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How to Display Relative Dates in WordPress

Do you want to display relative dates on your WordPress site? Relative dates are used on many popular social media websites like Twitter and Facebook. Instead of showing the date timestamps, these websites show how long ago something was posted. In this article, we will show you how to display relative dates in WordPress.

How to display relative dates in WordPress

Why and When to Use Relative Dates in WordPress?

As you may have noticed that a lot of social networking websites use relative time to describe how long ago an entry was posted.

For example, two hours ago, yesterday, just now, etc.

Relative date shown on Facebook

Relative dates give users a sense of how much time has passed since something was posted. This is why a lot of WordPress blogs and news sites are adding time ago style relative dates.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how to add relative dates to your WordPress site.

Adding Relative Dates in WordPress Using a Plugin

First, thing you need to do is install and activate the Meks Time Ago plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » General page and scroll down to ‘Meks Time Ago Options’ section.

Meks Time Ago settings

You can select where and when you want to use relative time. You can choose to show it for date, time. or both. You can also limit it to posts not older than a specific time.

If you run a multilingual site or want to change the text ‘ago’, then you can do that here as well.

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

That’s all, you can now visit your website to see it in action on your posts and comments.

Relative date shown with a WordPress post

Adding Relative Dates in WordPress Manually

This method requires you to install a plugin, but you will also have to add code manually to your WordPress theme.

If this is your first time adding code to your WordPress site, then you may want to see our guide on pasting snippets from web into WordPress.

You may also need to see how to use FTP to edit and upload files to WordPress.

Ready? Let’s get started.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP RelativeDate plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will try to replace the default WordPress dates in your theme with relative date and time.

However, since there are so many WordPress themes using different methods to display date and time, it may not be able to work with your theme.

Visit your website to see if it was able to successfully change date and time to relative dates.

If it does not work for your theme, then you may need to edit your WordPress theme files where you want to show relative date and time.

For example, if you want to show relative date on a single post page, then you will need to edit single.php or content-single.php files. For comments, you may need to edit comments.php file.

Basically, you will be looking for any of these lines in your theme’s template files:

<?php the_date(); ?>
<?php get_the_time(); ?>
<?php get_the_date(); ?>

You will need to replace them with the following line:

<?php relative_post_the_date(); ?>

You may need to edit multiple files in your WordPress theme depending on where you want to display relative dates on your site.

That’s all, you can now visit your website to see relative dates in action.

We hope this article helped you learn how to display relative dates in WordPress. You may also want to see our list of 25 most useful WordPress widgets for your site.

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3 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. I want to know how to remove relative dates. My wordpress theme shows the relative date by default. But I am not able to change that.

    • You could replace the relative_post_the_date with the PHP in this article depending on how you want it to display but if you reach out to your theme’s support they may have a built-in method to disable this style of date.


  2. Hi, I’m getting wrong time stamp using Meks Time Ago plugin in my homescreen. For a 9 hour ago post, its showing 2 weeks ago. Please help me solve it.
    Thank you.

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