Correct time zone data in Movable Type

Daylight Savings Time went into effect at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning for most of the United States. Most people set all their clocks forward and did not give much thought to how their weblog tool is configured to communicate time to the rest of the world. My weblog is now communicating a UTC time zone offset of one hour less than reality, and it bothers me. I will explain why this happens and teach you how to fix your Movable Type weblog to display the correct time offset year-round.

Movable Type requires a timezone weblog setting of “the timezone where you are located.” A server offset is stored in mt_blog.blog_server_offset and applies to all weblog posts in templates using time zone data. Your RSS and Atom feeds are now providing an incorrect time of authorship if you live in an area of the world affected by daylight savings. Your weblog’s default template uses the time format of “%X” for HTML representations of time and does not include a time zone offset. All you have to worry about is your feeds.

So how do you fix it? Edit your weblog configuration by selecting “Configuration” from your main Movable Type screen or “Weblog Config” within your weblog. Pay no attention to the Movable Type time zone text in parenthesis since it is most likely incorrect for half of the year. If you live in the United States visit to confirm your UTC offset. Change your weblog setting to the correct UTC offset — UTC-7 (Mountain Time) for Pacific Daylight Time — and rebuild your feeds by choosing “Rebuild Indexes Only” from your rebuild screen.

Your feeds will now display the correct time for feed readers around the world while still maintaining your time of local authorship.

It is a totally geeky thing to worry about, but it helps readers viewing your weblog through an aggregator identify the correct time of publication however they choose.