HTML <time> Tag

The HTML <time> tag is used for declaring the date and/or time within an HTML document.


The <time> tag is written as <time></time> with the time inserted between the start and end tags.

Like this:


Basic tag usage

The datetime Attribute

In this example, we use the datetime attribute in order to provide a machine-readable version of the <time> element's contents.

More Specificity

Here, we provide an even more specific date and time than the previous example.


Attributes can be added to an HTML element to provide more information about how the element should appear or behave.

There are 3 kinds of attributes that you can add to your HTML tags: Element-specific, global, and event handler content attributes.

The <time> element accepts the following attributes.

Element-Specific Attributes

This table shows the attributes that are specific to the <time> tag/element.

datetimeSpecifies the date or time being specified. Must be a representation of the element's contents in a machine-readable format. Must be a valid date or time string.

Global Attributes

The following attributes are standard across all HTML5 elements. Therefore, you can use these attributes with the <time> tag , as well as with all other HTML tags.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 global attributes.

Event Handler Content Attributes

Event handler content attributes enable you to invoke a script from within your HTML. The script is invoked when a certain "event" occurs. Each event handler content attribute deals with a different event.

Below are the standard HTML5 event handler content attributes.

Again, you can use any of these with the <time> element, as well as any other HTML5 element.

For a full explanation of these attributes, see HTML 5 event handler content attributes.

Differences Between HTML 4 & HTML 5

The <time> tag is new in HTML5.

For more information on the element, see HTML5 <time> Tag. Also check out the links to the official specifications below.


Here's a template for the <time> tag with all available attributes for the tag (based on HTML5). These are grouped into attribute types, each type separated by a space. In many cases, you will probably only need one or two (if any) attributes. Simply remove the attributes you don't need.

For more information on attributes for this tag, see HTML5 <time> Tag.

Tag Details

For more details about the <time> tag, see HTML5 <time> Tag.


Here are the official specifications for the <time> element.

What's the Difference?

W3C creates "snapshot" specifications that don't change once defined. So the HTML5 specification won't change once it becomes an official recommendation. WHATWG on the other hand, develops a "living standard" that is updated on a regular basis. In general, you will probably find that the HTML living standard will be more closely aligned to the current W3C draft than to the HTML5 specification.