Just about every professionally done website you visit includes a copyright date at the bottom of the page. Every January you see websites that forget to update the year in their copyright statement. Many actually fall years behind before catching it and updating the dates. Above is an example of this phenomenon from the website of the Democratic National Committee.

We’ve made this mistake ourselves plenty of times. It is just something that is really easy to forget to do. That is why the best solution is to automate in the process instead of manually updating it every January. Here are two simple ways to accomplish this that our design/production department uses:

(1) If you are working in PHP (like sites in WordPress and Drupal), use the simple PHP code below to render the copyright date in your footer. The date will automatically change at 12:01 am on January 1 every year.

<?php echo date(‘Y’); ?>

(2) If your site is in plain HTML or another language, you can use the following JavaScript to generate the date.

Put this code in the site header:

var date=time.getDate();
var year=time.getYear();
if (year < 2000)
year = year + 1900;

Then place this code where you want to generate the date:

<script language=”JavaScript” type=”text/javascript”>document.write(year);</script>

Two easy ways to save yourself some time/headaches.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.