Weird Timezone Issues in WordPress

Here’s a throwaway WordPress post for you.

Recently, our comments started having weird timestamps. Like, 4 hours in the future to be exact. What was happening was that instead of ‘local time’ being used, WordPress (or maybe Disqus) was using ‘UTC’ time. UTC time is 4 hours ahead of local time, so that seemed to be it. Not sure what caused it, but the most recent PHP 5 build was June 30, so that could be it.

Anyhow, to fix it, edit your wp-settings file and look for the following line:

date_default_timezone_set(‘UTC’);

You have two choices: change UTC to its descriptive locale like this (use the locale where you reside)

date_default_timezone_set(‘America/Phoenix’);

Or use the UTC offset like this:

date_default_timezone_set(‘UTC -7’);

That’s it. Test it out by commenting to yourself in the most lonely way possible and then check the comment timestamp and see if it’s using local time.

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