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Difference between dates in CMS items: created, published, modified

Hi Webflowers,
I have problems understanding how dates are managed when an item is created, published or modified.

Here is my understanding:

  • Created: the date when I create a new CMS item and click save.
  • Published: the date when I publish the CMS item and does not change even if I do update its content and publish it again. So I understand this as the date of first publication.
  • Modified: the date when the last changes of a given CMS item have been published.

From using the Webflow sorting configuration I realized that my understanding does not align with what Webflow actually does, so any further explanation on how Webflow calculate this dates will be much appreciated.


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Can you be more specific about how your dates behave vs. how you think they should?

I went to check how default dates behaved and so far they do like you think they should.

Here’s my test:

What do you think I should test in order to witness what you’re talking about?

Thanks @vincent for getting back. The main thing is that the published date (the one I think that should keep the same regardless if it is updated and published later in the future) does change when new changes are published. Here are two screenshots where you can see how the time changes. This text is pulling the date from the native published field.

Captura de pantalla 2020-07-10 a las 11.19.25 Captura de pantalla 2020-07-10 a las 11.20.05

Ok I see, this is expected. And IMHO it’s a good thing, here’s why:

The published date is updated each time you’re editing an item. You can read it as “the published date of the actual version of the CMS item”. Published date as you expect it to be would be the “original published date” as often seen on some sites and CMS. I think it’s OK because htis way you can’t be fooled about how old really is an item.

Anyway, those 3 date fields are not necessarily meant to be shown in your pages, they’re primarily here to help you keep track of your posts and to sort your lists. You have all freedom to craft as many date field as you want (I call them Editorial date fields) and manage them as you want.

On all my Articles and Posts collection, I have an “Originally published on” date field, and I also use the default “Updated on”. I set the first manually and the latter remains automatic.

Thanks for the further clarification and it makes total sense.

The questions that arises now is what is the difference between the date in Published On and Modified On? Is that the latter does not count for the publish date and just saves the last date the CMS item has been modified?

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Modified on is set as soon as the Save button is clicked. It’s not necessarily published right away, could be days later.

I reckon I don’t jhave the full understanding of why those dates behaviors were chosen, and why those dates were chosen as default.

There may be some other system dates that we don’t have access to, like “Originally published on”.

If you feel like you’d benefit from such a default system date, you can open an idea in the wishlist and ask for it.

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