Are you like myself, each week, you edit 1 to 2 older blog posts and didn’t always pay attention to the actual published date that is showing on the blog post? A few months ago, (11/12/2016) I handled this issue but when I switched to a new 3rd party Genesis Framework theme, my old method of doing this didn’t work out until now. When I land on a blog post after searching Google and notice an old published date, I get scared that the advice in that blog post may not be valid to the current times. That can be a problem for certain niche blogs. What if it was a few codes to add to your theme? Codes do need to be updated sometimes after WordPress makes an update.
The date is important to us bloggers, think about this for a second. Would you follow the advice from a blog post from 2006? Even if you edited 2 paragraphs in that blog post 1 year ago, the date is still showing 2006 and that date is a big turnoff for me not to bother reading.
Keep The Dates Current For Your Visitors
WPOutcast is a big supporter of updating old blog posts and is sharing a code to help you always have the Last Modified Date showing on blog posts. We will show the Genesis Framework way and a way to do this on MyThemeShop themes.
If you are not showing your blog post date in the search results which is made possible by using the Yoast SEO plugin, you are missing out on a good SEO advantage but most of all, it’s good for showing your visitors the latest date that the blog post was modified on.
- Recommended SEO Tool: Get 1 Month Free Trial – Local Search Rank Checker tool.
Updating old blog posts should be in your weekly planner for maintaining your blog. Even if I rewrite 5 sentences on a blog post, I still want the post date reflecting the last time it was worked on by myself. With that being said, in an earlier blog post, I showed you how to add the last modified date for themes from the StudioPress Sites marketplace. The below code is for any theme to use. WPOutcast has a new theme going and had to find another way to change the published date to the latest date without breaking the theme layout. I’ve done it.
Showing Last Updated With Genesis Simple Edits
The fastest way to show the last modified date for blog post if you are using a theme for the Genesis Framework is by installing the Genesis Simple Edits plugin. Install the plugin, navigate to your “Genesis” tab in the left column and click on “Simple Edits”.
Make the following changes and save settings. Go modify an old blog post and look at the new day shown. This will also show in Google Serps once the blog post is recrawled eventually.
End result is below:
The Code To Modify Published Date
Do make a backup of your blog before you make this coding change. I am not sure if this will work on all themes as each theme maybe coded a little differently. You will have to do some searching in your theme files to find and replace 1 code. Let’s start with opening up your functions.php file and find the following code that will show the date when a blog post was published live.
To make things easier, search for this “ ‘M jS, Y’”
If you do not have a functions.php file then you are not running the Genesis Framework so it could in your header file. You might have to search a few theme files for the code to then modify it.
Replace the code above with the code below. This will change the date of your blog posts when you edit old ones. Now the correct date will be shown on your blog and when Google recrawls that updated blog post, they will update the date snippet showing in the search results.
<?php the_modified_date('F j, Y'); ?>
Here is the whole code that I am using but I copied the line from my functions.php file in which you may not be using the same theme as myself. :)
<time class='date' datetime='<?php the_time('c'); ?>' itemprop="datePublished"><?php the_modified_date('F j, Y'); ?></time>
Backup your blog before adding code
MyThemeShop Modified Date
If you have a MyThemeShop theme, then the following code below will change the current date to the last modified date.
Open the /functions/theme-actions.php and locate this code
<span class="thetime date updated"><i class="fa fa-calendar"></i> <span><?php the_time( get_option( 'date_format' ) ); ?></span></span>
Replace it with this one:
<span class="thetime date updated"><i class="fa fa-calendar"></i> <span> <?php the_modified_date(); ?> </span></span>
Like The Design Of This Heading
What to customize your H2 and H3 tags like a pro, do check out our tutorial on How To Customize The Look Of The H2 & H3 Tags. You will have the ability to change the colors and even the image if you use a certain size.
Do take a look at our guide on How The Akismet Plugin Can Help Combat Spam.
If this blog post has helped you in any way, please consider sharing it with your followers.