How To Use the Time Element in HTML5


The <time> element is new to HTML5. It makes it easier to markup time information. Let’s examine some scenarios and use <time> in practice.


Using the Time Element in HTML5

<time> allows you to markup date and/or time information in a format that’s easy to understand for both humans and machines. For example, if you want to markup time that’s already in a machine-readable format, you use <time> like this:

  Meet me at <time>11:59</time> at the dock.

Or, if the date/time information is not machine-readable, you’d mark it up like this with the datetime attribute:

  Last updated
  <time datetime="2015-11-03">
    November 3rd 2015

The value for the datetime attribute takes one of the following formats:

  • date: YYYY-MM-DD
  • datetime (with time zone): YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss.Z (e.g.: 2016-06-30T03:37:56-0800)
  • datetime-local (no time zone): YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss
  • time: hh:mm:ss
  • month: YYYY-MM

This is how you can use the new <time> element.


<time> is an important new element in HTML5.

For a more comprehensive review of the HTML5 markup language, explore our series, How To Build a Website in HTML.

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