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Opened 4 years ago

Last modified 2 years ago

#25345 new defect (bug)

WordPress Network uses UTC for default time zone for new blogs

Reported by: novasource Owned by:
Milestone: Awaiting Review Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version: 3.6.1
Component: Date/Time Keywords:
Focuses: multisite Cc:

Description

When new blogs are created on my WordPress network, I have no way of controlling the default timezone. In my case, all my blogs are about an institution that is almost entirely in one time zone, so we would rather new blogs not use UTC by default.

Filing as a bug because no clear opportunity is given to new blog users to allow this frequently-changed setting to be adjusted, and it's not clear to non- or semi-technical users what to do.

Change History (22)

#1 @Ipstenu
4 years ago

This would be plugin territory, as not everyone has this need (it'd be pretty rare)

http://wordpress.org/plugins/wpmu-new-blog-defaults/ would be where I'd start. After that, I'd force define the time in my wp-config.php or via an MU Plugin.

#2 @markoheijnen
4 years ago

I'm not sure if it's rare. I think the issue is irritating to always set the timezone. A solution can be to check if the user has already a blog on the network and use that timezone instead.

#3 follow-ups: @dd32
4 years ago

FWIW, I don't think it's an unreasonable request that certain "environment" settings are inherited from the main site, timezone being one of them.

But at the same time, We make it very easy for plugins to implement this logic, and that is a much better user experience (Selecting *all* the defaults).
As a result, I don't think this should focus on the timezone specifically, but in a more general approach of "Do we want to allow Network Administrators to select new-site defaults in the admin, without a plugin"

#4 @novasource
4 years ago

Maybe this is part of the problem: when you make a new single-instance blog, you are prompted to set your time zone. I don't see that as part of the procedure when you set up a new blog on an multisite install. Either WordPress needs to give us an option to reuse defaults, or make the really-need-to-be-set values more obvious upon blog setup.

#5 @Ipstenu
4 years ago

I just tested this to be sure. When I install a single instance, it does not prompt me to set timezone at all. It's not even on the welcome box.

So right now, it's consistent with single instance. If we're not considering adding it to every type of install, I don't really think it's something that should be special added to Multisite.

Right now we have a way to override it/default it via plugins. I think that's a better solution right now. :)

#6 @novasource
4 years ago

Oh, really? Huh. But tell me--what was the time zone set to by default on the single instance version? Did it use the time zone reported by your browser by any chance?

#7 @Ipstenu
4 years ago

UTC.

#8 in reply to: ↑ 3 @knutsp
4 years ago

Replying to dd32:

"Do we want to allow Network Administrators to select new-site defaults in the admin, without a plugin"

We do already. That's what I see on network/settings.php, except that time zone is missing. At least there is default language, and with language, at least for Norwegian, the time zone is set to Oslo. This makes me happy when creating new sites.

The reporter has my full support in thinking the default time zone is something that is just missing, or left out. Must be annoying.

#9 @novasource
4 years ago

In my case, we are in central time, and I have blog users (on our multisite) complaining that things are 5 hours off. At no point are they being told that they need to adjust their time zone, although since their browsers should be reporting the time zone to the server, seems that WordPress ought to suggest that as a default? Or at a minimum, use the same time zone as the base blog by default?

#10 @Ipstenu
4 years ago

Multiple languages aren't the same as times. The reason you get an option there is you've installed multiple languages.

My argument is this: It's currently consistent with the single site experience.

No one gets 'told' to update their timezones, and IIRC it should try to detect what your server has PHP time set to as a default (which may be why my localhost defaulted to UTC). That has always been problematic, when your host has your server in Virginia, but you live in Hawaii. Not an example pulled from nowhere ;)

If you want to override it for Multisite, you can use a plugin, or probably define it in the wp-config.php (if not, we SHOULD have that), but adding in more options is exactly why we have plugins like ​http://wordpress.org/plugins/wpmu-new-blog-defaults/ (which as of 3 years ago solved exactly this issue - http://wordpress.org/support/topic/default-timezone-for-new-site?replies=3 )

For thems that needs 'em, we got 'em. For the rest, it works like single-WP. That feels preferable to me, based on how many people come kvetching to the forums and IRC about this one :)

#11 @knutsp
4 years ago

Who has multiple languages? I have never had that. It' always "nb_NO" and those language files are the only ones installed here.

Under network/settings.php there is a lot of defaults for the new sites to be created, even the wording of the welcome email, the example page, first post and first comment. The only thing I miss there is the time zone.

So creating new sites in Multisite has never been consistent with single installs. For single installation the only thing you can set before creating the site is the site name.

So why can't, or should not, time zone be treated the same way as emails, first posts and language, defining the default for this on network/settings.php?

