According to the documentation JFactory/getDate $tzOffset default value is 0. However, the following example:

$date_default_offset = JFactory::getDate('now');
echo $date_default_offset->toRFC822(true);
echo "<br />";
$date_zero_offset = JFactory::getDate('now', 0);
echo $date_zero_offset->toRFC822(true);

... gives different outputs:

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 18:31:37 +0000
Mon, 13 Oct 2014 19:31:41 +0100

Shouldn't both dates be the same? What else should I take into account?

The actual date is:

echo date("r"); // Mon, 13 Oct 2014 20:40:33 +0200

That's right because the server is in Spain (+1 GMT and +1 Daylight Saving Time in Summer).

The problem arised whe trying to adjust a module to take into account the current time in Canary Islands, that should be Mon, 13 Oct 2014 19:31:41 +0100according to the given example.

I'm using Joomla! 2.5.27, the Server Time Zone is set to Canary (GMT+0).

  • Did you try echo JHtml::date('now', 'Y-d-m H:i:s e', 'Atlantic/Canary');?
    – Farahmand
    Oct 13, 2014 at 20:37
  • @Farahmand That gives exactly the date/time in Canary Islands. Need to study a bit more to understand the differences. However, note that the question is related to the 'default' behaviour in the getDate() construction. Shouldn't both getDate() calls give the same result?
    – pQB
    Oct 14, 2014 at 7:25
  • Check my answer, @pQB.
    – Farahmand
    Oct 14, 2014 at 12:00

3 Answers 3


Open the file /libraries/joomla/factory.php and search for getDate() function:

public static function getDate($time = 'now', $tzOffset = null)

The default value of time zone offset ($tzOffset) is null and not 0. It may be due to a mistake in Joomla documentation or it's for versions older than 2.5.

In Joomla 3, $date_zero_offset = JFactory::getDate('now', 0); raises an error:

DateTime::__construct() expects parameter 2 to be DateTimeZone, integer given

So for Canary Islands, you can use this:

$date_zero_offset = JFactory::getDate('now', 'Atlantic/Canary');
  • You are right. Thank for pointing the file. No doubts. However, the documentation I pointed in the question clearly states that $tzOffset is a signed integer which default value is 0, and was the root of the problem.
    – pQB
    Oct 14, 2014 at 12:53
  • 2
    No problem. Joomla documentations like other documentations over the web may have faults. My suggestion for developers is using an IDE like Eclipse and check the core functions instantly.
    – Farahmand
    Oct 14, 2014 at 13:10

It might be an idea to get the offset from your Global Config like so:

$date = JFactory::getDate($input='now', 'UTC');
$tz   = JFactory::getConfig()->getValue('config.offset');

echo $date->toFormat();

To make life a little easier and have less code, I would suggest using JHtml::date

echo JHtml::date($input = 'now', 'm/d/Y', false);

Hope this helps

  • Your example outputs 2014-10-13 19:05:52 however, the current time at Canary Islands in 20:05:52. Note +1 of difference because the +1 Daylight Saving Time in Summer.
    – pQB
    Oct 13, 2014 at 19:10

Couldn't get the date correctly in Joomla! v.3.9.14, here's my (proven) solution:

$oUser_TZ  = JFactory::getUser()->getTimezone();
$aUser_tz  = (array)$oUser_TZ; // almost sure this step is not that necessary
$full_date = JFactory::getDate('now', $aUser_tz['timezone']); // pretty sure $oUser_tz->timezone will work

// I had try to use $full_date->Format('Y-m-d H:i:s') but it was giving me the non-converted-to-wanted-timezone date, so
$date_converted = substr($full_date, 0, 19);

$date_converted gives me the date in format Y-m-d H:i:s and in the wanted timezone.

  • 1
    Replace the entire snippet above with JHtml::date('now', 'Y-m-d H:i:s') The 2nd parameter is the desired format. The 3rd (omitted) parameter defaults to true -- this tells the function to use the user's designated timezone. docs.joomla.org/API17:JHtml::date I just tested my advice locally to be equivalent. Jan 15, 2020 at 23:45
  • After a bit more thought, I don't think this question is focusing on generating a logged in user's datetime. It is about the 2nd param of getData(). Your answer would be more appropriate at joomla.stackexchange.com/q/10658/12352 ...but my advised one-liner is already there. Jan 16, 2020 at 12:02
  • Sorry for the delay and thank you for your correction and advice @mickmackusa!, I tried it and it work like a charm!, very very helpful! I'm still struggling trying to understand the documentation of Jommla! classes and how to uses them properly.
    – ecedenyo
    Mar 16, 2020 at 21:53

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