Four Ways to Determine the WordPress Version

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Sometimes you may need to determine the WordPress version in order to determine plugin compatibility or to debug of fix certain issues.

1. WordPress Dashboard shows version number

The most obvious way to determine the WordPress version is in the Admin dashboard…

wordpress version in dashboard

You can also go to the “updates” menu.  It will show your version and whether you have the latest version of WordPress.

determine wordpress version in admin panel

You also see the WordPress version in the right side of the footer of the admin page.

2. View Source to determine WordPress version

At the home page of the site, you can do a “view source” in your browser.   You will see a meta generator tag showing the WordPress version…

view source to determine wordpress version

You can not count on this tag being there 100% of the time, because it is possible for developers to disable the display of this tag.

3. WordPress Version in the version.php file

The WordPress wp-config.php actually do not contain the version information.  The version information is found in the version.php file in wp-includes folder.  This is useful if you don’t have admin access to WordPress, but have access to the webhost.

4.  Wordpress Version in Database

If the front-end is so badly damaged, you may need to look for the version information in the database.  The database name, username, password, and database prefix can be found in the wp-config.php file.  With those information, you can use phpMyAdmin on your webhost (if present) to access the database.  Look for the version in the _options table with the option_name of _site_transient_update_core.

wordpress version in database

I’ll admit that this is not a very good way to determine the version information because the option_value that contains the version information is a bit difficult to decipher.

5.  Wordpress Version in The Readme File

The readme.html in your wordpress root shows the version information.  It is sometimes visible via a public URL like this …

wordpress version in readme file

Unless the readme file was deleted from the server, which it often is in order to hide the wordpress version from being discovered by malicious intruders.

This is not entirely reliable because it is possible for the wordpress version to be updated without the readme file being updated.