PHP Date and Time

The date function is used to format the date and time.

When setting the date and time, you first need to set the time zone.

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date_default_timezone_set(‘UTC’);

Syntax

date(string format, int timestamp);

The first argument is required, the second is optional. If you do not specify the timestamp, the default value is the current time.

Date & Time

The following examples print out the date and time in various ways, as there are many ways to format date and time.

Example  1

The following example outputs the date and time.

echo date(“d-F-Y – h:i:s”);

Output

09-June-2013 – 17:53:30

Example 2

The following example prints out the date, day, month and year, followed by the time in 12 hour format.

echo date("l-d-F-Y – h:i:s");

Output

Sunday-09-June-2013 – 05:58:15

Date

Now we will return only the date.

Example 1

echo date("D d M Y");

Output

Sun 09 Jun 2013

Example 2

In this example we will add one day to the current day.

echo date("D d M Y" , strtotime('+1 day'));

This adds one day to the current day. You can do the same for year  and month; simply change 'day' to 'year' or 'month'.

Time

Now we will return only the time.

Example 1

echo date("h:i:s A");

The A at the end outputs ante meridiem and post meridiem (AM/PM); a capital 'A' will force it to be upper case while a lower case 'a' will force it to appear lower case.

Output

06:27:49 PM

Example 2

This time we will add an hour to the current time.

echo date("h:i:s", strtotime("+1 hour"));

Output

06:33:06

You can also add minutes and seconds by simply changing 'hour' to 'minute' or 'second'.

This table shows the various ways you can format the date and time:

Format Letter Description
d Day of the month as an integer
m Month as an integer
y Year but only the last 2 digits
D First 3 characters of the day, e.g. Sat
M First 3 characters of the month, e.g Jul
Y The year in full
l The day in full, e.g. Saturday
h Hours
i Minutes
s Seconds
H Time in 24 hour clock

For a full list, see the PHP manual:

http://ca.php.net/manual/en/function.date.php

The time zone supports other values other than UTC; please see this manual:

http://ca.php.net/manual/en/timezones.php

Summary

This tutorial covered the basics of the date function in PHP. It is relatively simple to learn, and you can format the date and time in many ways.