I created a custom field using Advanced Custom Fields (but I think ACF is optional) and I want him to dynamically fill the publish post date when I publish a post.

Example :

If I publish a post today, I want when the action of publishing is done to find 30/09/2020 in my custom field If I schedule my post for tomorrow then I want to find tomorrow 01/10/2020 in my custom field.

Same idea if I publish my article at an earlier date.

I already tried this (in relation with ACF plugin but any other type of solution is find to me) :

add_action('acf/save_post', 'my_acf_save_post');
function my_acf_save_post( $post_id ) { 
    $value = get_the_date();
    update_field('name_of_my_custom_field', $value, $post_id);

But I always get today’s date and not the real published date.

One other thing, I don’t want my custom field to be updated when I will update my post in the future. So I thought about a condition like: IF my custom field is filled with data THEN I do nothing but I am not able to do it.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance and sorry for my poor English.

1 Answer 1


When you get the date with function get_the_date() you need to pass a $post object or ID as a second parameter:

$date = get_the_date( $date_format, $post );

The first parameter here is the PHP date format. The second - Post ID or WP_Post object

Here is an example that should work:

add_action( 'acf/save_post', 'my_acf_save_post' ); 

function my_acf_save_post( $post_id ) {
    $date = get_the_date( 'Y-m-d H:i:s', $post_id );

    update_field( 'your_meta_key', $date, $post_id ); 

Check the documentation on get_the_date() function https://developer.wordpress.org/reference/functions/get_the_date/

  • Thanks for your help, I change my function like that : add_action('acf/save_post', 'my_acf_save_post'); function my_acf_save_post( $post_id ) { $date_format = get_option( 'date_format' ); $value = get_the_date($date_format, $post_id); update_field('name_of_my_custom_field', $value, $post_id); } But I still always get today's date when I try to schedule a post for example. Oct 2, 2020 at 12:32
  • What type of ACF field do you use? Is it a regular Text field, or Date Time Picker? @JonathanAryup
    – geouser
    Oct 2, 2020 at 13:00
  • For the moment it is a date type of field, but i can switch to a text field if this is easier. Oct 2, 2020 at 13:18
  • I've added an example to the answer, it worked for me with both Text and Date Time Picker field
    – geouser
    Oct 2, 2020 at 13:21
  • It works fine for me too thanks a lot ! Oct 2, 2020 at 14:45

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