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PHP Date

The PHP date() function is used to format a time and/or date.

The PHP Date() Function

The PHP date() function formats a timestamp to a more readable date and time.

A timestamp is a sequence of characters, denoting the date and/or time at which a certain event occurred.


formatRequired. Specifies the format of the timestamp
timestampOptional. Specifies a timestamp. Default is the current date and time

PHP Date() – Format the Date

The required format parameter in the date() function specifies how to format the date/time.

Here are some characters that can be used:

  • d – Represents the day of the month (01 to 31)
  • m – Represents a month (01 to 12)
  • Y – Represents a year (in four digits)

Other characters, like”/”, “.”, or “-” can also be inserted between the letters to add additional formatting:

[php] <?php
echo date(“Y/m/d”) . “<br />”;
echo date(“Y.m.d”) . “<br />”;
echo date(“Y-m-d”)

The output of the code above could be something like this:


PHP Date() – Adding a Timestamp

The optional timestamp parameter in the date() function specifies a timestamp. If you do not specify a timestamp, the current date and time will be used.

The mktime() function returns the Unix timestamp for a date.

The Unix timestamp contains the number of seconds between the Unix Epoch (January 1 1970 00:00:00 GMT) and the time specified.

Syntax for mktime()


To go one day in the future we simply add one to the day argument of mktime():

$tomorrow = mktime(0,0,0,date(“m”),date(“d”)+1,date(“Y”));
echo “Tomorrow is “.date(“Y/m/d”, $tomorrow);

The output of the code above could be something like this:

Tomorrow is 2009/05/12

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