Timestamping articles and posts

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TimestampIf you are like me you probably visit a number of websites in your daily activities. Whether it’s for business or just to kill some time and entertain yourself, but have you ever noticed that some websites use a timestamp or date in their post and others do not?

Why is it that so many websites remove the date from a post? Is it because the software the website in question uses just doesn’t have the ability to add a simple date? Do they not post very often and not want visitors to see or know this? Do they publish so often that they don’t want visitors to see that they post so darn often. Or, are they trying to sort of hide this from Google and other search engines for some other SEO purpose? I can understand this to some extent, and I could see people arguing for and against dated posts.

I really couldn’t tell you why one site chooses to use a date and another decides to hide it. Whether it is just a personal preference, or if they have some other reason in mind.

Personally I prefer to see an actual date in a post. I believe it can add value to an article. Without a date it can be difficult to know whether the information provided in the article is current and up-to-date, or whether it might be old and out of date.

Imagine stumbling across a news story that said something like breaking news. You read the story and don’t realize this was something that happened over 2 years ago. Or, how about your Facebook or Twitter wall/feed/page for that matter. Imagine if none of these had a date. How would you know if it is current or old news?

These are just a few examples of why dates are important and why I prefer websites that use them. If you think about it I am sure you could come up with countless examples of why dates should be used.

Old News

I am not saying you absolutely need to use dates. I am just saying that it does add value to your posts and it benefits the end user. If your article is old and you don’t have a date in the article a visitor could potentially criticize you and say something like: you don’t know what you are talking about nobody does that anymore. You could then follow up with something like: thanks for stopping by and commenting as you can see this article was posted nearly 2 years ago. At the time it was how things were done, etc., etc. Or, something along those lines.

The need for dated posts will obviously vary from one type of website to the next. Maybe your website doesn’t focus on events that would require a date. Perhaps it is more along the lines of a personal blog, humor, short stories, or something vague and general. However, I would still consider using dates.

Additionally some posts or pages may not really need a date such as contact us, about us, and similar types of pages.

Ultimately if it is your website, then do whatever works for you, but keep your visitor in mind too. Is it worth sacrificing visitor experience and friendliness?

I guess I just like articles and posts with a timestamp so I at least have some kind of reference point.

About: Jeremy LeSarge - AKA: Ray (209 Posts)

I am the site owner and administrator of DialMe.com. I provide help and tips for Boonex Dolphin on the main part of this website where you will also find an assortment of other resources. Here, on the blog I write about a variety of topics surrounding WordPress, technology, social media/networking, SEO, and webmaster resources.




7 Comments

  1. Reply

    Hi DialMe, good point. I would also not like to Stumble a 2 years old BREAKING NEWS. 🙂 I, therefore, request to all bloggers and writers to please timestamp their posts.

    Also would like to add that besides Time-Stamp, there is something that i think is more important to be associated with a post and i.e. the writer’s real identity/profile. It just make me feel like i am reading a robot or some fake person when i am not able to get that information about the publisher. 🙂 🙂

    Hope you would not mind.

    Thanks
    Daniel

  2. Megella

    Reply

    I believe it can add value to an article. Without a date it can be difficult to know whether the information provided in the article is current and up-to-date, or whether it might be old and out of date.

  3. Reply

    There have been a lot of sites I have visited recently that for some reason do not use a date. If there are comments they usually have a date on them so I can see when the last comment was and get an idea. I just don’t really want to comment on something that is a year or two old. I guess I am just a date kind of guy.

  4. Noel Addison

    Reply

    As a reader i also prefer seeing the date when the article or post is published because it tells me whether the information is updated or not.

  5. Sab

    Reply

    Hi, I’m glad you raised this topic. I’ve been wondering as well why some bloggers remove the dates in their post. It is indeed hard to know if the information they provide is up to date or not. Another disadvantage of not including a timestamp is that it will discourage readers (like me) to leave a feedback or comment because I sometimes think that it may be an old post already.

  6. Brian

    Reply

    I totally agree on the value on placing a date on our site and post. I actually look if there is a date in the homepage and on each of the post. It just feels worthwhile to visit if I know that I am reading something up to date and the site is still being managed or moderated.

    • Reply

      I hear ya. I stray away from commenting on some sites that don’t use a date simply because I don’t know if I am talking to myself.

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