WordPress by default stores the published data of an article as a meta data. Themes and plugins can use the date to show under the post title and on the archive pages. Did you ever want to reset the published date of a post to the current date? In this article, we will explain how to reset published date in WordPress to current date using different methods. You can do this for a single post as well multiple posts in bulk.
Why to Reset Published Date of a Post?
There are few reasons you might be interested in resetting the published date of an article.
- In general, blog posts are time bounded and valid for a certain duration of time. However, it is not always used in that context. Many users publish static content as a blog post which is valid for many years. For example, when you have a tutorial article on Windows 11, it will be valid for many years till Microsoft changes something on operating system that makes your content obsolete. In this case, it makes sense to reset the date to avoid users ignoring the content by looking at the date.
- Many bloggers show the published date in Google Search results. Users looking at the old date may ignore your site and click the article showing with newest date.
- Content recycling is one of the important parts of search engine optimization. It is a good idea to update the old content and republish it with a new data. in the same above example, when you update few years old article with the latest information, it makes sense to use the current date instead of leaving the original published date to avoid confusing readers.
Last Modified Date Vs Published Date
There are two ways to handle the content recycling with respect to published date. One is to use last updated date so that users can easily understand when the article was updated and correlate the content in case of any misunderstanding. Since WordPress also stores last updated date of a post in database, you can use a plugin, theme settings if available or update the theme’s file to show last modified date instead of original published date. However, you should test the setup thoroughly to avoid Google showing original published date in search results while you show last updated date in blog post.
To avoid mistakes and technical SEO perspective, the better option is to completely reset the published date and republish the old article as a new one. This is useful when you want to reuse your Black Friday deal post on every year by updating the currently available deals. Many popular companies also follow the same technique as it is easy and less error prone.
Reset Published Date in WordPress
There are different ways to reset the date in WordPress depending upon the editor you use and the number of posts you want to change.
Change Published Date Inside Editor
Using Gutenberg editor is the most easy and error free way to change the date of your article.
- Edit the post you want to change the date.
- Click on the “Post” option on the right sidebar.
- Under “Status & visibility” section, you will see the date and time against “Publish” heading.
- Hover over it and click on the date link.
- You will see a calendar opens in a dropdown.
- Simply click on “Reset” link showing at the bottom left corner of the calendar.
- This will reset the published date of your article to current date and time.
- You will see the date link changed to “Immediately” like publishing a new article.
- Click “Update” button to publish your content.
Gutenberg also shows the time zone of your time like UTC+0 which will help you to select the date in case if you want to schedule the post in different future date.
Reset Published Date in Classic Editor
The process remains same for editing the published date if you are using Classic Editor. Remember, you need to use Classic Editor when using custom post types like WooCommerce products, bbPress forum pages, etc.
- Edit the post with Classic Editor and you will see “Published on” date and time under “Publish” meta box on the post sidebar.
- Click the “Edit” link and you will see a calendar opens up in a different format.
- Unlike Gutenberg where you have a reset option, Classic Editor does not offer that. You have to manually select the month, date, year and time to the current.
- Click “Update” button to reset the date and publish the content.
Make sure to set the date and time correct to avoid select the future time. In such a case, the post will be “Scheduled” for the selected time and will be removed from your site.
Reset Date Change Outside Editor
Sometimes opening the editor and resetting the date is a time consuming task. Fortunately, WordPress allows you to edit the date of single posts from posts page in your admin dashboard. However, you will not have a reset link and you need to manually select the date like you do in Classic Editor.
- Go to “Posts > All Posts” page and hover over the post that you want to edit.
- You will see some links appear below the post title and click on “Quick Edit” link.
- It will open lot of options to edit and change the date and time as you need against “Date” heading.
- After that click “Update” button to save your changes.
Bulk Reset Published Date and Modified Date in WordPress
Unfortunately, there are no default options available in WordPress to bulk edit published date of multiple posts at once. When you select and bulk edit multiple posts, the date field will not be visible like the way you see when quick editing a single post. However, you can bulk reset any core WordPress field using a third-party plugin.
You have to install and activate “Bulk Edit Posts and Products in Spreadsheet” plugin. This plugin will help you to edit published date and other fields using Excel spreadsheet within admin panel. You do not need to download and import the content again. However, it is a good idea to take a backup of your database before doing any bulk modifications.
- After activating the plugin, you will see a setup page where you can select the applicable post types that you want to bulk edit. In our case, we will select “Posts” and click “Save and Continue” button.
- On the next screen, you will see plenty of options and simply click on “Continue with the Basic Spreadsheet Now” button.
- You will see a success message like below showing “The Spreadsheet is ready” and click on “Edit posts” button.
- It will open all your posts and meta data in Excel spreadsheet as shown below.
- Click on the “Date” filed against the post and you will see a calendar for selecting the date. Make sure to select the correct date and edit the time in the Excel cell if you need. You can edit and reset dates for all the posts you want and click on “Save” button showing on top left corner of the spreadsheet.
- The plugin will show you a warning that the changes can’t be reverted back and click “I understand, continue” button.
- This will reset all the edited published date in the Excel and click on “Exit” link showing on top of the spreadsheet to qui full screen mode and view the admin sidebar menus. Now, you can go to “Posts” page and confirm the dates are changed.
You can anytime go to “Posts > Sheet Editor” or “WP Sheet Editor > Edit Posts” to open the Excel spreadsheet again. As you seen in the above spreadsheet, the plugin will show padlock against the meta data fields that are locked for editing. You can’t change certain fields like post ID while you can click “Enable” to edit fields like modified date.
The free plugin is sufficient for bulk resetting your published dates. However, if you want to have complete Excel spreadsheet features like search and replace then you need to purchase the premium version. It will cost you $29.99 per year or $59.99 for lifetime and you can finish the purchase right from the admin dashboard without leaving your site.
What Happens When You Reset Date?
Here are the things will happen when you change the published date of an article in WordPress:
- The article will be listed top on your blog posts page indicating that was the latest published one.
- Your RSS feed and XML Sitemap will show the article like newly published one.
- If you use any automatic social sharing or push notification, the article will be shared or send out depending upon your settings.
- Search engines will reindex the page and ranking may change based on your content.
- Your content may appear in “Discover” section of Google Search Console as it is newly published.
In most cases, these are all the things you expect before changing the published date. If you do not want the article to move up in the blog posts page, then just update the content without changing the date. In this case, XML Sitemap will still show the latest updated date while the article stay in the same position on the blog post page. You can show the updated date in post and search engines by replacing the published date using a plugin or theme feature.
As you can see, it is very easy to reset published date in WordPress using Gutenberg block editor. Though you can do the same with Classic Editor and from Posts page, make sure to set the current date and time. The free plugin helps to bulk edit published date in an Excel sheet which can be done within your admin dashboard.