The Post Modified Date is becoming increasingly more important to WordPress bloggers. However, Resetting the last modified date timestamp can be a bit of a challenge. I’ve read many articles regarding SEO and the importance of updating old posts in order to maintain and improve search engine position. The modified date makes it easy for bloggers and SEO professionals to see when a post was last updated vs when it was originally posted.
How to Add the Post Last Modified Date to the Admin edit.php Index
When you click on “posts” in the WordPress admin you’ll see a column for post date but not last modified date. Unfortunately, this option is currently not built into WordPress. You’ll have to add it by editing your functions.php file. Check out this tutorial on how to accomplish this.
Note: You’ll also want to make your posts sortable by modified date. Include the code below along with the code in the tutorial in order to make sorting by modified date possible.
The Process of Resetting the Last Modified Date
Why would you need to reset the last modified date of all your posts? If you have a lot of posts and have never paid much attention to the last modified date then it’s quite possible the date could be wrong.
Making any sort of mass change to your posts including taxonomy changes, post type changes, etc, then the last modified dates of all your posts might reflect the date of that change. If however, you haven’t made any changes to the content, then it’s going to be challenging to know if the post needs to be updated or not.
If you have a lot of posts and none of them have a true post modified date, then your best bet may be to reset the modified date on them all to match the original post date. Doing so will allow you to to track modifications going forward — just avoid doing further mass updates!
Resetting the Last Modified Date Via SQL
Modifying your database is the only way I know to reset your post modified date.
CAUTION: Don’t do this unless you know what you are doing! Making changes to your database could completely ruin your site! consult with an expert and always make a backup of your database prior to running any commands.
SQL Command for copying post date to post_modified date
Need help customizing WordPress? Request a Consultation