Did you ever want to find out which version of WordPress you are using or another website is using? Well, there are a few ways of finding out the WordPress version. It is easier to find out your WordPress version if you are the admin or have access to the website files and folders. But even if you don’t, there are other ways of finding out the version.
There are many reasons why knowing the WordPress version is helpful. It could be that you want to know if you are using the latest WordPress version, or if there’s a compatibility issue with your plugins or theme. Or, you could be troubleshooting a problem.
On the other hand, maybe you’re just curious. Whatever the reason might be, in this article we’ll explore 4 ways you can check your current WordPress version. We will also look into the importance of knowing your WordPress version.
It takes very little time and effort to know this important information. So, let’s learn how you can check your current WordPress version.
Is it important to check WordPress version?
Let’s ask the important question first. Why would you even bother checking which version of WordPress is currently used on your website? I mean someone may think this isn’t that important, right?
It is actually very important to check WordPress version and find out if you’re running the latest version. The latest versions of WordPress come with tons of feature updates as well as performance updates. But the most important update is about security. Although it is easy to create websites with WordPress, it is really alarming that most of the websites that get hacked are WordPress websites.
In 2019 it was seen that 49% of all WordPress websites that got hacked were because of outdated versions.
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Hackers often try to infiltrate your website by using exploits or vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are quickly patched through updates. So if you fail to update your WordPress, hackers will be able to breach your website security and hack your website. Therefore, the best defense for keeping your WordPress website safe and secure is through updates.
However, when updating WordPress, there can arise some compatibility issues with plugins or themes. From time to time when WordPress is updated, some features are added. Also, some features are dropped. For this reason, the plugins that relied on the feature that was removed will be incompatible while other plugins might completely break if your version is too old.
So, whenever you are installing a plugin make sure your plugin supports the latest WordPress version. Also, make sure that you are running the latest WordPress version.
For some reason, if your WordPress website isn’t loading properly, and showing weird error messages, you need to know your current WordPress version to diagnose those errors.
Again, you might want to know which version of WordPress someone else is using. For example, if you are working with a client, you might want to know which version of WordPress they are running. So, if you know that they are using an outdated version, you will be able to fix that.
WordPress introduced a feature called WordPress auto-update which updates your version to the latest one as soon as the update is released. This made things a lot easier and safer for all the WordPress websites. But if you haven’t checked with your WordPress version in a long time, maybe it’s a good idea to do so now.
4 ways to check WordPress version
There are several ways of knowing what is the current version of your WordPress. We have broken down all of them into 4 methods. You can use any of the following methods to check your current WordPress version.
Method 1: Check the admin area
Let’s state the easiest and fastest way of checking the WordPress version. If you can log into the backend of your website, you can check WordPress version in many ways. This is perhaps the easiest and most accurate way of finding out what version of WordPress you are running.
The admin dashboard has many areas that display the current WordPress version. It will also let you know if the installed version is outdated or not.
Process 1: Lower right corner of the screen
Just as you log into your WordPress backend, you can see the version of your installed WordPress in the lower right corner of your screen.
If you cannot find it, make sure you are in the dashboard. This is the first screen that is displayed as you log into your WordPress backend. There are more areas where you can check WordPress version.
Process 2: At a Glance box
If you couldn’t find your version number on the lower right corner of your screen, just on the same dashboard, you’ll find an “At a Glance” box. This section shows how many pages, posts, and comments are on your website and most importantly shows what version of WordPress is currently installed.
This box is collapsable. So if you find it closed, you can click on the small arrow located at the top right section of the box to expand it. This will give you the information you are looking for.
Process 3: On the update screen
Right after the dashboard homepage, click on ‘Updates’ and you can check the WordPress version here. You will also be informed if you are running the latest WordPress version or not. The version number is also noted in the lower right corner like the previous screen.
Again, from this screen, you can also update your WordPress if it is outdated. Plus, you can re-install your WordPress current version from this section and check if all the plugins and themes are updated or not.
Process 4: About WordPress
There’s another place where you can check your WordPress version and that’s the About WordPress area. To access this page, hover your mouse on the WordPress logo located at the top left corner of your screen. A dropdown menu will appear, click About WordPress from there.
After you’ve clicked on ‘About WordPress’ you will find all the information of the current WordPress version. You will also see a record of the recent updates and find out the new changes in it.
It is a good habit of reading the release notes that are provided on each update release.
Method 2: Checking from the frontend
Ok, so far we’ve seen how to check your current WordPress version by logging into your WordPress dashboard. But what if you cannot access the dashboard and you need that information for troubleshooting? Maybe you want to know what version of WordPress that particular website is using. Well, the good news is, you can find out the version which is sometimes written in the web site’s code or on some hidden pages.
