Last week saw the release of WordPress 3.3.2 which was an urgent security release.
All new releases of WordPress appear as an available update in your WordPress dashboard so it is easy to see when one is available – as long as you log into your WordPress admin panel regularly…
But what if you don’t check the admin panel on your WordPress install very often – perhaps you don’t publish new content daily or you use remote publishing?
In such cases you may not learn that there is a new version of WordPress available – leaving your site out of date and more insecure e.g. Kaspersky Lab’s analysis of the recent Mac OS X Flashback virus botnet revealed that the “malware was spread via drive-by downloads on hacked WordPress web sites”.
Keeping up to date helps protect your site from becoming a victim of malware or hackers – at the very least an infected WordPress install can severely disrupt a site and require reloading from backups, but it could also be blacklisted by safe browsing services such as Web Of Trust (WOT) and put off future visitors – even after the infections have been removed.
Update Notifier Plugin
Update Notifier is a simple plugin which sends you email notifications whenever a new version of WordPress is available. You can also configure it to send you email notifications about updates for Plugins and Themes – useful as these should also be kept up to date for best security.
After installing Update Notifier you should receive an email headed “Updates are available for your WordPress site” whenever a new version is available. Update Notifier is available from the WordPress Plugin Directory here (or search for it from the Plugins section of your WordPress admin panel).
Update Notifier Options
To set options, go to Update Notifier under the main Settings menu.
- You can activate update notifications emails for Themes and Plugins, as well as WordPress itself.
- You can add a secondary email address which will also receive update notifications.
- You can test the email functionality (to see if it works) on the Update Notifier settings page.
If you don’t login to your admin panel regularly and don’t want to subscribe to multiple RSS feeds, the Update Notifier plugin can notify you when an update to WordPress is released.
It optionally covers Theme and Plugin updates too which can also help keep your site secure. The plugin is a great way to keep on top of security updates and new features or improvements.