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the_date( string $d = '', string $before = '', string $after = '', bool $echo = true )

Display or Retrieve the date the current post was written (once per date)

Description

Will only output the date if the current post’s date is different from the previous one output.

i.e. Only one date listing will show per day worth of posts shown in the loop, even if the function is called several times for each post.

HTML output can be filtered with ‘the_date’. Date string output can be filtered with ‘get_the_date’.

Parameters

$d

(string) (Optional) PHP date format defaults to the date_format option if not specified.

Default value: ''

$before

(string) (Optional) Output before the date.

Default value: ''

$after

(string) (Optional) Output after the date.

Default value: ''

$echo

(bool) (Optional) default is display. Whether to echo the date or return it.

Default value: true

Return

(string|void) String if retrieving.

Source

File: wp-includes/general-template.php

function the_date( $d = '', $before = '', $after = '', $echo = true ) {
	global $currentday, $previousday;

	if ( is_new_day() ) {
		$the_date    = $before . get_the_date( $d ) . $after;
		$previousday = $currentday;

		/**
		 * Filters the date a post was published for display.
		 *
		 * @since 0.71
		 *
		 * @param string $the_date The formatted date string.
		 * @param string $d        PHP date format. Defaults to 'date_format' option
		 *                         if not specified.
		 * @param string $before   HTML output before the date.
		 * @param string $after    HTML output after the date.
		 */
		$the_date = apply_filters( 'the_date', $the_date, $d, $before, $after );

		if ( $echo ) {
			echo $the_date;
		} else {
			return $the_date;
		}
	}
}

Changelog

Version Description
0.71 Introduced.

© 2003–2019 WordPress Foundation
Licensed under the GNU GPLv2+ License.
https://developer.wordpress.org/reference/functions/the_date