To Date or Not to Date

Blogging has been around for quite some time now. I remember eight years ago wanting to begin a blog. What writer would not want to jump at the opportunity to write on such an amazing open platform?

One thing that distinctively represents a blog from a website is most blogs have a date stamp on their content.

If you have been blogging for a while, you might want the option to turn the date on your blog posts off. This date mostly appears at the beginning sometimes at the  end of each post. I am going to share how I turned the post date on my blog posts off. Did you know you have the option to turn them off?

Why would anyone want to turn the dates on their posts off?

Well for me, the deciding factor was that I want my blog to be around for many years. I don’t want my readers to come across my blog 5 years from now and feel that my content is no longer relevant to them. If writing content that is not date specific, then turning the dates off might be a better option.

Here are some other pros and cons I have come across on whether to date or not to date.

To Date

Having dates on posts is a great way to:

  1. Shows the readers a blog has up to date content and is regularly updated
  2. Dates give structure to a blog
  3. Dates give an indication how current the post is, this is especially important if are sharing time sensitive content, or any content relating to technology.
    • for example this post would definitely need a date, as it contains information that is time sensitive…5 years from now…this might no longer be applicable, so a date would be very helpful to the reader in this case.
  4. The blog is only needed for a short time
    • eg. to promote a new book
  5. Sometimes, a date will add value to the post
    • eg. on a technology site, the more fresh and current the content is, the more valuable it is to the reader.

Not to Date

Not having a date might be better if:

  1. The  content is evergreen, meaning the content does not expire. The content is just as valuable to the reader today as 5 years from now.
  2. A blog post that is 5 years old might give the reader a negative experience associated with being”old content”
  3. Content is not time sensitive or relating to technology
  4. Having a website rather than a blog might benefit the content, especially if it is evergreen.
    • Turning the comments and likes off add to this feel also
    • Having a traditional website has some drawbacks also, make sure to do research to make an informative decision
  5. If a blog is not regularly updated, having no dates is very beneficial. The reader will not know when the content was published, and it will not affect their experience in a negative or positive way

So to date or not to date is a question only you can answer for your own blog. Coming up next – instructions on how to change the date.

How to change the date

  1. The theme might come equipped with the option to turn the dates on or off.
    • Look under settings for the option.
    • Look for a theme that supports changing the dates
  2. You can use CSS
    • In your CSS editor (located under Appearance or Theme, the same place you go to make other changes to how your site looks.) enter a piece of code that looks like this:
      • .post-date [display: none;}
      • .posts .post-meta a {display: none;}
      • .posted-on {display: none;}
    • I found the team at wordpress.com very helpful in getting this done on my own site, If you use wordpress.org, then the forums are very helpful also.
    • I changed my theme and the code I entered in my first site did not work for my new theme, so you might need to try a few different options.

I hope you found this helpful.

#bloggingtips #bloggingtools #blogging