If you are running an outdated version of WordPress you likely received a Google Search Console email recently recommending that you manually update your WordPress core file. Because WordPress powers nearly 60% of all websites on the internet, this shouldn’t be a surprise as Google continues to work towards improved internet security and an exceptional user experience. To ensure this, it appears Google now monitors your WordPress version and provides reminders when updates haven’t been completed for critical security flaws that haven’t been corrected.
In the most recent email that we encountered, Google systems detected that a managed website was currently running version 4.9.3 of WordPress, which has severe bugs that prevent automatic updates from occurring. These bugs were eventually corrected in the WordPress 4.9.4 Maintenance Release, but issues with automatic updating left many WordPress versions stuck. While the website hasn’t been compromised, Google sent the email as a “gentle reminder” what implications this may have for a website that hasn’t been updated where potential security vulnerabilities may still exist.
Keeping your WordPress Version up to date is critical for maintaining the security of your website and the users that interact with it. Google is currently working to ensure that the emails they send regarding CMS updates are as accurate as possible; however, they may not be completely accurate if your WordPress core files weren’t installed or updated properly or you migrated to a different CMS. This may cause outdated WordPress files to signal a false version of WordPress is still present.
While the technology still seems to be in its infancy, it’s a promising step in the right direction to establishing a more secure internet for both webmasters and the users they serve. Losing your site can be a costly error that will negate all of the time and money you have spent. As the threat of hackers becomes more pressing with every passing day, patching vulnerabilities as soon as possible and regularly backing up your data is more important than ever.
If you are unsure of how to check what WordPress version you are currently using or how to update to the most recent version, we encourage you to read our blog “How to Update WordPress”. As the top web design firm in Tulsa, the Skynet Solutions team does these types of updates many times each day and can typically perform them very quickly and efficiently. If you are interested in our WordPress Maintenance plans to ensure your website remains up to date, please contact us today to get started!