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Can someone tell me how to get the time zone that is set in the WordPress Admin?

For example, if the blog is set to Eastern time, I need this exact string to print out:


This is for a function that lives in functions.php in my theme.

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up vote 44 down vote accepted

if you need the gmt_offset then

<?php echo get_option('gmt_offset'); ?>

this will give you an integer like 2 or -2.

and if you need the timezone string use

<?php echo get_option('timezone_string'); ?>

this will give you a string like America/Indianapolis

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My timezone_string is in the database but it is empty, even after selecting a different timezone on the settings page. What might be the case? (WP3.6) – user2019515 Sep 13 '13 at 22:48
Does gmt_offest take daylight savings into account based on the site's timezone setting? – squarecandy Dec 19 '13 at 4:04

Check the Option Reference page. The option gmt_offset returns an integer. For example, if the timezone is set to Easter time, gmt_offset should be -5.

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+1 for great link, didn't know about it. – Rarst Feb 3 '11 at 7:05

To add to Bainternet (I am adding this as an answer because I cannot comment -- I have less than 50 points on WP Development stack).

WordPress will only store a timezone string if you select a timezone string in the general settings. UTF selection is where it defaults in the list, but you can scroll way up to timezone strings. If you set a timezone string, both the UTF and the Timezone string will be set. They will be the same (meaning, the UTF gets reset to the new zone when you select a timezone string timezone).

(WordPress 4)

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Don't think you're gonna get a string like US/Eastern without storing all the strings you want in an array and referring to them. Using PHP you can get the timezone abbreviation, ie EST; and if you have those values stored in an array with the strings you want, you can look them up.

<?php date_default_timezone_set(get_option('timezone_string'));

      echo date('T'); // will give you three-character string like "EST"

      $timezones = array (
          'EST' => 'US/Eastern',
          'CST' => 'US/Central',
          // etc, etc, etc.

      echo $timezones [ date('T') ]; // should be what you want.
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There are a few options, none of which really work great. This is a WordPress bug, and it genuinely sucks because the time is wrong unless you set your site to UTC... which is confusing and not always even possible.

This next code I think only works if you choose your Timezone (Under Settings -> General in admin) as a named city instead of by an GMT number offset. I haven't tested this but it's very possible that get_option('gmt_offset') is set when get_option('timezone_string') is not.


The downside of this is that WordPress assumes PHP is set to UTC when making mysql timestamps, so you can mess up your database a little bit whenever you switch timezones! Not to mention other WP plugins may assume that the PHP environment is always in UTC.

So, if you just want a correct time -- you can force your timestamp to be in UTC with:

get_post_time('c', true); //should work for non-post objects.

Unfortunately, although correct, it'll make the timezone get set to UTC.

And note that you can't both use the "true" flag and the default timezone_set function.

Any proper solution is gonna be a code-snippet that accounts for both gmt_offset AND timezone_string and uses them to set a timezone on some input. WP assumes that PHP set to UTC when doing mysql timestamps, and it might break other plugins.

There's one such solution on https://www.skyverge.com/blog/down-the-rabbit-hole-wordpress-and-timezones/ but, again this is a BUG, so you should use the get_post_time($date_format, TRUE) code to get a timestamp that is actually correct.

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