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Why You Should NOT Remove Dates from Your WordPress Blog Posts

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When I started WPBeginner back in 2009, I made a decision to not include dates on any of my blog posts. I did that because I thought I was clever than the rest. My theory was that WPBeginner is NOT a blog. It is a resource like the WordPress codex or Wikipedia neither of which have dates on their articles. Besides my thought was that removing the dates from blog posts would trick the users into thinking that my content is evergreen. Boy was I dead wrong. In the recent months, I’m noticing a trend that more and more internet marketers and self-proclaimed “SEO experts” are advising their users to remove dates from their WordPress blog posts. In this article, I will provide in-depth details on why I chose not to include dates at first and what changed my mind later. I will also cover if/what are the SEO impacts of having dates on your blog posts (post-penguin and panda). Lastly, my goal is that after reading this entire posts you would understand that your problem is not with dates, rather it is with published date. I have found a solution that would please you, your users, and search engines.

Reasons Behind Removing or Not Including Dates

When I first started WPBeginner in 2009, I always saw it as a resource site similar to the WordPress Codex or Wikipedia. If you have used either of the two, then you know that they do not have time-stamp or dates on their entries. You are probably wondering what could be the possible advantage of that? Well, as users we have a built-in prejudice towards outdated content. The moment we see a date, we are programmed to classify it in one of the two categories: outdated OR relevant. In theory just because the content is old doesn’t mean it is not relevant, but users make that assumption. As a blogger that thought was disturbing for me because I wanted everyone to read my content. So what did I do? I decided not to include dates on my blog posts. My thought was that people read Wikipedia even when it has relevant information which may or may not be up to date. Since the user never know the original published date, they give it a benefit of doubt.

Wrong Way

In the past few months, I have seen numerous internet marketers and SEO’s giving out their verdict against having dates on blog posts. Each have their own reasons, but all follow along the same buzz-word evergreen content. When popular blogs like CopyBlogger decide to remove dates, it sets an example for others to follow.

I have gone down this road already, and I can tell you why it is a wrong path.

Why I Would Never Remove Dates Again

I don’t make the same mistake twice. Not having dates at first was a mistake, and I don’t think I would be repeating that mistake. My hope is that after reading this, you would do the same. When starting WPBeginner, my main priority was to help users with my WordPress tutorials. Like other bloggers, I wanted to think that my content was evergreen. But in reality it is NOT. Even though I go back and update articles, it is just not possible to keep everything up to date all the time.

In the beginning, I had no issues or complaints regarding the date. However, 6 months down the road I started receiving emails from users complaining about an older article. At first, I would simply go and update the article right away. However as the site grew, updating all articles seemed to become more and more unlikely. It came to a point where I would receive several emails, tweets, or facebook messages regarding the dates on a regular basis. It took me a year and half to give up on my stubbornness and add the dates in the post.


In hindsight, I realized how big of a disservice I was doing to my users and the larger WordPress community by not having dates on the site. I wanted to help WordPress beginners, but sometimes I ended up misguiding them or causing more confusion because they didn’t know that they were looking at an older screenshot or tutorial.

Overtime, I have also learnt that very few posts are evergreen. You always learn something new and your methods change. It hits you when someone quotes your own words at a session where you are speaking and contradicting an older post. Guess what, if that post doesn’t have a date on it, then you can’t say well that article is old.

Bottomline is if you truly value your readers, then you would not remove dates. Blogs by the very definition are meant to be outdated. Whether you have dates or not, you still show your posts in a reverse chronological order. If you truly believe that your content is evergreen, then why don’t you change that order and display posts in a random order (yup now that’s a challenge).

Wait, how could I be satisfied by knowing that my blog posts are outdated? Doesn’t google penalize outdated content? Am I missing out on readers because of user prejudice towards older posts? Well I’m satisfied because I have found an alternative way to display dates that keep me and my readers happy. I suppose it keeps the search engines happy too.

