Blog Time

Author: Scott Reilly
Version: 3.6.2
First released: 2009-07-06
Last update: 2020-06-12
Compatibility: WP 4.6 – 5.4.5
Download: [ zip ]

Display the time according to your blog via an admin toolbar widget, a sidebar widget, and/or a template tag.

Extended Description

This plugin adds a dynamic, functional clock to the the admin bar (at top of all admin pages) to show the server time for the blog. The clock automatically updates as time passes, as you would expect of a digital clock.

This plugin also supports a static mode which puts a timestamp string at the top of all admin pages instead of the dynamic clock. This static admin time widget is AJAX-ified so that if you click the timestamp, it updates in place (without a page reload) to show the new current server time.

Also provided is a “Blog Time” widget providing the same functionality as the admin widget, but for your sidebars. You may also utilize the plugin’s functionality directly within a theme template via use of the template tag c2c_blog_time().

NOTE: For the front-end widget, if the “Use dynamic clock?” configuration option is unchecked, this plugin generates a timestamp and NOT a clock. The time being displayed is the time of the page load, or if clicked, the time when the widget last retrieved the time. It won’t actively increment time on the display. By default the widget displays a dynamic clock that does increment time.

This is most useful to see the server/blog time to judge when a time sensitive post, comment, or action would be dated by the blog (i.e. such as monitoring for when to close comments on a contest post, or just accounting for the server being hosted in a different timezone). Or, when used statically as a timestamp and not a clock, it can indicate/preserve when the page was loaded.

Thanks to Moment.js for the JavaScript date handling library.

Links: Plugin Homepage | Plugin Directory Page | GitHub | Author Homepage

Template Tags

The plugin provides one template tag for use in your theme templates, functions.php, or plugins.


  • <?php function c2c_blog_time( $time_format = '', $echo = true ) ?>
    Gets and/or displays the formatted time for the site.


  • $time_format (string)
    Optional. PHP-style time format string. See for more info. Default is ” (which, unless otherwise modified, uses the default time forat: ‘g:i A’).

  • $echo (bool)
    Optional. Echo the template info? Default is true.


  • <?php // Output the site's current time.

  • <?php // Retrieve the value for use in code, so don't display/echo it.
    $site_date = c2c_blog_time( 'M d, Y', false );


The plugin exposes four filters for hooking. Code using these filters should ideally be put into a mu-plugin or site-specific plugin (which is beyond the scope of this readme to explain). Less ideally, you could put them in your active theme’s functions.php file.

c2c_blog_time (filter)

The ‘c2c_blog_time’ hook allows you to use an alternative approach to safely invoke c2c_blog_time() in such a way that if the plugin were deactivated or deleted, then your calls to the function won’t cause errors in your site.


  • same as for c2c_blog_time()


Instead of:

<?php c2c_blog_time(); ?>


<?php echo apply_filters( 'c2c_blog_time', '' ); ?>

c2c_blog_time_format (filter)

The ‘c2c_blog_time_format’ hook allows you to customize the default format for the blog time. By default this is ‘g:i A’ (though this may be different if modified by localization).


  • $format (string): The default format for the blog time.


 * Change the default blog time string
 * @param string $format The default time format.
 * @return string
function change_blog_time_format( $format ) {
    return 'b, g:i A';
add_filter( 'c2c_blog_time_format', 'change_blog_time_format' );

c2c_blog_time_toolbar_widget_for_user (filter)

The ‘c2c_blog_time_toolbar_widget_for_user’ hook allows you to control if the admin toolbar clock widget should be shown, on a per-user basis. By default the admin toolbar clock is shown to everyone who can see the admin toolbar.


  • $shown (boolean): Whether the admin toolbar clock widget should be shown. Default of true.


 * Only show the admin toolbar clock for the 'boss' user.
 * @param $show bool Status of whether the admin toolbar clock should be shown.
 * @return bool
function restrict_blog_time_widget_appearance( $show ) {
    return 'boss' === get_current_user()->user_login;
add_filter( 'c2c_blog_time_toolbar_widget_for_user', 'restrict_blog_time_widget_appearance' );

c2c_blog_time_active_clock (filter)

The ‘c2c_blog_time_active_clock’ hook returns the boolean value indicating if the Javascript-powered dynamic clock introduced in v2.0 should be enabled or if instead the v1.x era behavior of a static timestamp that can be clicked to update the timestamp via AJAX should be enabled. By default the dynamic clock is enabled.


  • $allow (boolean): Boolean indicating if the admin widget should be a dynamic clock. Default is true.


// Disable the dynamic clock and use the static timestamp (whcih can be clicked to update the time via AJAX) instead.
add_filter( 'c2c_blog_time_active_clock', '__return_false' );

Find out more at the plugin’s WordPress Plugin Repository page.


