WordPress is most popular Content Management System. It is being used for many purposes. One may use it for blogging, other may use it for news site or for any other purpose.
A new trend is being seen now-days that some WordPress sites show “Last Updated On” instead of “Published Date” on pages or posts. Whenever you make a new post on your blog, it shows the published date for the post by default. If you feel to update your post and want to show it again to your audience so that they know you have updated it.
Any number of times you update your post, no one notices that you have updated the particular post. This hurts more if you are running a news blog and want Google to know about updates you made to your posts.
Here, in this post, I’m going to cover all aspects related to updating posts.
Benefits of Showing “Last Updated On” on posts:-
There are many benefits behind showing “Last Updated On” instead of “Published Date” on your posts.
1. Get readers attention towards updates posts
If you have loyal number of readers on your blog and they love what you write. This may help you increase your traffic. Basically, readers prefers to read articles which are updated rather than older one. Think yourself, if you are asked to choose between updated one and older one, then will one will you prefer.
2. Showing updated date increases CTR in Search Results
When any post is listed on Google Search Results, it shows articles date. Although you can hide dates from Google Search Results which we will discuss later in the article. Users will click on the link which shows much recent date believing that it might have latest info.
3. Google Search Ranking boost
Google likes latest updates more than old posts. As Google understand latest updates carry latest information than the old one which still hold outdated info. Hence, getting more click will boost your ranking.
Hide Dates from Google Search Results:-
I don’t see any reason why one wants to hide date from Google Results. But if your blog has evergreen contents and you thinks that articles don’t rely on dates. Keeping this in mind you may want to hide dates from Google. But who knows that you have evergreen contents other than you?
Moreover, hiding date may decrease the CTR of your blog as user may not click on your link when he sees recent dates on other articles. Next, if you are running news site, you should display dates.
Well, discussing all aspects above suggests why not to hide dates from Google. Even then if you want to hide date for any obvious reason then install the plugin from your WordPress dashboard.
You can install Date Exclusion SEO from your WordPress dashboard. This plugin helps to remove dates from Google search Results. Along with this feature, it provides some more features to choose from.
Suppose you want to hide dates from the posts which are older than 60 days then you can hide date. When I checked it, it’s showing that it outdated and has not been updated for more than 2+ years. But still works as it has nothing to do with WordPress versions.
Choosing to hide dates from posts which are more than X days ensures that your blog posts which are not older than 60 days will display date while other will not. This is a god practice.
Once, you do this, either you can wait for some time to get l isted your blog post in Google results to check whether changes taken effects or not. Here we got one Google tool to see quicker effects in no time. You can visit Google rich snippet testing tool to test your changes.
Display “Last Updated On” on WordPress Themes:-
You can adopt three methods to display “Last Updated On” on WordPress themes.
1. Installing plugin
You can install WP LAST MODIFIED WORDPRESS PLUGIN to make things happen. Installed plugin will give you option to display last modified date on your posts. Although, this method is the simplest way to display modified dates on your blog. You don’t need to mess with any further settings or coding. You can choose to display modified date above or below the content. You also have the option what text you want to show before dates. You got the option show it on pages or pages separately.
2. Display Last Modified Date manually
Above feature may not be working on your blog. So, this is alternative method to solve the issue. One thing which is to be kept in mind is that messing with coding is not everyone’s play.
If you have some experience in coding or with WordPress advanced settings then only you should do this. Otherwise, this method is not recommended for newbies. More, you should backup your blog before performing this action. So, let’s begin:-
In order to display modified date in place of published date, you need to edit some of your theme files. Go to Appearance> Editor on WordPress dashboard. From the right sidebar on your editor page, you need to edit three files:-
In each of the files, you need to locate the function
<?php the_date(); ?>
<?php get_the_date(); >.
Then replace it with these lines:-
<?php the_modified_date('l, F j, Y', '<div class="the-modified-date">', '</div>'); >
Based on the format of date you choose, same type of date will be displayed.
Display “Last Updated On” on Genesis Framework themes:-
Well, this is what for which I really wanted to write the post. Genesis Framework is getting viral day by day and more number of bloggers are installing it on their blogs as it is specially designed for Blogging purposes. All you need to install plugin is Genesis Simple Hooks from WordPress dashboard. Click on Genesis> Simple Edits.
Under “entry meta-content (above content)” option, whatever shortcode or info you fill in here, same will be displayed after title heading.
Replace “Published on” and with “Last Updated On:” and . Click on save and reload your webpage. Changes will take effects immediately.
Clear cache if you are using cache plugin like WP Super Cache or WP Total Cache.
Available shortcodes which you can use are:-
[post_date] - Date the entry was published
[post_modified_date] - Date the entry was last modified
[post_time] - Time the entry was published
[post_modified_time] - Time the entry was last modified
[post_author] - Entry author display name
[post_author_link] - Entry author display name, linked to their website
[post_author_posts_link] - Entry author display name, linked to their archive
[post_comments] - Entry comments link
[post_tags] - List of entry tags
[post_categories] - List of entry categories
[post_edit] - Entry edit link (visible to admins)
Check Actual Publishing Date of Article if Blog is Showing only Updated Date:-
Switching to display updated dates makes it more complicated for users to see the actual publishing date of posts. If you want your readers to see both publishing dates and updated dates then you can use both shortcodes in entry meta-content in Genesis Framework theme.
Last Updated on [post_modified_date] by [post_author]. Published on [post_date]
Well, you can search for posts manually on any blog by typing specific dates in URL. Suppose you want to see what posts I made in the month of April 2015 then you can type the URL http://www.WebLogCentral.com/2015/04 and check the actual dates of publishing of any post. Search URL structure is example.com/year/month.
Showing last updated in place of published date helps you in many aspects of blogging. Your readers will only see updated date. Sometimes it annoy but that’s fine. So, what do you think about displaying form of dates on your blog? Let me know? If still you are confused with something, ask me in comments below.