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It’s About Time

hand and globeThe Internet doesn’t sleep so while you may blogging under the North Star your readers may be blogging under the Southern Cross, and reaching your blog audience is all about timely communication.

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A blog is a website that showcases regularly published articles by displaying them in reverse chronological order on the front page. If your blog posts are not displaying in reverse chronological order the issue is likely to be a timezone (date) issue or a sticky posts issue.

timezone

Setting Your Timezone

The default timezone for WordPress blogs is Universal Coordinated Universal Time, UTC. You can reset your blog’s timezone here > Settings > General.  Select the closest city to you in the same timezone in the drop-down menu you see there and then click “save changes”.

Setting Your date and Time Format

date time formatNote both the Date format and Time Format on the General Settings page provides different format  selections, that allow you to make the choices you feel best fits the kind of blog you maintain.

On all free hosted WordPress.com blogs the date of publication is embedded in each post URL and there is no ability to change permanent structure on your blog. However, whether or not the date and time are additionally display next to post titles or in metadata varies from theme to theme.

Eliminating Date and/or Time Display

Posts, which are always associated with a date, are what make your blog a blog. They’re servings of content that are listed in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest) on your blog’s front page.

If you choose to have a page based website then you may wish to hide any datestamps and timestamps that your theme is designed to display. If that’s the case then you have not one but three choices.

1.   Switch to using a theme that is not designed to display a datestamp and/or timestamp.

2.   Continue to use the theme designed to display a datestamp and/or timestamp but purchase an annually renewable custom design upgrade and use CSS editing to hide the datestamp and/or timestamp.

3.   Continue to use the theme but replace the datestamp and/or timestamp with a decorative element. Note that although this post refers to eliminating the time stamp display but you can use it to eliminate date stamp display too.

replace datestampSpecial note: If your theme does not provide a timestamp and you do want one to display you may be able to compel one to appear.

Scheduled Post Publication

WordPress blogs also have a scheduled posts feature that provides you with the ability to create posts in advance and have them automatically publish on future dates. The same feature can also be used to backdate posts which can be useful if you are publishing a historical blog.Watch the “Publishing your post at a later date” video from WordPress.tv.

Time setting for a scheduled post is a 24 hour clock setting so keep that in mind when you enter your selections. Note also that scheduled post publication is triggered by the first visitor clicking into your blog after the date and time your post was scheduled for. The notation on the post  will still state it was posted on the time and date that you specify, but it will not actually publish until a visitor to your blog triggers publication.

14 thoughts on “It’s About Time

    1. Really? I’m surprised you were aware of the two workarounds Panos (justpi) discovered for replacing datestamps and timestamps with decorative characters. Those bloggers who have styled their blogs as websites don’t want the datestamps and timestamps appearing and the workarounds don’t require a $30.00 per year custom design upgrade to hide.

  1. HaHa! I blog under The Southern Cross. I am going to bookmark this article and read it more thoroughly so that I can work out what works best for me. I haven’t quite got my mind around times yet so this will be great. Positive and healing vibes sent your way. :)

  2. Titi, I am often surprised to receive a comment or a like on a fresh post from someone in a time zone where I think they should be tucked in and sound asleep! As for posting strategically with the time zone in mind, that is never going to happen for me because I haven’t been able to establish a blogging routine.

    1. Hi Patti,
      It’s always such a cool thing to wake up and find others from the other side of the world have commented while I have slept.

      My posting is erratic on this blog right now and not happening on my personal blog as I’m back and forth for medical testing, lab work and ultrasounds. I’ll be headed for hospital soon for surgery and when I return I’ll be able to restore some regularity. Right now that’s not possible for me and I’m looking forward to the time when it is again.

  3. Back to the basics. Excellent. Easy to overlook these details.
    I don’t often think or work far enough ahead to schedule posts for future publication — except for holiday posts that I want to appear bright and early, when I’m likely to still be asleep. But I do love being able to change the time of a post so that if I write a second, less important post in a day, I can have it appear before the important one, and thus not knock the important one out of the “Featured Post” position on my front page. (Not sure if I explained that clearly; a peek at my blog might clarify.)

    1. Back to basics indeed. There are always new bloggers who have forgotten to set their timezone and who find their post order is messed up. There are always others who mark a slough of posts or even every post as a sticky post – no kidding!

      But I do love being able to change the time of a post so that if I write a second, less important post in a day, I can have it appear before the important one, and thus not knock the important one out of the “Featured Post” position on my front page.

      I know exactly what you mean as you are using Them Morning After.

  4. I haven’t been courageous enough to set the time to schedule a post, but I do like the draft feature. Having it ready to go early Saturday mornings has been a blessing when I’m trying to meet up with someone.

    Great tips, timethief. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Judy,
      This is a great feature. I’ve never chosen to schedule posts in this blog. However, years ago when I had a different blog I did use them. One day I may get caught up and create and schedule a raft of draft posts. Right now that’s not on my radar.

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