The format of timestamps used in MediaWiki URLs and in some of the MediaWiki database fields is yyyymmddhhmmss. For example, the timestamp for 2023-09-10 14:59:18 (UTC) is 20230910145918. The timezone for these timestamps is UTC.

MediaWiki's wfTimestamp() function provides a convenient way to convert from timestamps in common formats to the MediaWiki timestamp format and vice versa. Read Manual:wfTimestamp for more details. Never use wfTimestamp() when inserting a timestamp into the database; this will break in PostgreSQL and possibly other non-MySQL databases. Instead use DatabaseBase::timestamp(), aka $dbw->timestamp(), which converts a timestamp in one of the formats accepted by wfTimestamp() to the format used for inserting into timestamp fields in this DBMS.

wfTimestampNow() is a convenience function that returns a MediaWiki timestamp for the present time.

MediaWiki stores timestamps as strings rather than native timestamp types because MySQL's TIMESTAMP type had major limitations when MediaWiki was first written.[1]


Here are the various timestamp datatypes used in the MediaWiki core:


binary(14) NOT NULL[edit]

binary(14) NOT NULL default '19700101000000'[edit]


varbinary(14) NOT NULL[edit]

varbinary(14) NOT NULL default ''[edit]

timestamp NOT NULL[edit]