Every year I wonder why WordPress can’t seem to automatically adjust itself to accommodate the time changes of Daylight Saving Time.
Last weekend was the weekend we were reminded to “Spring Forward” by setting our clocks ahead one hour before we went to bed. In November, we’ll be reminded to “Fall Back” and set out clocks one hour behind before we go to bed.
Both of these dates fall on Saturday nights, though the official change happens at 2 a.m. that Sunday morning.
Every year, when I’ve made the required change to my clocks, I would realize several days later that blog posts weren’t publishing at the right time.
It always confused me.
After all, my phone, tablet and computer are all smart enough to set themselves to the correct time without me doing anything. Why on earth can’t WordPress handle this?
It turns out that WordPress is perfectly capable of doing this. It’s just that it doesn’t look that way in the settings.
The answer is in your General settings.
WordPress users can go to Settings>General and then scroll down to Time Zone. When you click on the dropdown menu, you’re in a list of time adjustment settings based on UTC, the abbreviation for Universal Time Coordinated. (Why that’s not abbreviated CUT is beyond me.)
You have to figure out where your time zone is compared to UTC. At the moment, my time zone, Eastern Time, is UTC-4, which means it’s four hours earlier here than UTC.
The problem is that UTC never observes Daylight Saving Time. So once I set my time zone to UTC-4, it means every fall I’m going to have to reset it to UTC-5 and every spring I’ll have to reset it back to UTC-4.
I won’t remember to do this year after year until I notice that my 8:00am post isn’t publishing until 9:00am or that my 8:00am post is going up early at 7:00am.
Every year, apparently, I’ve ignored the little instruction right below that menu: “Choose either a city in the same time zone as you or a UTC timezone offset.”
It’s easy to overlook that instruction since it’s below the menu rather than above it and because the menu begins in the middle of UTC offsets: there’s no sign of cities.
You have to scroll up to see them. Who knew?
When you select the city you want, it will acknowledge the city is participating in the bi-annual time change:
From there, WordPress will then know to automatically change the clock on your site so that you don’t have to.
Hey, I’m all for one less clock to reset every six months!