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Using document dates
Library > How To > Use document dates  
Document dates can be displayed along with your search results. Search results can also be sorted by date, showing the most recently modified documents first and older documents later in the search results.

In order for FreeFind to work with the date of a document we need to know what that date is. This page describes how FreeFind determines the date of a document and how to tell if your website supports document dates.

Checking for date support


Not all websites support document dates.

The FreeFind search engine obtains document dates in one of two ways:

  • your webserver sends us a "last modified" date field with each page
  • you have a document-date meta tag on each page of your web site
If your webserver does not send last modified dates, and you have no document-date meta tags in your web pages FreeFind's date features will not work properly for your website.

Once you have verified that your website supports document dates you can show dates in your search results by clicking on the customize tab in the FreeFind control center, then clicking on the "Result item format" link. In that dialog you will be able to turn on date display and choose a time zone and date format.

You can also enable date sorting. Click on the customize tab in the FreeFind control center, then click on "Result ordering" link and check the "show sorting controls" checkbox. If you want to default to date sorting you can also select the "sort result by date" radio button.

Checking for date support(top)

Some webservers send us a "last modified" date with each page they serve, others send no last modified date, still others send incorrect last modified dates (often today's date) with each page served.

To determine if your webserver is sending us proper last modified dates you'll need to check your indexing log.

If your site has not been indexed already, you will need to do that first. (To index your site click on the build index tab in the FreeFind control center, then click the "index now" link, then click finish and wait until you receive the email indicating that your site has been indexed).

To check your indexing log:

  • click on reports in the FreeFind control center
  • click on "View log list"
  • click on "view"
  • click on "builder log"

The first column of the builder log contains the last modified times that your server sent to us. (These times are in GMT) If these times are correct then you can use all of FreeFind's date related features.

If they are not correct or there is no last modified date you'll need to add document date meta tags to each of your documents in order to use date related features.

See the tag reference for information about the document date meta tag.


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