How to determine the WordPress version of your site
How often do you keep an eye on your WordPress version? For security reasons, your site must be updated at all times. Outdated websites can be easily hacked, which is a pressing issue. According to reports, in the year 2019 alone, over 45% of hacked WordPress websites were found to be running an outdated version.
Besides, if you’re planning to install a plugin, it is important to be aware of what version your site is using, as installing some plugins could break your site if it is running an older version. Also, in case of errors, you’d need to know the site’s version to diagnose and fix the error.
Using BuiltWith.com, you can get basic information about your site. However, it wouldn’t feature the site’s version. As a web development company, our team at Seattle New Media often receives numerous requests to evaluate websites and to provide estimates on how much the upgrades would cost.
If the client is reluctant to provide access to the backend of their site, we would have to find an alternative method to investigate the requested details. To find out if the client’s site needs an upgrade when you do not have access to the backend of the site, you can use one of the following methods. Some of these methods might not work for all websites as webmasters hide information to secure their websites against threats.
1. Start with the Admin Area
Login to your WordPress website’s admin area. Look up the dashboard – numerous areas of the dashboard list the currently installed version. Can’t find it? Don’t worry, there are other areas where you can find the current version of your WordPress website.
1.1. Check the lower right corner
Once you’re logged into WordPress, the version number would be displayed on any page of the backend. In the lower right corner, you can find the version number. Still can’t find it? Below are the other places where you can look for the version.
1.2. At a Glance Box
When you log in, look for the Home page on the admin dashboard. Here, you’ll find the “At a Glance Box”, and the currently installed version will be displayed at the bottom.
If you can’t find the “At a Glance Box”, it is because it might have been removed or you are using an outdated version.
1.3. WordPress Updates
Look for Dashboard > Updates. Under the “Updates” section, you will be prompted to update if you’re using an older version. However, you will not find version details here. If you are using the most recent version, “Updates” will inform you regarding the same.
1.4. About WordPress screen
If none of the above methods were successful, then look for the WordPress logo in the top left corner and click the first dropdown option to find the “About WordPress” screen. Regardless of whether you are running the most recent version of WordPress or not, the version number will be displayed at the top.
2. Login through the website’s frontend
If you’re unable to log into your admin area, how will you find the version information? Usually, webmasters do not go to the extent of hiding this information. You can find the version number within your site’s source code and even some hidden pages display the version.
Let us see what should be done.
2.1. View Source
Firstly, go to any page on your site. It is recommended to look for the homepage. Once you’re on any page, right-click and tap “View page source” or “View Source” in your browser. This will direct you to a new tab, displaying the page’s HTML and CSS. To use the search feature, press “Ctrl + F”.
Look for the “generator” tag, where you can find the information regarding your WordPress site’s version. It might be disabled on some of the latest themes.
In that case, search for “?ver=” and look under the “link rel=’stylesheet’” sections. Look for a line ending with “?ver=x.x.x”, where you will find the WordPress version.
2.2. Add “/readme.htm”
If you’re using an older version of WordPress, then this method of adding “/readme.html” to the end of the web address will work. Though it works only for websites running on outdated versions, it will show the currently installed version.
If you are using a newer version, the page will load without the version number.
2.3. Access RSS feed
Another method is to access the RSS feed. All you have to do is add or feed to the end of the site’s URL. As discussed in 2.1, press “Ctrl+F” for the search feature and type in “generator”. The version number will be displayed at the top of the page. It will look something like this:
3. Access the version.php File
This is one of the most recommended methods to determine your WordPress website’s version. All you have to do is directly access version.php within your site’s files. For this, your website needs to be live, with a web hosting account. Get your FTP login credentials or use cPanel to access the files.
On your website, open the wp-includes folder. Look for the files and folders within the wp-includes folder. You will find the file “version.php” here. Once you find it, double click and open it.
Look for a code containing the variable $wp-version. If you don’t see it, press “Ctrl+F” to look for that line of code. It will look something like this:
The number you see here is the WordPress version of your site.
It is important to determine the currently installed WordPress version of your site. This will help you to determine if the version needs to be upgraded for security or performance reasons.
You can determine the current version of your WordPress site using the below methods:
- Via back end
- Via front end
- Via “version.php” file