How to add the current time using JavaScript

Note: skip all the way down to the bottom to grab the completed code. You can view the running code from a codepen embed at the botom of this post. Or read through this short article to find out how it’s done.

Here are some ways to add the current time onto a web page using JavaScript

The first way is simple, but comes with caveats, so is not ideal. The last code is the best solution.

For the first way, the hours, minutes and seconds are grabbed from a new date object, but there are two problems: a) JS is added within the HTML – not good practice. And B) the format can appear without double figures ie: 12:4:2pm.

<h4>Get current time</h4>
The current time is:
  var now = new Date();
  var hours = now.getHours();
  var minutes = now.getMinutes();
  var seconds = now.getSeconds();

  document.write(hours + ":" + minutes + ":" + seconds);

The second way is to add just the hours, but put am or pm after the number. In this example, there are some conditional statements and also ‘modulo %’, which calculates based on the 12 hour clock:

<h4>Change hours to a.m and p.m</h4>
<p>The current time is:
    var now = new Date();
    var hour= now.getHours();
    if (hour < 12) {
      meridiem = 'am';
    else {
      meridiem = 'pm';
    hour = hour % 12;
    if (hour==0) {
      hour = 12;
    hour = hour + ' ' + meridiem;

Add a zero to minutes that are less than 10.

  var minutes = now.getMinutes();
  if (minutes<10) {
    minutes = '0' + minutes;

The code above getsthe minutes. Checks if it is less than ten. If it is, it adds a zero as a string to minutes. If a string concatenates with a number in JavaScript, then JS autonatically converts the number to a string. In this instance, ‘string’ number becomes ‘string’.

This is all well and good but the JS needs to move out of the HTML. The code needs to be repackaged into a function that can be called.

Here is the function to add the current time to HTML, currently formatted:

function printTime(secs) {
  var sep = ':'; // separator character
  var hours, minutes, seconds, time;
  var now = new Date();
  hours = now.getHours();
  if (hours < 12) {
    meridiem = 'am';
  } else {
    meridiem = 'pm';
  hours = hours % 12;
  if (hours==0) {
    hours = 12;
  time = hours;
  minutes = now.getMinutes();
  if (minutes < 10) {
    minutes = '0' + minutes;
  time += sep + minutes;
  if (secs) {
    seconds = now.getSeconds();
    if (seconds < 10) {
      seconds = '0' + seconds;
    time += sep + seconds;
  return time + ' ' + meridiem;

This code needs to run first. Then, add a call to the function in the HTML:

<h4>A function to print the time</h4>
The current time is: 

If you want to add the seconds include true as a parameter inside the function call:

<h4>A function to print the time</h4>
The current time is: 

So to recap: Make sure the function is read first, then the HTML and the function call.

Note: This code is not to the current ECMA JavaScript standard but will still work. I’ve grabbed it from an old book as I needed it for a project. At some point I’ll re-write it, but for now, I hope it helps.

See the Pen Get current time using JavaScript by Dan Johnson (@danjohnsonwhitstable) on CodePen.

Beginners guide to using the command line on a Mac

I’ve decided to blog a command line course that I’ve been reading through. So here it is. The very very basic absolute beginners guide to using terminal on a Mac.

This will be an ongoing post so I will post as the course goes along.

Understand this before continuing:

  • Terminal is a program built into the Mac. It is what is called a command line interpreter.
  • A command line interpreter is a program that enables you to ‘program’ the computer to do things. Automate tasks, create folders, change file names and much more.
  • These types of programs are called ‘shells’. Terminal is a particular type of shell called the ‘bash’ shell.
  • Modern web development and computer programming involves using the Terminal to set up tasks that automate processes on your local development environment. The Terminal is used to run commands and get programs to do things.
  • Lots of super things can be achieved using the Terminal and a lot of it is easy – you just have to learn how!

The first thing you need to know is how to navigate around your Mac in order to get to certain folders and files.

Chapter 1: Navigating Directories

Where is the Terminal on the Mac?
Go to Applications, it is in the Utilities folder:


Open it.
You know you can open another tab (cmd T) as and when you want.

The first steps to getting used to using the Terminal is in navigating your directory structure.

Some very common commands you will be using a lot:

ls – List everything in a directory

You can provide ‘switches’ to a command that fine tunes your list.
ls -ltr
l = list
t = sort by time modifies
r = reverse results

This is what appears:
drwx------+ 39 Dan staff 1056 22 May 22:49 Desktop

Breakdown of what these characters mean:
d = directory, the following characters are what permissions are avaliable:
r = read. The directory can be read.
w = Write. The directory can be changed.
x = Excecute. Programs can be executed from the directory.
The characters after these letters signify if other people sharing my computer can do things.

How do I get to another folder (directory)?
cd = change directory

Why would I want to go to another folder?
Programs can be used to perform actions on files within particular folders.

Type cd Documents to go to the documents folder
Or,use autocomplete:

Press tab to autocomplete:

Start to type ‘Docu’ and press tab to autocomplete the command. So ‘cd Docu [tab].

Type just ‘d’. Autocomplete advises which of the 2 folders: Documents or Downloads?

So…Using ls and autocomplete means that the full name of the directory doesn’t have to be typed, every time. Just ‘ls’, see the directory, then type the first few letters of the directory and press tab. This is a much quicker and simpler form of navigation.

How to get to the home directory?
Cd ~
Use the tilde character ‘~’.

How to clear the terminal screen?
Type ‘clear
Or ctrl L.

How to navigate to a folder within a folder?
Just continue the path using a slash
cd folder/another-folder

How to find the path of the current located directory?
Type ‘pwd’.
Pwd = show path of Present Working Directory

Terminal shows the path of the directory:

How to navigate up the directory tree?
Type 2 full-stops (periods):
cd .. = go to the parent directory

This saves from having to start from the home directory again, just to move up one level. So from the example above:

Typing cd ..
Will move to

This can be typed multiple times to move up to other levels:

cd ../../ etc.

Note that the slash directory system is the same for must websites. This is because Macs use a ‘unix’ file system, the same as websites.

Next chapter:
Navigating shortcuts…

A Simple Responsive, Two Line Footer

I was designing a website the other day and realised the text in the footer for my website looked better on two lines, at a certain mobile breakpoint. Whereas on desktop, it looked better all on one line. I typed out a few lines in codepen to try it out and thought I’d add it here so that it can be shared and reused.

All CSS, JavaScript and HTML was written ‘obtrusively’. This is because I needed to add it to a custom HTML section within a WordPress theme, for speed more than anything else. As it was such a small piece of code it hardly seemed necessary to split it out, unless of course, you are going down that route.

This is the text:
© 2019 All rights reserved. Web designed in Whitstable by DJW

I added the year as JavaScript so that it updates automatically (php wouldn’t work due to the custom HTML theme section).

The sentences are actually paragraphs <p> – by default they are displayed as blocks, thus on two separate lines. This means it is ‘mobile-first’.

The query is for larger screens, 600px and over (feel free to change to size to suit). When the screen is this size, the query makes the second sentence (with a class) display: inline and therefore moves it onto the first line.

Note that the first sentence has an inline style of display: inline. for some reason I got funny styling without including this.

Here’s the code to grab:

<style scoped>@media (min-width:600px){.TwoLineMob{display: inline;}}</style>
<div class="footerCustomTheme">
<p style="display:inline">© <script> document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); </script> All rights reserved.</p>
<p class="TwoLineMob">Web designed in Whitstable by <a title="Whitstable Web and Graphic solutions for startups and sme's" href="" >DJW</a></p></div>

You can view the code in codepen here: