Support » Fixing WordPress » UTC/GMT issues, confusion, problem

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  • Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42)

    WordPress.org Admin

    Maybe this is all normal and I’m just not getting the whole timezone thing.

    Yes, that’s probably the case.

    Time is not a matter of timezone. For every second of every day, there’s only one of them. Timezone just changes how you refer to one specific moment. Whether you refer to it in UTC or in EST or whatever, that moment is unique.

    So the post_date and post_date_gmt are actually the same times. The difference is just the timezone they are expressed in. The only reason this exists is because when you change your timezones, you may not want all your posts on the blog to shift themselves around by an hour. The post_date is a relative field to the timezone you were in when you published the post, the post_date_gmt is the absolute time you wrote that post, universal across all timezones.

    Now, your feed always uses the UTC time. Why? Because it’s standard and universal and frankly your readers would probably like to know when you wrote your post. They really don’t need to know what timezone you wrote it in, and their feedreaders will convert times to their own timezone anyway.

    Is that the UTC – 4 and how is it working correctly if my posts don’t show up in readers until 4 hours later.

    When posts show up in readers has nothing to do with the timestamp they have, it’s all down to how often the reader is updating from your feed. A feedreader only checks every so often, like, say every 12 hours. It gets it when it gets it and that’s it. The timestamp has nothing to do with it.

    Thanks – good info. One more question if possible, when I connect to Bloglines and I’ve subscribed to a feed (mine, for example), you’re saying it doesn’t check at that point to see if something’s been updated. In other words, it doesn’t look for updates every time I load Bloglines in the browser – you’re saying it checks them at regular intervals and if I happen to load it after it has seen my update it shows up? Does that make sense?

    Somewhat off-topic I guess but anyway – thanks again…

    Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42)

    WordPress.org Admin

    In other words, it doesn’t look for updates every time I load Bloglines in the browser – you’re saying it checks them at regular intervals and if I happen to load it after it has seen my update it shows up? Does that make sense?

    Yes, and that’s more or less exactly what it does. Feed readers that are online like that one or Google Reader or what have you read their feeds at semi-regular intervals, and then cache the results. You’re not seeing the live feed, you’re seeing whatever it has from the last time it checked.

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