

To set a custom date, click the Custom radio button and enter the format you wish to set. For instance, we set a custom date as shown below.

set custom date

Check the preview to ensure you chose the correct format. If you use punctuation marks like commas or dashes, note that they’ll be used everywhere.

preview date

1.3 Time Format

Next, you can set the time format located just under the date format settings.

time format settings

Again, you can choose from one of the existing options or click on the Custom option to define your own. You can preview the selected format below.

custom time format

You can also set the starting day of the week by selecting the day from the drop-down menu, as shown below.

week starts on option

Once you’ve made changes, click on the Save Changes button. And that’s how you can quickly change the date and time format in your WordPress site.

2 WordPress Time and Date Formats

There is a string of characters known as the format string next to each option for Date Format and Time Format on the Settings’ General page.

format string for for date and time format

These format characters represent different elements of the date and time structure. Here is an illustration of what each character in the m/d/Y format string denotes:

  • – the numeric month with a leading zero.
  • – the numeric day of the month with a leading zero.
  • – the four-digit year.

Therefore, this string will output:


You can also create your own custom structure string using the following date and time format characters.

FThe month’s full nameJanuary – December
MThe month’s three-letter abbreviationJan – Dec
mThe numeric month with leading zeros01 – 12
nThe numeric month without leading zeros1 – 12
Day of the month
dThe numeric day of the month with leading zeros01 – 31
jThe numeric day of the month without leading zeros1 – 31
SThe English suffix for the numeric day of the monthst (in 1st), nd (in 2nd)
Day of the week
l (lower-case letter L)The day of the week’s full nameMonday – Sunday
DThe day of the week’s three-letter abbreviationMon – Sun
YThe four-digit year2024
yThe two-digit year22
aLowercase am or pmam, pm
AUppercase AM or PMAM, PM
gThe hour in a 12-hour format without leading zeros1 – 12
hThe hour in a 12-hour format with leading zeros01 – 12
GThe hour in a 24-hour format without leading zeros0 – 23 
HThe hour in a 24-hour format with leading zeros0 – 23
iMinutes with leading zeros00 – 59
sSeconds with leading zeros00 – 59
TThe timezone abbreviationPST, EDT
Full date and time
cISO 8601 format2022-10-29T18:56:24+00:00
rRFC 2822 formatMon, 04 April 2024 18:56:24+0200
UUnix Timestamp (seconds since the Unix epoch, January 1, 1970 00:00:00 GMT)1661842310

3 Examples of Time and Date Format Strings

Some examples of commonly used date and time format characters are as follows:

  • M d, Y – will output – Apr 04, 2024
  • d M, Y – will output – 04 Apr, 2024
  • F jS, Y – will output – April 4th, 2024
  • l, F jS, Y – will output – Monday, April 4th, 2024
  • H:i:s – will output – 21:24:12
  • F j, Y g: i a – will output – April 4, 2024 10:45 am

4 Conclusion

As you’ve seen, you can easily change the date and time formats based on your preference. It takes a few simple steps in your WordPress dashboard, and the best part is you can always change the date and time or even create custom formats. Not only this, but WordPress also allows you to change the date and time of your posts/pages.

The Date and Time format may vary in the different time zones, so ensure you have proper knowledge about these zones before you get your hands dirty in customizing date and time zones in WordPress.

What are you waiting for? Get started, change the date and time to make your site more attractive and elegant, or use custom date and time formats. If you like this post, let us know by Tweeting @rankmathseo.

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