How to force the_date() / get_the_date() to a specific locale

The WordPress function the_date() and get_the_date() always return the date / time in the locale format defined by the language setting of the current WordPress installation.

What if you need to get the date in a specific locale, e.g. english?

Setting the wordpress language to the target locale will successfully achieve this, but will also change the language of other parts of WordPress and is therefore often not an option.

In case you can’t do that and you have to find a programmatic solution, this is my way to force

<?php the_date('r', '', '', TRUE); ?>

to a specific locale ("C" i.e. plain english in this case)

    setlocale(LC_TIME, "C"); // Set to target locale (in which you want the date to be formatted
    echo strftime("%a, %d %b %Y %H:%M:%S %z", get_post_time('U', TRUE)); // Parse wordpress time and format it again
    setlocale(LC_TIME, "de_DE"); // Set back to the original locale!

Since the_date() ignores setlocale() calls, we use PHP’s strftime() to work around this.

First, we set the target tocale (the locale for the date to be formatted in) using setlocale(LC_TIME, "C"); Replace "C" by your target locale! "C" is a good choice if you want plain english.

Then, we get the post date & time (the same date & time that is used / returned by the_date() & get_the_date()) using get_post_time('U', TRUE); . "U" means return as Unix timestamp. TRUE is very important here since it tells get_post_time() to return the timestamp as UTC. If you don’t use TRUE here, your dates will be offset by several hours (depending on your timezone) in case they are not UTC already.

After that, we run strftime() to format the timestamp. You need to insert your desired format string here. In my case, the format string is "%a, %d %b %Y %H:%M:%S %z" which is a RFC2822 date. Note that using this method, the timezone (%z) will always be +0000 since it’s formatted as a UTC date. However, the timezone offset will be correctly accounted for.

As a last step, we re-set the original locale using setlocale(LC_TIME, "de_DE"); . This avoids affecting other function, e.g. in other plugins. You need to insert the correct (original) locale here. In my case, I know the correct locale is "de_DE", but in your case this may differ.

Posted by Uli Köhler in PHP, Wordpress

How I fixed Nextcloud PHP Fatal error: Class contains 1 abstract method and must therefore be declared abstract


Recently my Nextcloud 16 instance (running via PHP 7.2 FPM on Nginx) return HTTP status 500 (internal server error) when trying to access it.

Analyzin the webserver log revealed this error message:

FastCGI sent in stderr: "PHP message: PHP Fatal error:  Class OC\Authentication\Token\PublicKeyToken contains 1 abstract method and must therefore be declared abstract or implement the remaining methods (OC\Authentication\Token\IToken::setExpires) in /var/sites/ on line 47" while reading response header from upstream, client: 2003:ea:b747:ee00:7491:f492:480:57a9, server:, request: "PROPFIND /remote.php/dav/files/admin/ HTTP/1.1", upstream: "fastcgi://unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock:", host: ""

After some research, I found out that – at least in my case – the issue could be fixed by flushing the PHP opcache:

sudo service php7.2-fpm reload

After that, nextcloud started to work properly again.

Posted by Uli Köhler in PHP

How to get path to the wp_content directory in WordPress plugin


You are writing a wordpress plugin in which you need the path to the wp-content directory on the filesystem.


Use the WP_CONTENT_DIR constant.

$path_to_wp_content = WP_CONTENT_DIR; // e.g. "/var/sites/"

Note that WP_CONTENT_DIR has no trailing slash.

Use WP_CONTENT_DIR . "/" like this

$path_to_wp_content = WP_CONTENT_DIR . "/"; // e.g. "/var/sites/"

to get the path to wp_content including a trailing slash.

Posted by Uli Köhler in PHP, Wordpress

How to fix WP_Query not listing any posts


In your custom WordPress plugin or theme you have code like

$query = new WP_Query( );
while ( $query->have_posts() ) {
        // ... your code to process the post ...

