If you are using WordPress on your website AND you have signed up with Google’s Webmaster Tools, you may notice a message from Google inside your Webmaster Tools Dashboard.
About a week ago, people started noticing these messages from Google stating that they should upgrade their WordPress installations. I myself received one about one of my sites:
Google is doing this to help reduce the vulnerability of the entire web to attack. When you run an outdated version of WordPress (or any other software or plugin), you leave yourself open to attack by hacking or malware. Software developers find and fix vulnerabilities all the time and the newest releases offer the best protection for you and your site visitors.
If you haven’t logged into your WordPress installation lately, do it today. In your dashboard, look under Dashboard, then Updates. If there is a number displayed next to Updates, your plugins or your WordPress installation is in need of updating.
This move by Google to proactively send out reminders to upgrade is further support of their Let’s Make the Web Faster initiative:
The web is the most important platform of our times. Hundreds of millions of people use it daily to access information, to communicate and to view and share multimedia content. Improving the speed of the web will help not just Google but the entire web community because it will:
- Increase the number of internet users globally, thus making information more accessible
- Help developers produce better more responsive web apps, comparable in performance to desktop apps. This will make the web more engaging to current users, who will start using it more, for tasks that until now were only possible in desktop apps
- Help new applications and markets emerge
Overall we believe that speeding up the web will improve the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people.
Google’s Webmaster Tools can also help you track the performance of your site, including tracking which domains are linking to you. Signing up is free. To make it work, you have to prove you own your site by installing a bit of tracking code.