Click to see full-size image.

  1. A screenshot of the blog time being displayed in the admin toolbar.

    A screenshot of the blog time being displayed in the admin toolbar.

  2. A screenshot of the 'Blog Time' widget.

    A screenshot of the ‘Blog Time’ widget.


  1. Install via the built-in WordPress plugin installer or download and unzip inside the plugins directory for your site (typically wp-content/plugins/)
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ admin menu in WordPress
  3. Optionally use the ‘Blog Time’ widget or the template tag c2c_blog_time() in a theme template file to display the blog’s time at the time of the page’s rendering.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I customize the format of the time string?
A. The widget and template tag allow you specify a time format directly. The default value for the time format, and the one used by the display of the blog time in the static admin widget, can be overridden by adding a filter to ‘c2c_blog_time_format’ and returning the desired time format. See for more information regarding the time format.

Q. Why is the time not changing in the sidebar widget?
A. The widget’s “Use dynamic clock?” configuration setting may not be checked (which it is by default). Or JavaScript could be disabled in the browser.

Q. The time matches my computer’s time; how do I know this thing is working?
A. Your machine may well be synced with the server’s clock. One test you can perform is to change the blog’s time zone (under Settings -> General). The blog’s time will then be set to a different hour, which should then be reflected by the widget.

Q. Can the clock be enabled/disabled on a per-user basis?
A. Yes, but only programmatically at the moment. Check out the docs for the c2c_blog_time_toolbar_widget_for_user filter for more information and a code example.

Q. How do I go back to having the legacy static timestamp as opposed to the dynamic clock?
A. See the Filters section for the c2c_blog_time_active_clock filter, which includes an example line of code you’ll need to add to your theme.

Q. How can I show the blog’s date instead of the time?
A. You could do something like this:

/* Insert the following code in the active theme's functions.php or, even better,
in a site-specific plugin. */

// Disable dynamic clock since a clock is not being displayed.
add_filter( 'c2c_blog_time_active_clock', '__return_false' );
// Change the datetime format string used by the plugin.
add_filter( 'c2c_blog_time_format', 'my_blog_time_format' );

 * Returns a custom datetime format string for default use
 * by the Blog Time plugin.
 * See for more information regarding the time format.
 * @param string $format Original format string (ignored)
 * @return string New format string
function my_blog_time_format( $format ) {
    return 'M d, Y';

Release Log

3.6.2 (2020-06-11)

3.6.1 (2019-12-01)

  • Change: Update unit test install script and bootstrap to use latest WP unit test repo
  • Change: Note compatibility through WP 5.3+
  • Change: Update copyright date (2020)

3.6 (2019-04-02)

  • Change: Use minimized version of Moment.js library to reduce resource usage
  • Change: Update Moment.js to v2.24.0
  • Change: Change handle for enqueuing Moment.js to allow only one copy of the library being enqueued now that WP packages the library
  • Change: Remove set_js_ajaxurl() and localize ajaxurl alongside other variables instead of outputting it directly
  • Change: Initialize plugin on plugins_loaded action instead of on load
  • Change: Merge do_init() into init()
  • Change: Update widget framework to 013
    • Add get_config() as a getter for config array
  • Change: Update widget to 008
    • Update to use v013 of the widget framework
  • Change: Cast return value of c2c_blog_time_toolbar_widget_for_user and c2c_blog_time_active_clock filters as boolean
  • Change: Ensure widget markup uses double-quotes rather than single-quotes for class attribute values
  • Unit tests:
    • Add unit test for add_widget()
    • Add unit tests for show_in_toolbar_for_user()
    • Add unit test for c2c_blog_time_active_clock filter
    • Add unit test for c2c_blog_time_toolbar_widget_for_user filter
    • Add unit tests for hooking of various actions
  • New: Add file and move all but most recent changelog entries into it
  • New: Add inline documentation for hooks
  • Change: Use apply_filters_deprecated() when using the deprecated filter
  • Change: Note compatibility through WP 5.1+
  • Change: Update copyright date (2019)
  • Change: Update License URI to be HTTPS
  • Change: Split paragraph in’s “Support” section into two

Copyright & Disclaimer

Copyright © 2009-2021 by Scott Reilly (aka coffee2code)

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.

Discussion / Support

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Please provide them via the plugin’s support forum. I’ll do my best to reply in a timely fashion and help as best I can.

Unfortunately, I cannot provide guaranteed support, nor do I provide support via any other means.

Was this plugin useful useful to you? Consider giving it a rating. If you’re inclined to give it a poor rating, please first post to the support forum to give me a chance to address or explain the situation.

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