Date and time in PHP

In this tutorial you will learn how to set the timezone in a PHP program and how to store and display the current date and time like what you see below.


There are a range of different timezones you can use in PHP as well as date/time formats. The links below provide a list of timezones and date/time formats in the PHP manual:

Watch the video below and then scroll down to see the sample code from the video as well as a table containing the most commonly used date/time formats.

Sample PHP code:

  // set timezone
  // display the date and time with a greeting

  function show_date(){
    return date('l, jS F H:i');

  function greeting(){
    $hour = date('H');
    if($hour < 12){
      $greeting = "Good morning!";
      $greeting = "Good day!";
    return $greeting;

  echo show_date();
  echo "<br/>" . greeting();

List of commonly used date/time formats:

Argument Description Example
Y Year displayed as 4 digits 2016
y Year displayed as 2 digits 16
n Month displayed as 1 or 2 digits 9
m Month displayed as 2 digits 09
F Full name of the month December
M Name of the month as 3 letters Dec
j Day displayed as 1 or 2 digits 3
d Day displayed as 2 digits 03
l Full name of the weekday Thursday
D First three letters of weekday Thu
S Ordinal suffix displayed as 2 letters eg. rd or th or nd
H Hour in 24hr time 17
h Hour in 12hr time 5
i Minutes 30
s Seconds 50
a am/pm lowercase am
A AM/PM uppercase PM