New Dates Method, Readers, and Search Engines

I realized that my problem was not with dates. It was with “published date” feature because it didn’t accurately reflect the amount of work I put into the site. Published date feature is relevant for books because book authors don’t go an update the original book. They come out with version 2 instead. As a blogger, I personally go back to update one or two posts every day on WPBeginner yet that post still shows published on older date. Well luckily, WordPress also has the ability to show “last updated date” which in my opinion was the solution I needed all along.

Working Time

In the post mete data of WPBeginner, we have decided to replace published date with the last updated date. The code looks like this:

Last updated on <time datetime="<?php the_modified_time('Y-m-d'); ?>"><?php the_modified_time('F jS, Y'); ?></time>

The modified time function in WordPress checks for the last time you went an updated the post. If the last time you updated the post was the time you published it, then it shows the date you published it on. However, if you went back to update that post six months later, then it will show the last updated date.

I believe that in today’s world, last updated date is more valuable to readers than the actual published date. The published date is irrelevant when you have gone ahead and rewritten the whole article.

Now as for search engines, if you think that removing dates from your design would trick them, then you are very naive. Your WordPress sitemap contains the last modified date of each article, and chances are that you probably have submitted your sitemap into Google Webmaster Tools. I personally write for my users, and I value their thoughts a lot more than some search engine. However, the code above follows proper schema markup that tells search engines the last updated time of the post. Yes that means that Google will show the last updated date next to your entry rather than the original published date.

Lastly, the modified time feature satisfies me as a blogger. I hold myself to a pretty high standard, and I know that my users don’t let me slip either (Thank you everyone for being hard on me). Even though all blogs are meant to be outdated, WPBeginner audience do not allow for that. We get regular reports on outdated articles, and we do our best to update them as soon as we can. If you see an outdated article, then please let us know by tweeting at us @wpbeginner or by using the contact form.

Yup this solution keeps everyone happy.

Everyone is Happy

Today, I still see WPBeginner as more than a blog. I see it as the best WordPress resource site, and by adding date I think I have made it even better. Having time relevance doesn’t make us a bad resource rather it makes us a more helpful resource site. My hope is that with my opinion, I have convinced you to not remove dates from your WordPress blog posts. I am always open to feedback and criticism. Please share your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

183 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
    Start sharing your thoughts below to stand a chance to win!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You should be able to use the same code if you are comfortable with editing your theme’s files.


      • Leo says

        I am, thank you. One other thing, I recently read John Mueller from Google said if you have made major updates to a piece of content changing the publish date is ok to do. I assume your code would reflect that change of date?

        Thanks again, and I just want to say your website has helped me so much over the years.

        Keep up the great work, a lot of people would be lost without your info, myself included.

        • WPBeginner Support says

          Yes, the code would change the date to the date you published a modification on the page.

  2. Ross Canning says

    My website is moving more towards evergreen content that answers specific questions, which for the most part should be relevant for many years to come. So rather than adding the dates now, I still feel it is better to not have nay, as the info will be good for a long time to come. Also there is a lot of pre-existing news info, content which fans know is old. So I think that leaving as is with no dates is the best way to go, for me that is, cheers.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      We would still recommend not removing dates for new users/fans to know what content is old or new.


    • Desy says

      I tell you what dude. If I see a blog post without a posting/publishing date, i close it instantly and go to the next guys blog. Simple as that.

      For most of the content I am looking for, it may get oudated as soon as after 2 months. Having to waste my time on something that may be outdated, is not an option.

  3. Suraj Barai says

    Awesome! I was going to remove the date from comments. But after reading this article. I can understand that we should not remove date..


  4. Blair Witkowski says

    How about author? I use a css code to hide the author in my theme and on client websites because they don’t want a name appearing at the top of the page. For example, my client who is a realtor doesn’t want my name showing on their blog that I am the author. Does this hurt SEO?

  5. James Early says

    I understand why dates are important to your readers because you have new info coming out. My blog is about the Bible and I share insights and stories that are more evergreen than what you’re doing. Is there a reason to have the date stamp on my plugs with my kind of content. What would the advantage be? Less than 5% of my posts are related to events or what’s going on in the world. The focus is on a message about a particular Bible story.

    Thanks so much

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It could be helpful if you mention recent events in your messages but if you feel all of your content would be evergreen then it would be personal preference for the date.


