So this works:

the_title( '<h1 class="entry-title">', '</h1>' );

But this does not:

the_date( '<h4 class="entry-date">', '</h4>' );

I don't know enough if this is reserved for the_title() or if the twentyfifteen theme has specified this functionality in functions. I don't see it but I could be missing it. Or course, just printing the_date(); works as it's supposed to as well as pulling it out of the php block and wrapping it in html myself also works. Just thought there could be a nifty little way to do it like the_title there.


The Codex ( or Developer Resources ) is a fantastic tool when you're unsure about a function. Looking at the parameter list for the_date() it says:

the_date( $format, $before, $after, $echo );

So you need to pass in a format as the first parameter, then your HTML tags like you have it. An example could look like this:

the_date( 'l, F j, Y', '<h4 class="entry-date">', '</h4>' );

The the_date function does not work like that.

The first parameter is the date format you want to use.

To echo it out

the_date( 'F j, Y', '', '', true );

To get the result:

$result = the_date('F j, Y', '', '', false );

You might also want to see get_the_date.

  • 1
    the_date() would work like that if you used the second and third parameters appropriately instead of leaving them as empty strings. – s_ha_dum Nov 24 '15 at 15:04

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