WordPress Version Check

Recently a lot of people have been hit by a wordpress security vulnerability that was fixed with an hour of it being reported about a month ago. Why have they fallen prey to this vulnerability – because they failed to update to the latest version for one of many possible reasons:

  1. Laziness.
  2. They failed to notice the post on the dev blog in their wordpress dashboard.
  3. They failed to notice the number of people blogging about having upgraded.
  4. etc

To help alleviate this problem in the future I have crafted a simple wordpress plugin which takes a simple approach to get the users attention. Once activated the plugin checks an XML-RPC webservice for update news displaying a message at the top of every page in the wordpress admin user-interface. The plugin will check for an update to the message every 15 mins with an additional check being kicked off if the installed wordpress version changes so as to give instant feedback on upgrades.

The following images show three of the different responses returned by the current web-service and how they are displayed:

Response for
Response for

Response for
Response for

Response for 1.6-alpha-do-not-use
Response for 1.6-alpha-do-not-use

The plugin may be downloaded here: pjw_wp_version_monitor.php.0.75.zip
An updated version is now available see: http://blog.ftwr.co.uk/wordpress/wp-version-check/

Please leave any feedback and suggestions in the comments below.

27 thoughts on “WordPress Version Check

  1. Hi Peter–great idea for a plugin, however it doesn’t work for me. Installation was a piece of cake but I keep getting “Failed to get update information”. Perhaps the server where it checks is down?

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  3. Is it really necessary to display that ‘WordPress version is up to date’ message? I would have thought that it was only necessary to inform the user if something was wrong.

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  5. westi

    Dan – Thanks for the screenshot – fixing that has been added to the to-do list!

    Rehan – I’m not sure why you are getting that error – the server has been up all the time as far as I know and the log files on the server show not hits from the IP of your server. This probably means that the check as to whether or not to update the information from the server is not working correctly on your host – the message you see is the default message if the code has never managed to contact the server.

    David – The main reason for the “WordPress version is up to date” message was to ensure that it was visible that the plugin was working correctly – I have had it suggested that the message is displayed in light grey rather than green which does sound like a good idea. I think that I will probably make the constant display of good news an option in a future version, if not the next release.

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  7. david…nice little plug-in.
    i too ran into not being able to see the message, but then quickly realized it was hidden behind other layers (i use the Tiger layout). if you add a z-index:1 to the css for the positioning it will bring it to the top. then it’s just a matter of positioning it to look good in Tiger.

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