  6. Robert says

    Hi, manual removing as well as wp meta and date remover and other plugins don’t work with urls containing date; dates still are in search result. What to do? I don’t want to change permalinks.

    • Tim D. Hodges says

      Write down a list of the old dates, Change the permalink, and then get a plug in that redirects the old URLs to the new URLs. Problem solved.

  7. Michelle says

    Hi Syed,
    Do you have a plug in for “last updated?” The last time I tried to code something myself I got the white screen of death :)

  8. Alexio says

    With your code the “Last updated on” will show up even on new posts.
    I suggest to add this code so it only appears on updated posts:

    <time datetime="”>

  9. Yin Teing says

    Thanks so much for this post! This is so true even in 2017.
    Your posts have given me the encouragement not to follow what most blogs are doing today, which is removing dates from their blog posts and the permalinks, then doing 301 redirects.

    I’ve maintained a couple of older blogs in which the date is part of the url permalinks. After reading your blog posts, I’ve decided to maintain the permalink structure for my older blogs.

    As for the newer blogs that I am setting up, I change the permalink structure not to display the dates, but I’ve included the date in the article.

    Like what you mentioned “Bottomline is if you truly value your readers, then you would not remove dates.”….I totally agree with you.

    I wish to thank you for all the wonderful tutorials that you have updated on this site.

  10. Mohd Shabaz says

    I Have A Software Download Website And I Want To Add A Option When I Update The Post With The New Version Of Software The Post Will Be Published On The Same Date I Update It

  11. Mariilyn Lesniak says

    I write recipes and want to bring them to my homepage as well as to rss feed. Is there a way to do this without changing the date as a scheduled post and let it republish at a specified future time?

  12. Stephanie says

    Thanks for this post, very interesting perspective, I appreciate it! I actually found your post because my theme is putting the DATE in the URL! do you have any advice on how I could fix this so it’s just the blog title?

    • Ahmed says

      Edit your permalinks. go to Settings > Permalinks. Choose “post name” instead of “date and name”. Save settings

  13. Catherine says

    Thank you I have installed this code and it shows my post has been updated on today’s date……but my other posts STILL show no dates…..where do I do to turn the date published back on?

  14. Angelo B Hall says

    Ugh …..
    Faith have it so i stumble upon your post about the same thing am looking to resolve .The date and time from my blog . I agree with you about making your own decision on keeping it or not most bloggers have looked over the fact of posts being old but in fact seeing the time stamp is like a memory lane which you wish to remember or like a birth date or a year in which you would love to relive . Sometimes we forget that pleasing everyone is not the best decision … We also often forget the reason we blog .. its not for time and date but for relevant content to help our viewers out or to give them some incite on what they never really thought about . You made my decision clear on keeping it .. & plus lol trying to remove it is harder than , I expected …..
    Thanks for the good read

  15. EMB says

    Perhaps all bloggers have been thinking about this problem.
    Every person has the right to choose a suitable model for yourself.
    I appreciate your article. It’s a proper thought.

  16. Anthony Attard says

    One thing to note is that for sites that use WordPress as an ecommerce site or any site that is not a blog, removing the date is very useful.

  17. Tremi says

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. I also had this thought before. Later I add the data to post just for the sake of adding. But now I realise why dates are important in the blog post.

  18. Sameer Panda says

    Very helpful. can I just replace the above mentioned code with my original code or what? Please guide me.

  19. Bang Amri says

    I just thinking to remove date from my articles , cause I think outdated articles is no good for my SEO . also not good looking from visitor viewer when they read articles from date 2005.

    nice share bro.

  20. Brian Reich says

    Personally I think dates in the URL make them harder to share, look sloppy, and make them uneccessarily longer, which could have an SEO effect. So while I’ve used them on my blog since before I knew better, I haven’t used them in a whole and won’t use them going forward.

    I agree with you though, the date that the post was last modified is critical. I like what Yoast and others have been doing: actually using their old, outdated content as a resource by updating it and reposting it. It gives readers who might have missed the old content a second chance at reading it, and provides readers that might stumble upon the old content an updated perspective on the article’s topic. It’s very much a win/win approach that I plan on adopting myself!

