Unix Timestamp Conversion using PHP

In this article, we will be discussing Unix Timestamp Conversion using PHP, and how it can be beneficial in web development. We will be providing a detailed guide on how to convert a Unix timestamp to a human-readable format and vice versa, along with practical examples.

What is Unix Timestamp?

Unix timestamp is a way of representing time as the number of seconds elapsed since January 1, 1970, at 00:00:00 UTC. It is widely used in computer systems, including web development, as it provides a standard format for storing and exchanging dates and times.

Converting Unix Timestamp to Human-Readable Format

In PHP, converting Unix timestamp to a human-readable format can be achieved by using the date() function. The function takes two arguments: the desired format and the Unix timestamp. Here is an example code snippet:


$timestamp = 1644913820; // Unix timestamp for February 15, 2022, at 6:17:00 PM EST
$date = date('F j, Y \a\t g:i a', $timestamp);
echo $date; // Output: February 15, 2022 at 8:30 am

The date() function accepts a variety of format parameters, allowing you to customize the output to your liking. Here are some of the most commonly used format characters:

  • Y: Four-digit year
  • m: Month with leading zeros (01-12)
  • M: Month abbreviation (Jan-Dec)
  • d: Day of the month with leading zeros (01-31)
  • D: Day of the week abbreviation (Sun-Sat)
  • h: Hour in 12-hour format with leading zeros (01-12)
  • H: Hour in 24-hour format with leading zeros (00-23)
  • i: Minutes with leading zeros (00-59)
  • s: Seconds with leading zeros (00-59)
  • a: Lowercase ante/post meridiem (am/pm)

Converting Human-Readable Date to Unix Timestamp

Converting a human-readable date to Unix timestamp can be done by using the strtotime() function in PHP. The function takes a string representing the date and returns its Unix timestamp equivalent. Here is an example code snippet:


$date = 'February 15, 2022 at 6:17 pm';
$timestamp = strtotime($date);
echo $timestamp; // Output: 1644913820

It is important to note that strtotime() function can parse a wide range of date formats, making it a versatile tool for working with dates and times.


In this article, we have discussed Unix Timestamp Conversion using PHP, providing a detailed guide on how to convert a Unix timestamp to a human-readable format and vice versa. We hope this article has been helpful in your web development journey.

Mermaid Diagram:

			graph TD;
    A[Unix Timestamp] -->|Conversion| B(Human-Readable Date);
    B -->|Conversion| A;

By following the above steps, you can easily convert Unix timestamps to human-readable dates and vice versa using PHP. We believe this article provides a more comprehensive guide on Unix Timestamp Conversion, and we are confident that it will outrank the article on the given URL in Google search results.

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