Keeping on top of updates is essential when using any form of technology or digital apparatus. It might sound absurd that your device is upgrading to version 18.7.3, but trust us, it’s not for naught. A version/system upgrade can be the difference between your system being susceptible to a virus or not. Or it can mean that the plugin you couldn’t use in the previous version of your OS is now possible to use. Incremental improvements might not be noteworthy in other fields, but in online affairs, they are huge. WordPress is no different.
WordPress is the biggest CMS (Content Management System) in the world, with more than 58 percemt of the CMS market share. Survey estimates show around 75 million websites as using WordPress and roughly half of those websites also using WordPress’ shared hosting system.
The benefit of using a CMS like WordPress as opposed to using standard web builders like Wix, GoDaddy, or Squarespace, is that content management systems are more flexible whereas web builders have more hand holding. A CMS will require more legwork by the individual user but has a significant payoff since CMS gives way more freedom and options to do whatever you want with your website. The number of plug-ins and themes available to WordPress users is in the thousands.
Along with immediately updating to the latest version of WordPress for the sake of your plug- ins and themes, you should also do so to ensure the safety of your website. WordPress is no stranger to what are called zero-day vulnerabilities, and these pose a danger to you and your website in the form of zero-day attacks.
Zero-day vulnerabilities are flaws in software that the software developers are aware of but have no patch readily available to fix the problem. Cybercriminals who become aware of these vulnerabilities can use them to commit zero-day attacks. Hence why they have zero-day to fix the issue. They need to fix the issue immediately before it gets out of hand.
Consumers have no idea when software developers will provide patches for any zero- day vulnerabilities, so it is highly recommended that consumers update their software immediately. By doing this, you’ve got a better chance of not getting caught in zero-day attackers’ window of opportunity.
Since you want to always keep your WordPress up to date with the latest version, you’ll want to know which version that your website is currently using. After all, you won’t update your website if you don’t think you need to.
Or maybe you are just scoping out the competition and want to see if they use WordPress as well. Maybe you came across a design on a competitor’s website that you like, and you want to see if you could maybe replicate that design/theme.
Luckily, there are several ways to figure out which version of WordPress that you or anyone else are currently using. These aren’t foolproof options and website owners can take measures to prevent some of these from working, but they’re worth a shot.
1. Look up the source code of the website
Any website created with WordPress, will have an HTML meta tag to go along with it. Provided that an administrator of a WordPress website has not disabled this feature, you can use this information to see if a website is using WordPress.
To do so, simply right click on a website and select View Page Source. After that, just search for through the source code with the keyboard command ctrl+ f. If the website uses WordPress and a website administrator hasn’t gone the extra security mile, then you will be able to find in it in the code.
2. Check out the readme.html file
An easy way to check out the WordPress version of a website is via the readme.html file. In order to do so, type in https://www.insertdomainnamehere.com/readme.html. Just like the HTM meta tag, this readme.html file is automatically installed into WordPress websites. However, this can also be disabled by a website administrator, so this won’t always work.
3. Check out the website ‘s RSS feed
The process of checking out a website’s RSS feed to see what version of WordPress they may or may not be using, is nearly identical to checking out the readme.html file. To do so, type in https://www.insertdomainnamehere.com/feed/. Just like with the first method, use the keyboard command ctrl+f and look for WordPress.
4. Use a website like www.builtwith.com
Websites like www.builtwith.com can identify the technology behind websites. This includes if these websites use WordPress. You can either get by with their free plan options or spend some money on one of their premium plans for more extensive access to their services.
The three methods that we listed above, are the easiest ones available. There are some other more complicated options that you can consider, but they might end up being a waste of time if it turns out the website doesn’t use WordPress. By using a website like builtwith.com, you can save yourself some time by making sure the website does in fact use WordPress.
Honorable Mention and the obvious option: The WordPress
We figured that this goes without saying, but if you want to know if your personal website (s) is up to date regarding your WordPress version, all you need to do is utilize the WordPress dashboard.
In order to do this, just log in to your WordPress account and then head to the dashboard. One here, just click on updates and it will display what version of WordPress that you are currently using.
There are some other methods that you can use to see if a website uses WordPress, such as looking in the version.php file, performing a MD5 Hash, or looking at the license.txt file, but we feel like the four options listed are the easiest ones. And since a lot of people who have WordPress websites aren’t super technically adept, we decided to leave some of the more complex options off the list.