  21. Raymond Selda says

    Thanks so much for putting my mind at peace. haha. I’ve already applied this tutorial on my sites.

  22. Prabhudatta Sahoo says

    Hi There, I need a small help. Right now I am showing last modified date in my blog but even after that while in SERP it still shows my published date. Is there any reason for that? Or how do I change that to show last modified date in SERP as well?

  23. Kelvin says

    I’m thinking of displaying date on my Blog BUT hiding date from Search engines.

    How do I go about this?

    • Mark says

      try this if you’re trying to remove the dates from search engines, also worth clearing the cache.

      add_filter( ‘wpseo_show_date_in_snippet_preview’, false); //Returning false on this will prevent the date from showing up in the snippet preview.

      • Mark says

        ps: add it within the functions.php file of your theme and may be wait till the bots crawl back again or re-submit the sitemap ..hope it helps

        add_filter( ‘wpseo_show_date_in_snippet_preview’, false); //Returning false on this will prevent the date from showing up in the snippet preview.

  24. Nate says

    I was thinking of removing dates but only wanted to do so for particular posts that were evergreen. However using a “last updated on” date stamp seems like the perfect solution! Thanks for sharing this great idea.

  25. Gabriel Livan says

    Thanks for this post guys. I agree that “last updated on” is so much better better than “published on”. I had a feeling about it and you confirmed that. Keep up the good work on WP Beginner!

  26. John says

    old post I know (the date was on it :) )

    … I am starting a brand new blog and want to write articles.. back-fill.. posts that should be dated from 2012.. its blog with a story of events. The site is not live so no xml sitemap has been submitted. Eventually the site will have many posts dated from 2012 until 2015.. then I will go live.

    Will Google punish me for such behavior?

  27. James Artre says

    Out of curiosity, I went and checked over at Copyblogger… and they DO show the dates in their posts.

    It could be that they have updated their setting since your last update of this post. ;-)

  28. Syed Balkhi says

    If you’re doing a major rewrite, then sure you can do that. However if it’s minor edits, then it might become annoying for subscribers to keep seeing the old article in their RSS feed or worst in their emails (if you use RSS to email function).

  29. kristl says

    Whenever I update an article, I actually change the publish date (to the date I updated it), so it moves to the front on my blog, and my subscribers see the new one. Do you see any problem with that?

  30. Brett says

    If I do a full re-write to improve an old article, and paste the new article over the old one to retain the URL, should the post be marked “no follow” for a period of time to allow search engines to de-index it before allowing them to again follow the post and hopefully rank it higher, or does it not matter that I overwrite the old article and leave it immediately open to search engines?

  31. Allyson Williams says

    Fabulous info. I update some blog posts annually and have been searching for a way to do this. I am using the Thesis theme. Can you walk me through how to do this for my blog?

  32. Richard says

    I am TOTALLY baffled by how to go into and alter any sort of code. I do mean TOTALLY baffled.

    I like the idea of “last updated” solution–but I haven’t the foggiest notion of how I could alter the basic
    stuff I get with my free blog site.

    My goal is to write a book-form blog about my recent visit to Myanmar aka Burma. I want the posts to be chronological and I am using a static front page and still trying to figure out how to make this all play nicely together.

    Please tell me exactly how I would click through my Site Admin or Dashboard or whatever to modify the postings attached to the static front page to show “last updated.”

    With gratitude.


  33. George Almeida says

    Nice post! I tend to agree with having the date on your posts. I think it helps your readers for sure. One thing I’ve noticed with my blog is that even though I post the published data on all my blog posts, the date never shows up on the Search results. I’m not complaining really, it’s kind of the best of both worlds if you think about it. Anyone who sees one of my posts in their search, only sees the title and the Author but no date. If they click on the link, they will see the post AND the published date. This way, folks may not skip the post simply because it was posted 1 year ago and they do not get lost. It’s a win win. I wish I could tell you how I have this working but I don’t really know. I’m using a hosted WordPress blog. Thanks again for the article!

