function the_date( $d = '', $before = '', $after = '', $echo = true ) {}

Display or Retrieve the date the current $post was written (once per date)
Will only output the date if the current post’s date is different from the previous one output.


  • string $d: Optional. PHP date format defaults to the date_format option if not specified.
  • string $before: Optional. Output before the date.
  • string $after: Optional. Output after the date.
  • bool $echo: Optional, default is display. Whether to echo the date or return it.

Return values

returns:Null if displaying, string if retrieving.

Defined filters

  • the_date
    apply_filters('the_date', $the_date, $d, $before, $after)

Source code

function the_date( $d = '', $before = '', $after = '', $echo = true ) {

	global $currentday, $previousday;

	$the_date = '';

	if ( $currentday != $previousday ) {

		$the_date .= $before;

		$the_date .= get_the_date( $d );

		$the_date .= $after;

		$previousday = $currentday;

		$the_date = apply_filters('the_date', $the_date, $d, $before, $after);

		if ( $echo )

			echo $the_date;


			return $the_date;


	return null;



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