How to Check The Current WordPress Version You Are Using
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How to Check The Current WordPress Version You Are Using

In this article, you will learn how to check the current WordPress version through three methods. It is an essential step to make your WordPress site more secure and up to date.

Why You Need To Check Your Current WordPress Version

WordPress is always improving. With every iteration, this CMS brings new features as well as performance and security upgrades. Therefore, make sure your site runs on the latest version to enjoy all the benefits.

Furthermore, the WordPress version also affects themes and plugins compatibility. In other words, if you update your WordPress regularly, you will be able to try new designs and tools.

But before you do that, you should find out the version that you are using. See if it is similar to the one that’s displayed on the WordPress download page.

That way, you will know whether you need an update or not. So without further ado, let’s learn how to check your current WordPress version.

Three Methods to Check WordPress Current Version

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to check the current version of WordPress via the admin area, page source, and version.php file.

Method 1 – Checking WordPress Version in the Admin Area

There are two places where you can check the current WordPress version in the WordPress admin area, namely:

  • On the Updates section — Log in to your WordPress and head to Dashboard -> Updates section. Here, you will see which version of WordPress you are using and also the latest available WordPress version.
    Current WordPress version in the Update section of the WordPress DashboardIf you find that you don’t have the latest version, make sure to back up your site before moving on with upgrading WordPress.
  • On the footer — Scroll down to any page of the admin area until you get to the footer. You should be able to see the current WordPress version beside the “Thank you for creating with WordPress” text.
    Current WordPress version on the footer of WordPress admin areaNote that this information is only available for WordPress version 4.1.5 and up. Mobile views are also not supported as of yet.

Method 2 – Checking WordPress version in Page Source

If you can’t log in to your WordPress dashboard, you can see it via your website’s page source.

Usually, sites created using WordPress carry the version information in an HTML meta tag. By default, the WordPress theme inserts this tag into your website.

To find the WordPress version through the meta tag:

  1. Open your website on a web browser. Right-click anywhere on the site and select the View Page Source option. A new tab will open containing the source HTML code of the page.
  2. Press CTRL + F (Windows and Linux) or COMMAND + F (macOS) to open the browser’s search tool. Type “generator” in the search field and see if anything comes up. If the generator meta tag is not disabled, you will see it like this:
    <link rel="EditURI" type="application/rsd+xml" title="RSD" href="http://hostinger-dev-9.xyz/xmlrpc.php?rsd" />
    <link rel="wlwmanifest" type="application/wlwmanifest+xml" href="http://hostinger-dev-9.xyz/wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml" /> 
    <meta name="generator" content="WordPress 5.2.4" />

    From the results, notice that our current WordPress version is 5.2.4.

One important thing to note, allowing your site to show its WordPress version via meta tag, is risky. It will be easier for attackers to hack your website if they know you are using an older WordPress, which is less secure.

Therefore, we encourage you to update your WordPress as soon as the latest version comes out. Alternatively, you can hide the meta tag altogether.

If you can’t see the tag above, it means that your theme is already hiding it, which is a good security measure. But if the generator meta tag is shown, you can disable it by following these steps:

  1. Access your WordPress dashboard. Then, navigate to Appearance -> Theme Editor.
  2. Select your current theme and choose functions.php file. Paste the following code at the very bottom of the file:
    remove_action('wp_head', 'wp_generator');
  3. Press Update File to save your changes.

Method 3 – Checking WordPress Version in version.php File

This is the most reliable method to view your current WordPress version. However, it also requires the most amount of time.

  1. Connect to your hosting account using the built-in file manager or an FTP client, like FileZilla.
  2. Then, navigate to the WordPress installation directory (usually it’s public_html) and open the wp-includes folder.
  3. Look for a file named version.php and open it. The version of your WordPress installation will be on line 16, which should look like this:
    $wp_version = '5.2.4';

    WordPress version on version.php file

Don’t worry. Others won’t be able to see this file because the information is written in the PHP variable, and it is not a part of the page’s HTML. That way, no version detail is displayed when your site is opened on a web browser.

Conclusion

Checking the current WordPress version is the first thing you need to do before you upgrade your WordPress. It informs you if you need an update to improve your security and performance. You will also know whether a certain theme or plugin is compatible with your site or not.

There are three methods of finding out which version of WordPress you are using. To summarize, let’s overview each option:

  • Via admin area — this is the easiest method out of the three, which only requires you to log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  • Via page source — it allows you to see the current WordPress version via the generator meta tag of your page. However, we suggest that you hide the information from visitors.
  • Via version.php file — use your hosting file manager or FTP client to locate this file on /public_html/wp-includes/

Good luck, and be sure to check our other WordPress tutorials!

The Author

Author

Domantas G. / @domantas

Domantas leads the content and SEO teams forward with fresh ideas and out of the box approaches. Armed with extensive SEO and marketing knowledge, he aims to spread the word of Hostinger to every corner of the world. During his free time, Domantas likes to hone his web development skills and travel to exotic places.

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Author

SvendK Reply

August 01, 2019

Hi Domantas Thanks for writing this page, but for Option 1, this is not shown if you are NOT running the latest version. Instead is showed the latest version, that you can upgrade to, instead of the current version. Why does WP not show both current and latest version, so you know how far behind you are?! Best regards, SvendK

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