jQuery Clock from Server Time

Recently I needed to add a clock to a page that showed the time according to the server and not the client’s machine. This was because the application runs a number of scheduled tasks that are set to run at specific times relative to the time on the server.

To do this I first needed to output the server time to a label on the page. With PHP you would do something like this:

<span id="serverClock"><?php echo date('h:i:s'); ?></span>

This gets the time based on the server’s clock and not the client machine and writes it out to a span on the page. The next step is to capture that time as text.

var serverClock = jQuery("#serverClock");

if (serverClock.length > 0) {

	showServerTime(serverClock, serverClock.text());


Here we are selecting the span containing the time and we’re then going to call a function called showServerTime. This function will accept two parameters; the first is the element that holds the time, the second is the time value.

var serverClock = jQuery("#serverClock");

if (serverClock.length > 0) {

	showServerTime(serverClock, serverClock.text());


function showServerTime(obj, time) {

	var	parts	= time.split(":"),
		newTime	= new Date(),
		timeDifference	= new Date().getTime() - newTime.getTime();

	newTime.setHours(parseInt(parts[0], 10));
	newTime.setMinutes(parseInt(parts[1], 10));
	newTime.setSeconds(parseInt(parts[2], 10));

	var methods = {

		displayTime: function () {

			var now = new Date(new Date().getTime() - timeDifference);


				methods.leadZeros(now.getHours(), 2),
				methods.leadZeros(now.getMinutes(), 2),
				methods.leadZeros(now.getSeconds(), 2)


			setTimeout(methods.displayTime, 500);


		leadZeros: function (time, width) {

			while (String(time).length < width) {
				time = "0" + time;
			return time;


2 thoughts on “jQuery Clock from Server Time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *