Yii and jquery.localtime.js - display dates in user local timezone

With this method we work on the server with UTC timezone dates and convert them to a user local timezone on client.

Use ‘TIMESTAMP’ type for date/datetime DB fields

Setup MySQL and PHP timezone

Set UTC timezone for both MySQL and PHP.

Yii db config (MySQL):

    ‘db’ => array(
        'connectionString' => '...’,
        'initSQLs'=>"set time_zone='+00:00;",

And PHP timezone:


Generate HTML with UTC dates in ISO 8601

See date formats here Helper functions to convert dates:

  • MySQL date to UTC

    $utcString = gmdate(‘Y-m-d\TH:i:s\Z’, strtotime($dateTimeString));

  • UTC date to HTML

    echo CHtml::tag(‘span’, array(‘class’=>‘localtime’), $utcString);

  • UTC date to timestamp

    $ts = strtotime($utcString);

Add localtime plugin and localtimex extension

Include scripts into the page, see jquery.localtime.js plugin here and jquery.localtimex.js code at the end. To disable jquery.localtime.js default initialization pass empty format to setFormat() method (or remove jQuery.ready block at the end of jquery.localtime.js).

    <script type="text/javascript" src="/js/jquery.localtime-0.5.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="/js/jquery.localtimex.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">$.localtime.setFormat({}); </script>

Use localtimex:

    <script type="text/javascript">
        $('.localtime').localtimex('dd MMM yyyy HH:mm:ss');

By default plugin will localize specified elements and re-localize them in the case of ajax updates. Date format is ISO 8601, see description.

Date inputs

jquery.localtimex.js plugin also supports date inputs localization (tested with jQuery UI datepicker and depends on it).

It will convert UTC value to local time, so user can work with it. Before form submit plugin will convert it back to UTC.

Example of usage:

  1. Use initial UTC value for date input or leave it empty:

    $myDate = gmdate(‘Y-m-d\TH:i:s\Z’, time()); //today, use it as initial date input value

  2. When configuring the jQuery datepicker plugin - set date format to ‘mm/dd/yy’ and add css class ‘localdatepicker’.

  3. Attach jquery.localtimex plugin to the same input, set date format to ‘MM/dd/yyyy’ and use css class ‘localdatepicker’:


  4. On the client side localtimex plugin will convert initial UTC value to the local client time and then will convert it back when form is submitted

  5. On the server side - accept UTC value, convert it to the MySQL format / timestamp:

    $myDateMySql = Yii::app()->dateFormatter->format(‘yyyy-MM-dd’, strtotime($UTCValue)); $myDateTimestamp = strtotime($UTCValue);

     * @name jquery.localtimex.js
     * @author Boris Serebrov
     * Depends on: jQuery, jQuery UI datepicker (local date parsing),
     * jquery.localtime-0.5.js (http://code.google.com/p/jquery-localtime/)
     * Usage:
     * - do not configure jquery.localtime plugin, instead use this plugin
     *   on elements you need localize:
     *   $('.localtime').localtimex('dd MMM yyyy HH:mm:ss');
     *   $('.localdate').localtimex('dd MMM yyyy');
     * Ajax response handling:
     * - by default plugin will localize elements after ajax requests
     * - to disable this behavior pass 'ajaxLocalize':false to options
     *   $('.localdate').localtimex('dd MMM yyyy', {'ajaxLocalize':false});
     * Date inputs handling:
     * - server put UTC time into input (or leave it empty)
     * - UTC value converted to local time, user can modify it in local format
     * - on form submit value converted back to UTC and posted to server
     * jQuery UI datepicker configuration:
     * - add 'localtimex' plugin to date input
     * - set dateFormat of a date picker accordingly to localtime plugin output format
     *   - they use different standards for date presentation,
     *     so we have to describe the same presentation twice
     *   - for example: localtime plugin - 'MM/dd/yyyy', datepicker - 'mm/dd/yy'
     * - initial input value should be UTC in ISO format or empty
    (function($) {
      $.fn.localtimex = function(format, opt) {

        format = format || 'yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss';
        opt = $.extend({
            'ajaxLocalize': true
        }, opt);

        if (opt.ajaxLocalize) {
          var self = this;
          $('body').ajaxComplete(function() {
            $(self.selector).each(function() {
              $.localtimex.localize(this, format);

        return this.each(function() {
          $.localtimex.localize(this, format);
          if ($(this).is(":input")) {
            var self = this;
            $(this.form).on('submit form-pre-serialize', function() {
                var dt = $.datepicker.parseDate(
                  $(self).datepicker('option', 'dateFormat'), $(self).val()
                if (dt) {

      $.localtimex = {
        localize: function(element, format) {
          if (!$(element).attr('data-localized')) {
            if ($(element).is(":input")) {
              var utcVal = $(element).val();
              //input can be empty initially
              if (utcVal.length) {
                $(element).attr('value', $.localtime.toLocalTime($(element).val(), format));
            } else {
              $(element).text($.localtime.toLocalTime($(element).text(), format));
          $(element).attr('data-localized', true);
    }) (jQuery);

Yii wiki: Local time zones and locales

Yii wiki: Using International Dates

Yii extension: i18n-datetime-behavior

Yii forum: DATETIME and internationalization

Yii forum: Dealing with i18N date formats

Yii playground: User input advanced example

Yii playground: LocaleManager application component

profile for Boris Serebrov on Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites