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There are a number of reasons why you might want to know which version of WordPress you are using, or reasons to keep your version of WordPress up to date.
At the time of writing, WordPress is on v5.8.1. If your website is using a lower version number than this, it’s potentially running an insecure version of WordPress. This brings with it a greater risk of being hacked. Now, I’m not saying this is definitely going to happen, but it is a possibility. So it’s always best practice to update WordPress to get the most up-to-date features and security patches.
WordPress is always bringing out new improvements and features with each of its core updates. So you may be missing out if your version of WordPress belongs in a museum. Let me give you some examples of great new features that have come out since version 5 and why you should definitely know which version of WordPress you are using.
In v5.0, WordPress rolled out its new Gutenberg block editor which completely changed the page editing capabilities. Essentially, it allows a user to edit their content with a native page builder, which is an immensely useful tool that you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
In v5.8, WordPress introduced a Full Site Editing feature which is still very early on in it’s development phase, but might possibly be the biggest ever change WordPress has brought to the table since its inception back in 2003. Full Site Editing, otherwise known simply as FSE, is redefining how we build websites using WordPress. It gives the user complete control over every aspect of site design, such as the header and footer. This is something that was very difficult to control until now, unless you knew how to code or had some heavy plugins at work. As I said, it’s still early days and not quite ready in my opinion for production sites, but this is definitely something you will want to stay up-to-date with!
So now you understand why you should be updating WordPress, let’s look at how you can find out which version you’re using.
By default you can usually type your website address into the browser’s address bar and append it with /wp-admin. It should look like this…
Then press ‘enter’ on your keyboard and it should bring up the login screen.
If your website has a custom login page you may have to enter a different URL to access your login screen. You would probably already be aware of this if that were the case.
Enter your login credentials that I’m sure you will have stored somewhere extremely safe. Your username and password is all a hacker needs to access your website and cause irreversible damage to your website and reputation. Never share this information via email to anyone.
You can click the “Remember Me” option if you’re on a private computer that only you access. However, if you want to be super vigilant about security it’s best to not check this option. I’ll leave that to you to decide.
Once you have entered your details, and clicked “login”, you will be taken to the WordPress dashboard. It is here where you’ll find a widget called “At a Glance”. This widget will tell you how many pages and posts are currently on your website, along with the all important WordPress version that your website is using…
Now that you know how to login to your website, updating WordPress core version is a piece of cake.
Just simply click the ‘Updates’ link in the Dashboard sub menu. You will then see a button which says ‘Update Now’. Before you click this button though, it is very important to backup your website first, just in case the update fails and breaks your website.
Once you have a full site backup, click the button and let WordPress do it’s thing. It should only take a few minutes.
If you’re unable to update your version of WordPress, it may be due to third party software or a plugin preventing you from doing so. Whatever the reason, this is very bad practice and that software needs to be replaced as soon as possible!
If you need help determining what the best approach to take is, get in touch and we will be more than happy to help. Sometimes the best fix is to simply get a new website – this may sound scary but you’d be surprised at how affordable this can be. Check out our website prices which start from just £50 a month for two years. If you’ve got your website content ready, we can launch your new site in as little as 10 working days!