How To Backdate Your WordPress Posts For Beginners

Last Updated on June 4, 2021

Currently, WordPress allows you to publish a post with current date and time, backdate a post to a past date and time, or schedule posts to be published in the future. In this post, I’m going to be going over how to backdate your WordPress posts.

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Video Tutorial: How To Backdate Your WordPress Posts

How To Backdate Your WordPress Blog Posts | Beginner's Guide

Advantages Of Backdating WordPress Posts

Before we get into the step by step tutorial on how to backdate WordPress posts I want to go over the advantages of backdating your WordPress posts.

The advantages of backdating posts in WordPress are that newer articles tend to get more attention from users than older articles. By backdating your WordPress posts you can grab more attention from your readers and users making the post more recent.

A good example of this is releasing a positive article on a certain celebrity when a scandal for that celebrity has just taken place.

You can go into the blog post about the celebrity and backdate the blog post you wrote about them to show it was published from a time frame that was before the celebrity scandal took place.

By doing this it will ensure that you will still be able to use the content from the blog post you have written and that it will not negatively affect your SEO ranking for the blog post.

Backdating your WordPress posts can also be useful for news related posts when a twist or turn takes place shortly after the news story came out or for seasonal content around the holidays like Easter or Christmas.

Disadvantages Of Backdating WordPress Posts

A disadvantage of backdating your WordPress posts is that it could negatively affect your SEO for the post. Some try to game the Google SEO algorithm by backdating their WordPress posts and this could negatively affect your SEO.

My recommendation is that you implement a last updated on for the blog post so that when you make changes to the blog post it will showcase a last updated on before the date.

My recommendation is that if your scenario for backdating your WordPress posts is different from what was mentioned above in the advantages of backdating WordPress posts that you try to steer clear and leave backdating your WordPress posts as the last resort. More than likely you will lose way more than you will gain by doing so.

You can find the instructions on how to add last updated on to your blog posts after the how to backdate your WordPress posts tutorial below.

How To Backdate Your WordPress Posts For Beginners

You want to start off my going into your WordPress dashboard and going to a post that you want to backdate your WordPress posts too.

If you haven’t already published your post on the post editor screen, under the publish button you will see the option to publish your post immediately. You will see an edit link right next to this. Click on the edit link.




If your post has already been published you will see it says published on with the date it was published. Click the edit link to continue in backdating your WordPress post.



Once you click on the edit link, it’ll show a drop-down that will display the post’s time and date settings. This is where you can put any date or time in the field.

You can set the current date, a past date, or a future date. If you choose a future date, it will allow you to schedule the post for the scheduled date and time you have selected.




One thing I want to point out is choosing a date and time in the past is going to update the date, and it will change the post’s position in your websites archive pages as seen below.




A good example of this is if you change the month of a post from October to March then that post will now show in the archive page for March instead of October, even if you just published the post.

The post will also show by the latest date in the all posts list page in the admin area.

This can be useful if you want to publish an article but don’t want it to show on the first page of your site. You just backdate it to a date earlier than the most recent post on your site’s front-page.

That’s how to backdate your WordPress posts.

Show Last Updated Date

Many users think that getting rid of the publish dates all together will mean that search engines will think that your content is new. This is incorrect. Search engines are not easily tricked and you should never do anything to try to trick the search engines.

When you remove the dates from WordPress it is no longer visible. However, WordPress still saves the blog post publish date and search engines will not have a hard time finding this information.

To show the last updated date for blog posts you just need to add the following code to the loop.php or single.php file. Locate the code that is showing the date of the post and replace it with the following code:

Last updated on <time datetime=“<?php
the_modified_time(‘Y-m-d’); ?>”><?php
the_modified_time(‘F jS, Y’); ?></time>

This will tell search engines when the post was last updated and it will be helpful for searchers when they see the last updated date so they know the blog post isn’t outdated.

Click here to check out a related post on auto-scheduling WordPress posts.

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Final Thoughts

We hope this article helped you and showed you how to backdate your WordPress posts.

Let us know in the comments below if you were successful! We would love to hear from you.

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