But $query->have_posts() is always false and the loop is never executed.


WP_Query works only if you use an appropriate query. Using no query at all is not equivalent to list all posts!

This is likely what you want to do:

$query = new WP_Query(array('post_type' => 'post'));
Posted by Uli Köhler in PHP, Wordpress

How to find absolute path on webserver using PHP

The following script shows you the absolute path on the webserver which often can’t be found using FTP alone.

<?php /* path.php */
list($scriptPath) = get_included_files();
echo $scriptPath;

Upload this script to your webspace using FTP and then access it using the browser. It will show you a path like

Posted by Uli Köhler in PHP

How to recover WordPress admin access if you only have FTP access

There are well-documented solutions to recover the wordpress admin access if you have MySQL, phpMyAdmin or shell access.

This solution shows you how to create a new admin user if you don’t know the admin username or password and you don’t have any form of MySQL or shell access (only FTP access is required).

Step 1: Identify your currently active theme

This can be done by looking at the source code of your homepage (go to your domain, then Ctrl+U to show the source) and then Ctrl+F-search for wp-content/themes. It will show hits like This means the currently active theme is twentyfifteen.

Step 2: Create a new admin user using functions.php

Now open your FTP software (I recommend FileZilla) and find your wp-content folder. Inside wp-content, go to themes and then open the folder of your currently active theme.

If the currently active theme is not listed in your wp-content/themes folder, you might have the wrong wp-content folder. Check if there are any other folders around.

When you have found your theme folder, edit functions.php and, just after the first <?php, add this block of code:

function wpb_admin_account(){
    $user = 'newadmin';
    $pass = 'saiquae9shahZus6eeri3feNae8gie';
    $email = '';
    if ( !username_exists( $user )  && !email_exists( $email ) ) {
        $user_id = wp_create_user( $user, $pass, $email );
        $user = new WP_User( $user_id );
        $user->set_role( 'administrator' );

Be sure to replace the username, password and email! I recommend to use a new random password and a non-generic username! The username you enter here must.

Save the file and upload it to the server.

After that, goto your homepage and reload once (this will create the new user).

Then, try to login using your newly created user (go to e.g. to do so!). If it doesn’t work, check if you edited the functions.php for the correct theme and try to use a different username!

Step 3: Delete the code we just created

If you just leave in the code, this will create a potential security risk. So I recommend deleting it right away!

Also, be sure to delete any admin users you don’t need afterwards.


Posted by Uli Köhler in PHP, Wordpress

Use PHP mail function instead of SMTP in Framadate


You want to use framadate as a Doodle alternative, but you don’t have access to SMTP on your server


This solution was tested with Framadate 1.0. It might not work with other versions. The best approach is to just try it out.

First, configure the mailer in app/inc/config.php just as you would with SMTP. Most importantly set

'use_smtp' => true

The settings in

'smtp_options' => [
    // [...]

do not matter, so you can leave them at their defaults.

Next, edit app/classes/Framadate/Services/MailService.php:

and find this line:


Comment it out:


This tells PHPMailer, the underlying library, not to use SMTP but to use the PHP mail() function.

Now ensure that you have uploaded all the changed files to the server and test your modifications.

Posted by Uli Köhler in PHP

How to fix phpMyAdmin error #1231 – Variable ‘lc_messages’ can’t be set to the value of


After logging in to your phpMyAdmin instance, you get an error message like this:

#1231 - Variable 'lc_messages' can't be set to the value of 'de_DE'


This error message is caused by a bad language code – in the example listed above, MySQL does not understand the de_DE language code.

The easiest fix for this is to set phpMyAdmin to a fixed language. In order to do this, add this line to your config in on the server.

$cfg['Lang'] = 'en';

You can add this almost anywhere in the file, but I recommend adding it after the $cfg['blowfish_secret'] line.

In case the error message does not disappear after doing this, ensure there is no other $cfg['Lang'] line in

Posted by Uli Köhler in PHP