As with any program or software, it’s important to use the latest version of WordPress. This will make your website more secure and better suited for your visitors.
So, if you ever asked yourself “what version of WordPress do I have?”, you're not alone and there are many ways of finding it out.
Here are my top six methods to check your WordPress version:
- Check the WordPress about page
- Find out from your WordPress admin area (if your WordPress is up to date)
- Check in the website’s HTML meta tag (if you can't access admin area)
- Look in version.php file (more complex method)
- Look at the readme.html file to check WordPress version (quickest way)
- Check the site’s RSS feed (if you can't find readme.html file)
1. Check the WordPress about page
The easiest and most efficient way to check the WordPress version you have is to go to the about page. Now, some of you might not know where exactly it's located.
If you login to your admin area, and look at the top left corner, you will see a WordPress logo on it. Hovering on it will show you a new menu. If you select the topmost option named “About WordPress” you will go to a new page with all the info you need.
On this page, you can see your WordPress version, even if you're not updated to the newest one.
Apart from this info, you can read the credits, privacy updates, and Developer notes. Of course, this method only works if you have access to the admin area.
2. Find out from your WordPress admin area
Heading over to your administrative dashboard is the quickest way to learn your WordPress version. Start by logging into your WordPress account. Then, click on “Dashboard” on the top left-hand corner of your screen.
Once you click on “Dashboard”, you’ll see an option called “Updates”.
Select it to find out which version of WordPress you’re running. With this method, you’ll also be able to re-install the latest version if necessary.
Also, the footer will include a note saying “Thank you for creating with WordPress” at the bottom left side of each page. Parallel to this, on the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see the version of your website builder.
But this only works if you are up to date with your WordPress version. If you are running an older version, you will get a message saying "You can update to ...".
In a case like this, we suggest using different methods
3. Check in the website’s HTML meta tag
If for any reason, you can’t access your administrative dashboard, you won’t be able to use the methods above to find out which version you’re running.
Luckily, there are other ways to find out. For example, if you create a site with WordPress it should have an HTML meta tag with the information regarding which version the site uses.
While this should work in most cases, it’s not as reliable as the first option above. Despite the meta tag being a default feature of all WordPress sites, any administrative member can disable it.
To check the WordPress version through the HTML meta tag, open the website in your browser and right-click on the site.
Then, choose “View Page Source” to open a separate tab with the HTML code for the site.
Lastly, tap Command+F or CTRL+F depending on the device you’re using and search for “WordPress ”. After the word, make sure to press the space key to jump directly to the line you're looking for.
You will find this line if it wasn't hidden or deleted for security or other reasons.
4. Look in version.php file
There is another option that you can try. This method is more complex and involves digging through the source files of your website.
To use this method, you’ll need to be able to connect to the hosting account using an FTP client or file manager.
Once you’ve logged into your hosting account, go to the WordPress installation directory and open the wp-includes folder.
In this folder, there should be a file called version.php.
When the file is open, scroll down to line 16. This will tell you which version of WordPress your website uses.
5. Look at the readme.html file to check WordPress version
Another easy way to check which version of WordPress a site is using is to look at the readme.html file. To access this file, type https://www.yourdomainname.com/readme.html into your browser.
This file is automatically installed into each WordPress site.
Note that this might not work with every website. For security or other reasons, not every website displays this page. And even if this page isn't blocked, in newer versions it doesn't display the version number.
6. Check the site’s RSS feed
You can also look at the site’s RSS feed to find the WordPress version. The process is similar to method five. However, this time, you need to type https://www.yourdomainname.com/feed/ into your web browser.
Once you access the RSS feed, use CTRL+F or Command+F depending on the device you’re using. Then, search for “WordPress.”, and you should jump to the correct line of code.
Note that this might not work with every website. For security or other reasons, not every website displays this part of the code. So if you can't locate this line, we suggest using different methods.
If you want to hide and secure your WordPress version
It’s important for you to know that displaying the version of your WordPress website for anyone to see isn’t safe at all.
By publishing this information regarding your website, you’re giving hackers the information they need to do their dirty work. It’s important you take the steps to disable this information in the future.
Here’s a step-by-step to help you achieve this:
- Go to your WordPress Dashboard
- Click on “Appearance”
- Select “Editor”
- Click on the theme you’re using and click on the “functions.php” file to edit it
- Copy and paste the following message at the end of the file (this should be the last piece of text in the file otherwise the process won’t work): remove_action('wp_head', 'wp_generator')
- Click on “Update File” to save the changes you’ve made
In the meantime, if you’d like to tell me how you check your WordPress version on your sites, let me in the comment box below.
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