How to Find Out Which Version of WordPress You’re Running

Knowing which version of WordPress you’re running is important for ensuring your site is up-to-date and that any plugins you want to use are compatible with your site. Fortunately, there are many simple ways you can check which release you’re running.

If you have an older version of WordPress installed, ideally, you should update your site as soon as possible because each update comes with security fixes and if you don’t apply these changes your site will become an easy target for hackers.

Here are five ways you can check your version of WordPress so you can ensure your site’s up-to-date and your plugins are also compatible. It only takes a second or two. So let’s get started.

Dashboard Updates Page

In your admin dashboard in single installs of WordPress or your super admin dashboard for Multisite, got to Dashboard > Updates. You should see the version you’re using listed toward the top of the page.

The Updates page with a message indicating WordPress is up-to-date.
The Updates page lets you know whether you’re up-to-date.

If you find you aren’t up-to-date, be sure to create a full backup of your site before going ahead and updating. If something goes wrong, you can then easily reinstate your site.

Admin Footer

In WordPress versions 4.1.5 and above, take a look at the footer of any page in your dashboard. You should see the version of WordPress you’re using on the right.

The version number in the footer is highlighted.
In the latest updates of WordPress, the version is listed in the footer.

It’s worth nothing that the version number isn’t listed in the dashboard of sites within a Multisite network and it isn’t shown on mobile devices or smaller browser window sizes.

Version File

For this version check, you need to delve into your site’s files. In the wp-includes folder, find version.php and open it directly in cPanel or download a copy and open it in an editor. Toward the top, you should see it listed on line seven.

Keep in mind that if you go to this page in your browser, it won’t display your WordPress version even if you view the page’s source. Both options results in a blank screen.

Generator Meta Tag

Sometimes, older themes have a generator meta tag in the header. You can see if your theme includes this by activating it and visiting the page. View the page’s source. In Google Chrome, right-click on the page and click View Source.

In the new page that opens, search for the following meta tag, but with your version of WordPress instead of the one listed below:

This line is usually kept from being generated in most of the latest themes since displaying your site’s WordPress version so readily is a security risk. You may not be able to see this line when you view the source code for any of your pages and that’s actually a good thing.

Readme File

On older versions of WordPress, a readme.html file is often included and lists your version of WordPress. If you can access then you need to update your version of WordPress right away.

Since listing the version you’re using publicly is a security threat, you should make sure that at the very least, you should delete that file immediately. If hackers know what version of WordPress you use, they can easily look up the security holes of your version and use that information to gain access to your site.

Since WordPress is an open source project, information such as this is made available to the public so it’s a lot easier for hackers to get a hold of information that they can then use to infultrate your site.


You are now armed with three great ways to check what version of WordPress you’re using and two more ways that, if they work, tell you right away that you need to update your site right away since they’re only available on versions of WordPress that are out of date.

If you want to make sure your site doesn’t publicly display your version of WordPress, check out one of our other posts How to Hide Your WordPress Version Number. There are also many security plugins that can hide the version you’re using such as Wordfence, Sucuri SecuritySite Protection by Umbrella Plugins and the Remove WordPress Version plugin to name only a few.

Were you able to find the version of WordPress you’re using? Do you use an older version of WordPress? What are your reasons for updating frequently or not updating? Feel free to share your thoughts and experience in the comments below, but please don’t reveal the version of WordPress you’re using.

9 Responses

    • Hey Senff,

      Thanks for your feedback! I definitely should have clarified this in the post.

      Most current themes don’t have a readme.html file like the TwentySixteen theme. Instead, it has a readme.txt file which doesn’t reveal the exact version of WordPress.

      If you revamp old school themes, then you could still have a readme.html file which is a security concern, although, if you’re on top of everything else when it comes to securing your site, it becomes less of an urgent task.



  • New Recruit

    I appreciate this post not so much for the instruction (although that’s great too) but for what it tells me about others running WordPress sites. I know there are those who don’t know how to get this information or why it’s important, but I guess I’m surprised that those who fall into that group would be reading this blog. Shows what I know LOL!

  • Jim
    Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Thanks for the article, Jenni.

    The readme.html is still part of the standard distribution from WP. I am sure if I deleted it that, on update, it would be again added to the root of the installation unless it is removed from the distribution.

    Of course, there are other ways to determine that it is a WP installation even if you cannot narrow down the exact version. First, from the default directory structure that is exposed in links to theme elements like CSS style sheets and JavaScript files (…/wp-content/…). Second, you can also figure that if the theme being used is twentysixteen, which requires at least WordPress 4.4 according to the theme description. Third, if you have the code for WP’s embedded emoji support, you can see that the release is probably WP 4.2 or later. And, of course, if you display that your web site is “Proudly Powered by WordPress”, the odds are good that it is.

    With all these little factoids, I believe that your own web site is more than likely at WP 4.4 or greater. Why go to all this trouble to determine that? I have my white hat on, something that I do for every WP installation I own or work on, but pretty much every web site I look at.

    Why? Not to hack, but to gain the knowledge to stay many steps ahead of those who wear black hats. Of the 20+ WP sites under my care, we have anywhere from 20 – 200 malicious login attempts and 50 – 500 XML-RPC “attacks”. Some days, multiply that by hundred-fold. All of them, hopefully, are fended off by server-based security tools (most common, some home-grown), that provide the first line of defense against all incursions. If not, I, too, have WordPress plugins to take them on.

    Thanks again for getting your readers to think and learn and yes, comment on your fine articles!


    • Hey Jim,

      I just looked to double check and as it turns out, the readme.html is not included in most newer themes as I mentioned in the post. there is, however, a readme.txt file, but it doesn’t include the exact version of WordPress that your site would be running, unlike the readme.html file which does include it.

      There are many ways to remove the issue of a readme.html file other than deleting it. You could write or use a plugin that blocks it from view or use another theme.

      You have a great point about looking through all the instances where there’s a hint of the version being displayed to learn more about how to prevent hackers, but that would be well past the scope of this post. Still a fair idea, though.



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