However, this is not always possible as webmasters try to make this information private for obvious security reasons. So this method might not work on all websites. If you want to check your own website and you’ve already taken security measures to protect this information, then skip this method.
Process 1: Source code
You can take a look at a website’s source code and if it’s made with WordPress, you can also be able to check its version. For this, you have to first go to the website you want to check. From either the home page or any other page of that website (home page is preferred) right-click anywhere on the page and select “View page source” (view source, source code, etc. depending on your browser).
This will open up a new tab in your browser showing you the HTML code of the webpage. You can take a look at the codes but we are looking for the WordPress version. To find it quicker press “Ctrl + F” to bring up the Find search box. In the find box type in “?ver” this will generally bring up a few results depending on the theme you are using. We used the default Twenty Twenty-Two theme on our localhost and this is the result:
Even though this method looks easy enough to check WordPress version but it isn’t always reliable. Different themes and plugins have ways of concealing and storing the version information which might throw you off. So make sure that you are looking at the right part of the code.
Process 2: Website readme file
This process is also not very reliable as it only works with the older versions of WordPress. The way it works is that you add “/readme.html” to the end of your web URL and it will quickly show you the currently installed WordPress version. But as we’ve said, it only works with outdated or older versions of WordPress.
However, if the website uses one of the recent WP versions, the page might still load but the version information will not be displayed.
Process 3: RSS Feed
The last and most reliable method of viewing your WordPress version is using the RSS Feed. It is similar to the previous process. Just instead of “/readme.html” add /feed at the end of your website URL.
You will see some HTML codes. Hit “Ctrl + F” to bring up the search box and type “generator” which is located near the top. Beside the generator tag, you will find the WordPress version installed in the website. It comes right after “?v”.
Method 3: Accessing the version.php file
Out of all the methods shown above, the most reliable way to check WordPress version is by accessing the version.php file directly. However, the version.php is one of the core files of WordPress. To access this file you need to access your WordPress core files.
You can use FTP to access your website files but for that the website needs to be live and hosted. Also you need to have an FTP account to transfer or access files of your WordPress site. You can also use cPanel to access your files which we will be doing in this tutorial.
Step 1: Access your WordPress cPanel
Many websites have a cPanel account from which these can be managed. Log into your cPanel. If you don’t have access to it, contact your hosting provider and ask if they offer cPanel.
Step 2: Opening File Manager
After you’ve gained access to your cPanel, you need to open your File Manager to access your WordPress Core files. Under the Files section, find “File Manager” and open it.
Step 3: Find version.php file
Once you open your File Manager, locate the folder in which your WordPress website is installed. Usually, it’s in the public_html folder. After opening the folder, go to wp-includes and scroll down. You’ll find the version.php file.
You can download or edit the file but since we just want to check the WordPress version, we will click on View. So, right-click on version.php and select view. The contents of the file will be viewed on a new tab.
You will find the version of WordPress on the top section. It’s mentioned right after the “$wp_version”.
And that is how you can check WordPress version by looking at the version.php file. This is a reliable method of checking the WordPress version currently installed on a website.
Method 4: Using WP-CLI
WordPress Command-Line interface or WP-CLI in short, is a developer tool that gives you the ability to remotely manage your WordPress website by executing commands on a command line interface. This command-line interface is similar to the CMD on your operating system. The WP-CLI is an ideal way of managing WordPress websites if you have a large number of sites. You don’t even need a browser to operate the WP-CLI. But you do require some technical knowledge for using it. If you don’t like entering commands then we recommend not using it as it may complicate the matter.
However, if you do decide to use WP-CLI, then your first step is to connect your web hosting through SSH (Secured Shell). This is the process that allows you to remotely execute commands on your WordPress website. To learn more about this, you can visit the official website of WP-CLI.
Once you’ve connected to your host using SSH, now we have to enter commands. Type in “cd html” to navigate to the html directory. Once in this directory, type in the command “wp core version”. After you enter this command, it will show the current version of WordPress on your terminal. And that is all you have to do to know your current WordPress version using WP-CLI.
So that is basically how you can check your current WordPress version. Even though checking your WordPress version is very important, after the introduction of Auto-Updates, we don’t have to check WordPress version from time to time. The main reason for checking the WordPress version is to see if you’re running the latest WordPress version.
Whether you want to know if you are running the latest WordPress version, troubleshooting a bug, or simply are curious, you can use any of the methods that we’ve mentioned in this article. The 1st method is perhaps the easiest and hassle-free where you only need to log in to your WordPress dashboard to know this information. However, if for some reason you cannot access your WordPress backend, you could try out the other methods that we’ve mentioned.
We hope this post was helpful for you. If you have any questions, feel free to let us know in the comment section.
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