PHP date tutorial



PHP date() function is used for formatting the timestamps in a readable / customized format. date() function will accept an optional integer timestamp parameter and will return the formatted date according to the specified date or time on the parameter. If optional timestamp is not present, it will return the current time.

If optional parameter timestamp contains a non-numeric value date() function will return FALSE and E_WARNING level error.

Syntax of PHP date() function
date(string format, integer timestamp)

See the formatting characters used with date() function

format character Description Example returned values
Day
d Day of the month, 2 digits with leading zeros 01 to 31
D A textual representation of a day, three letters Mon through Sun
j Day of the month without leading zeros 1 to 31
l (lowercase ‘L’) A full textual representation of the day of the week Sunday through Saturday
N ISO-8601 numeric representation of the day of the week (added in PHP 5.1.0) 1 (for Monday) through 7 (for Sunday)
S English ordinal suffix for the day of the month, 2 characters st, nd, rd or th. Works well with j
w Numeric representation of the day of the week 0 (for Sunday) through 6 (for Saturday)
z The day of the year (starting from 0) 0 through 365
Week
W ISO-8601 week number of year, weeks starting on Monday (added in PHP 4.1.0) Example: 42 (the 42nd week in the year)
Month
F A full textual representation of a month, such as January or March January through December
m Numeric representation of a month, with leading zeros 01 through 12
M A short textual representation of a month, three letters Jan through Dec
n Numeric representation of a month, without leading zeros 1 through 12
t Number of days in the given month 28 through 31
Year
L Whether it’s a leap year 1 if it is a leap year, 0 otherwise.
o ISO-8601 year number. This has the same value as Y, except that if the ISO week number (W) belongs to the previous or next year, that year is used instead. (added in PHP 5.1.0) Examples: 1999 or 2003
Y A full numeric representation of a year, 4 digits Examples: 1999 or 2003
y A two digit representation of a year Examples: 99 or 03
Time
a Lowercase Ante meridiem and Post meridiem am or pm
A Uppercase Ante meridiem and Post meridiem AM or PM
B Swatch Internet time 000 through 999
g 12-hour format of an hour without leading zeros 1 through 12
G 24-hour format of an hour without leading zeros 0 through 23
h 12-hour format of an hour with leading zeros 01 through 12
H 24-hour format of an hour with leading zeros 00 through 23
i Minutes with leading zeros 00 to 59
s Seconds, with leading zeros 00 through 59
u Microseconds (added in PHP 5.2.2) Example: 654321
Timezone
e Timezone identifier (added in PHP 5.1.0) Examples: UTC, GMT, Atlantic/Azores
I (capital i) Whether or not the date is in daylight saving time 1 if Daylight Saving Time, 0 otherwise.
O Difference to Greenwich time (GMT) in hours Example: +0200
P Difference to Greenwich time (GMT) with colon between hours and minutes (added in PHP 5.1.3) Example: +02:00
T Timezone abbreviation Examples: EST, MDT
Z Timezone offset in seconds. The offset for timezones west of UTC is always negative, and for those east of UTC is always positive. -43200 through 50400
Full Date/Time
c ISO 8601 date (added in PHP 5) 2004-02-12T15:19:21+00:00
r » RFC 2822 formatted date Example: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 16:01:07 +0200
U Seconds since the Unix Epoch (January 1 1970 00:00:00 GMT) See also time()

Now watch the following sample PHP program with date() function and its output

<?php
echo "1 : ".date("Y-m-d")."<br>";
echo "2 : ".date("D M j G:i:s T Y")."<br>";
echo "3 : ".date("Y-M-D")."<br>";
echo "4 : ".date("y-m-d : H  :i : s")."<br>";
echo "5 : ".date("F j, Y, g:i a")."<br>";
?>

Its output will be:

1 : 2010-08-07
2 : Sat Aug 7 3:04:00 CDT 2010
3 : 2010-Aug-Sat
4 : 10-08-07 : 03 :04 : 00
5 : August 7, 2010, 3:04 am

You can check each formatting characters used with date function and its output and can understand whats happening easily.

Now let us consider a sample PHP program with integer timestamp with date function

<?php
$tomorrow = mktime(0,0,0,date("m"),date("d")+1,date("Y"));
echo "Tomorrow is ".date("Y/m/d", $tomorrow);
?>

Its output will be :

Tomorrow is 2010/08/08

Here in timestamp we have given the integer timestamp for the next date , and date function is formatted that timestamp according to the formatting characters we have given.