What is the proper syntax in the ElementAPI 'criteria' configuration settings for limiting entries based on custom start and end date/time fields. I can't use the default postDate and expiryDate due to localization requirements.

I have the proper syntax working in my twig template:

.startDateTime('<=' ~ now.date,':empty:').endDateTime('>=' ~ now.date,':empty:')

How can I mimic this same logic in the ElementAPI config settings? This is what I have so far. It doesn't throw any php errors but doesn't return the results I am expecting:

'criteria' => [
    'section' => 'mySection', 
    'type' => 'mySectionType',
    'startDateTime' => '<=' . date("Y-m-d H:i:s") . ', :empty:',
    'endDateTime' => '>=' . date("Y-m-d H:i:s") . ', :empty: '

1 Answer 1


After some exploration and trial and error, I was able to find a solution. Ultimately there are two problems:

  1. startDateTime, endDateTime and php’s date() function were not returning the same timezone date & time.
  2. The correct formatting for matching multiple values needs to be in an array.

The fix:

At the top of my elementapi.php file I added this line to make sure php’s date() function returns the same timezone craft has been set to in the admin config.


Then I reformatted my criteria settings as such:

'criteria' => [
    'section' => 'mySection', 
    'type' => 'mySectionType',
    'startDateTime' => ['<=' . date("Y-m-d H:i:s.u"), ':empty:'],
    'endDateTime' => ['>=' . date("Y-m-d H:i:s.u"), ':empty:']

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