The other day I was blog hopping and commenting on other blogs and noticed something that I had not paid much attention to before.
I noticed that quite a few bloggers did not have the date displayed next to their blog posts. I decided to do some research and found that approximately 30% of the blogs I visited did not have the dates displayed on their blog posts. At first I found this kind of strange so I decided to research the reasons bloggers may want to remove the date from their blog posts.
The theory behind this idea is to focus on timeless content. That is content that will be useful tomorrow, next week, next month, and maybe even next year.
My question then became, should I remove the date from my blog posts?
There are many top blogs on the Internet that Do Not have the date on their blog posts:
- http://www.doshdosh.com - date removed from single post pages
- http://bigredtomatocompany.co.uk - date removed from single post pages
- http://www.dailyblogtips.com - subtle date below post preview on main page
Should You Remove the Post Date
The way I see it the date on a post shows your readers when the post is written and allows the readers the opportunity to judge the relevancy of your post. The date signals to your readers that the post is either current and potentially worth reading or that the post is dated and not worth reading.
A date on the post could actually be a distraction to your readers. If a reader arrives at a post of yours and sees that it was written in 2007 the reader will most likely think that it is not current and might clickaway and leave your site and never return.
However, if a reader arrives at a recent post and sees the date they can actually get a good reaction because they can get a sense that what they are reading is your latest thoughts or tips you have shared.
Obviously there are advantages and disadvantages.
Other Potential Options
There are other options available to you as a blogger when it comes to adding or removing dates from your posts. Here are a few other options that I noticed during my blog hopping:
- Dates on Recent Posts But Not on Older Ones - I saw one blog that had the date only show up on the post within the last 3 months. This allowed the blogger to take advantage of both. I thought this was ingenious I have not figured out how they accomplished this but I sure they hacked their blog theme code.
- Dates on Front Page but Not Single Posts – This is another another solution that I saw on quite a few blogs. Depending how many blog posts you have on your front page, you will only have that many posts with the date and the other (archived) posts will not.
- Subtle Dates - Another option is to use dates on your posts that do not ”scream at your readers” that the post is old. Some examples could be dates at the bottom of posts, dates in a smaller font than the headings or even dates that are in a lighter color that the regular text color.
Would you be more likely to link or comment on a post without a post date? Would you be turned off by it?
Do you have dates on your posts? Why or Why Not?
Are there other options?