How to Compare Dates in JavaScript

How to Compare Dates in JavaScript

Dates are a really common data type developers work with. From timestamps of certain actions, to reports, sign up features and limited-time access in systems that require subscriptions.

Introduction

Dates are a really common data type developers work with. From timestamps of certain actions, to reports, sign up features and limited-time access in systems that require subscriptions - we oftentimes have to compare dates.

That is, we compare if a date is after or before another, if the date is today, how many days there are between dates, etc.

In this article, we'll take a look at how to compare two dates in JavaScript, helping us deduce whether a date is before or after another.

The Date Object in JavaScript

Web developers commonly use external packages (like Moment.js) to handle date-time operations. But, as the modern web evolved, JavaScript introduced a new object constructor called Date to handle date-time operations.

This means that you don't need an external library to perform rudimentary checks and operations, which makes it easier to perform these things in Vanilla JS.

The Date class is really simple to understand under the hood - it just stores Unix time measured in milliseconds.

Unix time is measured as the number of seconds elapsed since the Unix epoch (00:00:00 UTC 1 January 1970), which is a completely arbitrary date.

Even though this implementation seems a bit simplistic, the addition of the Date class was quite a big improvement, since there was finally a level of abstraction between developers and raw dates.

Now, let's look at different ways to compare two dates using Date objects.

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