  34. Jennifer Roberts says

    Thanks. As a reader I hate it when bloggers remove dates from time-sensitive posts. As a blogger, though, I’ve had some good posts get lost in search results because they weren’t new, even though I had updated them. This sounds like a great solution. I hope it works for me.

  35. João Marcos says

    How add DATE to dinamic descripition using this code… ?

    add_action( ‘wp_head’, ‘gen_meta_desc’ );
    function gen_meta_desc()
    global $post;
    if ( ! is_home() )
    $meta = strip_tags( $post->post_content );
    $meta = str_replace( array( “\\n”, “\\r”, “\\t” ), ‘ ‘, $meta);
    $meta = substr( $meta, 0, 125 );
    echo “”;

  36. Rich Page says

    Awesome! Finally the solution I was also looking for – I was always wondering whether to remove dates or not for my classic old content – this is the perfect solution! Thanks!

  37. Katiero Porto says

    It’s really simple! It depends on your niche, style and focus. If your blog is about something that is always changing, you will have to post almost everyday, update the posts sometimes and you can’t remove post dates.

    Only those who have some sort of atemporal content, let’s say who are writing things about history or religion, those people can hide dates if they want to because their content is naturally evergreen. It will help the reader today and ten years from now.

    So my suggestion is if you want to post less and think about long term you should choose an atemporal topic to blog, not something that changes everyday like internet marketing or wordpress.

    • Patty Ayers says

      But nobody wants outdated WordPress information, so WordPress info really *must* be either freshly written *or* evergreen, if it’s to have any value. And it can be.

    • Lora Y says

      I totally agree. My blog posts are not in any way time-sensitive, but more philosophical in nature. I don’t see the point in adding dates to these posts. My reason for removing them is so that readers wouldn’t realize how inconsistent I am at posting. Terrible. I know.

  38. bernice says

    This post is great, thanks for making it. However, I am a real newbie. Where do I put this code?
    Thanks again.

  39. Hayslan says

    Wow! I was just installing my new blog and thinking in removing the posts dates.

    Coincidentally I came here on the blog and at some point I saw the article about “How to Install and Setup W3 Total Cache for Beginners” somewhere and thought, “I’ve read this article before .. is it made ​​another?”. I went to check and saw it was the same article with a difference: updated!

    Not enough the article in question, just falling with a parachute here in this article .. let’s face it, awesome and helpful!

    You simply rock!

  40. Neeraj Pathania says

    I wanna ask you about something. I have a wordpress blog and what i do is update each post monthly. So here’s my doubt:” Is there any limit on the number of times any single post can be updated.” I know that the chances of that might be slim to none. But i want to be sure.

    Please reply ASAP!

  41. Jim says

    Thank you for doing this post, I was actually thinking of getting rid of the dates on my site, and now I know why not to. I see how valuable they truly are, thank you again!!

  42. Ian Thomson says

    Great post and I agree 100%. I am very pleased you are thinking about the reader. If I can’t find a date I ignore the post and move on as it has limited value without one. I have just left comments with another blogger who proclaims himself a “leading social media marketing and online marketing expert”. He evangelises not using dates and does not accept that all information ages. Oh well.

  43. Naeem says

    What about the dates in Blogger Urls, like on my blog at
    I am thinking of removing the date stamps in URL because they might affect SEO.

    What are your views on it?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      We don’t use dates in WPBeginner’s URL structure. However, dates in URL can positively affect sites like newspaper sites, journals, other sites where dates are important to the relevancy and context of the content.


  44. Kenneth von Rauch says

    Thanks for the post, Syed. What you say makes perfect sense. I just want to add that it still depends on the niche. For example, you can use WordPress as a Welcome site for a brick and mortar company. Such companies still exist and they just want their contact details to be ‘available on the Web”. :) That said, I totally agree that in the case of, it’s beneficial to display post dates.

    As for the code you offer, it works just fine, but you can just install the WP Last Modified plugin that does exactly the same. The advantage is that you won’t have to mess around with any code. The only issue with the plugin is that it does not remove the ‘Posted on’ text. I personally believe the users should have the option to decide whether to keep that text or not.

  45. Dpot says

    I always prefer the use of date.

    Personally it allows me to see in which date I published what!

    Thank you :)

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