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JavaScript: Date Functions

Automatically display the date a web page or file was last modified. This is useful because when you change a file, your web page displays a new date without any changes to HTML. The document object has a last modified date property.

Here's the code:


This displays:

Improving The Format of the Date Displayed
Usually the date displays in a reasonably nice, user-friendly format, which is determined by locale and browsers. Still, it is easy to modify what is displayed by using JavaScript's Date Object methods and make the date display how you want.

Create a Date Object out of the document.lastModified, and use getDate(), getYear(), getMonth() to build the date so it looks the way you want.



myDate = new Date(document.lastModified);
displayDate = myDate.getMonth()+1 + "-" + myDate.getDate()
document.writeln("Last Modifed: " + displayDate)


This displays:

More Date Formatting Functions
I have a couple of common date functions I use often to format dates so the name of the month is written out. View the code for these date formatting functions.

Using these functions the above date is displayed as:
which is good for avoiding confusion over which number is the day and which number is the month. This confusion is best avoided because some countries display dates as day/month/year rather than month/day/year.

Two things to remember when using JavaScript dates:

  • the getMonth() method returns values 0-11, not 1-12. (0=January, 1=February, ...)

  • the method getFullYear() was added to JavaScript with 4.0 browsers. It retrieves the 4-digit year instead of just 2 digits. This should be used when possible for Y2K reasons. Now that few people use old, old browsers, this is not much of an issue. But in case it matters to you, just be aware of it.


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