#12 in reply to: ↑ 3 @helen
4 years ago

Replying to dd32:

But at the same time, We make it very easy for plugins to implement this logic, and that is a much better user experience (Selecting *all* the defaults).
As a result, I don't think this should focus on the timezone specifically, but in a more general approach of "Do we want to allow Network Administrators to select new-site defaults in the admin, without a plugin"

Agree. There are tickets about timezone setting difficulties already, anyway. I'm very much torn between "well, this screen is crazy already, it would be better if it let you define all defaults instead of a seemingly arbitrary set" and "omg this screen is crazy, let's clear it out and leave it all to a plugin".

I lean toward the latter, because of course I do, and because if ever we want multisite to become more generally accessible, it needs to be simplified. However, I definitely think that new site defaults needs to become its own settings page and thought put into how to make it less overwhelming (it can still be more powerful if we go that route). It's pretty ugly that we're mixing network settings with site defaults on one screen, I think.

#13 follow-up: @novasource
4 years ago

It doesn't make sense that essential functionality like this would be relegated to a plugin. You shouldn't need plugins for a product to "just work (correctly)".

#14 in reply to: ↑ 13 @helen
4 years ago

Replying to novasource:

It doesn't make sense that essential functionality like this would be relegated to a plugin. You shouldn't need plugins for a product to "just work (correctly)".

That depends on what's considered to be "correctly", I guess. Right now, defaulting to UTC is expected behavior, though perhaps not always desired. You do, in the meantime, have ways to make this work as you need, as this seems to be something you'd rather have sooner than later.

Anyway, I did say that that was just a personal leaning - what I definitely think is that new site defaults needs its own page. No idea if there's a reason for it all being mashed together or not, or if somebody else will vehemently disagree.

#15 @Ipstenu
4 years ago

Long answer shorter.

WP defaults to your server time. If we're going to add in a setting for 'sitewide defaults' then we need to look larger at the 'mashed together' section that we have right now. Adding MORE there won't help. It's already confusing and arguments aside as to if this is an essential functionality, the 'Network Settings' page is overloaded with too much right now.

Proposal: Change this ticket (or make a new one) to refactor the Network Settings Page.

Split out the one page of doom into at least two:

  • General - Includes what's currently Operational Settings plus timezones (mimic what we have in Single General as much as possible for consistancy) and registration (ditto single general), plus diskspace and hiding plugins checkbox. Basically all the DEFAULTS here
  • New Site Defaults - All the new site default settings

tl;dr: I think this question is bigger than 'just throw in a new setting.'

(Anecdotally, I see 'How to I activate the plugins page for my sites' asked more often than 'How do I set the default timezone' in the forums)

#16 @novasource
4 years ago

WP defaults to your server time.

Except it doesn't. My server time is currently CDT:
$ date
Mon Sep 23 08:19:35 CDT 2013

But new blogs get UTC.

#17 @jeremyfelt
4 years ago

  • Component changed from Multisite to Date/Time
  • Focuses multisite added

#18 follow-up: @DuisterDenHaag
2 years ago

Even though the last comment was 16 months ago, I'd like to add to this.

Running a Multisite in Holland seems challenging when it comes to the time settings. During the summer we're in UTC+2 and during the winter we're in UTC+1.

Now I have to set the UTC for each blog twice a year manually.

Surely there must be an easier way? In the Network Admin "Set all blogs to..."

#19 in reply to: ↑ 18 ; follow-up: @knutsp
2 years ago

Replying to DuisterDenHaag:

Even though the last comment was 16 months ago, I'd like to add to this.

Running a Multisite in Holland seems challenging when it comes to the time settings. During the summer we're in UTC+2 and during the winter we're in UTC+1.

Now I have to set the UTC for each blog twice a year manually.

Why not set your timezones to Amsterdam and forget about daylight saving adjustmenst twice a year? WordPress adjusts itself. This was introduced about eight years ago, as far as I can recall.

This ticket is about a default timezone for new sites in a multisite installation.

#20 in reply to: ↑ 19 ; follow-ups: @DuisterDenHaag
2 years ago

Replying to knutsp:

Why not set your timezones to Amsterdam and forget about daylight saving adjustmenst twice a year? WordPress adjusts itself. This was introduced about eight years ago, as far as I can recall.

This ticket is about a default timezone for new sites in a multisite installation.

If I could, I would, of course ;-) That sounds much easier.

But even though I'm running 4.4.2 and the pull down windows says "Choose a city near to you" and then it shows UTC options and no cities. That's why I need to do it manually... :-(

#21 in reply to: ↑ 20 @knutsp
2 years ago

Replying to DuisterDenHaag:

the pull down windows says "Choose a city near to you" and then it shows UTC options and no cities.

For this issue, please try support, or open a new ticket, if you think this is a bug on supported platforms, on a fresh and clean installation.

#22 in reply to: ↑ 20 @dd32
2 years ago

Replying to DuisterDenHaag:

But even though I'm running 4.4.2 and the pull down windows says "Choose a city near to you" and then it shows UTC options and no cities. That's why I need to do it manually... :-(

FYI @DuisterDenHaag the list is controlled by your PHP / Server installation, the server is probably lacking the timezonedb package appropriate for the system - see https://php.net/manual/en/timezones.php

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