When you are searching for information in Google or another search engine you probably notice the date under the articles in the search results.
These dates are often the publish dates for the articles that you see, and that date can have a subconscious effect on whether or not you choose to click that result.
Many times, especially when we are searching for things related to technology, we may not want to look at old information. So when you see a date that indicates the article is quite old, then you might skip over it, even if the article’s author has been consistently updating that article.
if you are worried about this on your own site then you might be interested in updating a post’s publish date.
You can change the date on a WordPress post by clicking the Posts tab, clicking Edit under the post, updating the content, then clicking the button next to Publish and entering the current date and time. You can then update the article.
Now the new date should show in the relevant locations on your site, and should update in Google’s search results once the page has been craweled.
Our tutorial continues below with more information on updating WordPress post publish dates.
How to Update the Publish Date in WordPress
- Go to your dashboard.
- Choose the Posts tab.
- Click Edit under the post.
- Make your post updates.
- Click the publish date and enter a new one.
- Click Update.
Our guide continues below with additional information on updating the publish date for a WordPress post, including pictures of these steps.
How to Change the Date on a Post in WordPress (Guide with Pictures)
The steps in this article were performed in the desktop version of the Google Chrome Web browser. I am performing these steps in the 5.9 version of self-hosted WordPress.
Step 1: Sign in to your WordPress dashboard.
Step 2: Select the Posts tab on the left side of the window.
Step 3: Find the post that you want to update, then hover over it and choose the Edit option.
Step 4: Make the changes that you wish to make to the post.
Step 5: Click the date next to the word Publish in the right column, then set the current time and date.
Note that if you don’t see the sidebar on the right side of the window then you need to click the Settings gear at the top-right of the window.
Step 6: Click the Update button at the top of the window to update the post with the new content and publish date.
Our tutorial continues below with additional discussion on updating WordPress publish dates.
More Information on Updating WordPress Publish Dates
If you don’t see the sidebar with the information like the publish date, categories, featured image, etc, then it’s probably hidden. You can show the sidebar by clicking the gear icon at the top-left corner of the window.
When you make a change to any post in WordPress it will automatically update the “Last Modified” field on your sitemap (assuming you are using a sitemap.) Since Google reads your sitemap it will see that the page has been updated.
I mainly like to update the publish date for my own organizational purposes. I try to update posts as much as I can, and it makes it easier to navigate through my posts when I can see that the publish date on a post is pretty recent.
Updating the publish date also pushes that updated article to the top of your blog roll, as well as your category and tag archives. Plus, if you use something that autoposts to social media accounts based off of your feeds then it can post the links to the updated content as well.
If you have updated the post and the publish date but it’s still showing the old content when you view your site then you probably need to clear your cache. A lot of WordPress plugins won’t automatically purge the cache after you update an article.
Make sure that you double-check the date before you publish. If you set a date or time that is in the future, then you will move the post into a “Draft” state and it won’t post until that scheduled time.
Matt has been working with WordPress and creating content using this powerful content management system for years. While he has written about many other tech topics, WordPress is one of his favorites.
You can read his full bio here.