How To Tell What Software Version You Are Running

Whether you are running WordPress or Joomla software to power your website, it’s extremely important to be on the most current version to avoid hacker attacks and other malware issues.

So how do I know what version I’m running?

Good question, glad you asked! Well, there are a few methods you can try to get this information depending on which software you are running. It’s possible these methods will not work under your specific configuration, but it won’t hurt to give them a try.

WordPress 4.3 released

wp-logo-stackedWordPress 4.3 was released Aug. 18 and, once again, focuses on easier content creation and site customization.

Highlights include:

  • Customizer enhancements allowing live preview of menu updates
  • Easier formatting in visual editor using shortcuts: “*” for lists, and “#” for headings
  • Ability to easily create or update your site icon that reflects your brand on your website
  • Enhanced password security with automatic secure password generation
  • and more… see the official WordPress 4.3 blog post

WordPress 4.2.4 – security release

wp-logo-stackedSecurity Release
This release addresses six important security issues, so you should ensure your site gets updated ASAP.  Here’s the official blog post from WordPress.org with details of what is contained in the release.

If you have automatic background updates enabled, that’s the default setting for minor and security releases, then you should receive an email from your site when it has been updated.  The email is sent to whomever is designated to receive admin emails in your General Settings. I received several of these notifications yesterday covering the sites I manage.

So to ensure your site’s security, please check that your site is updated. Also, keep your eye out for the next major release, WordPress 4.3, slated for release on August 18.

Hackers vs. Your Website <br><small><span style="color:#a0a0a0;">Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid</span></small>

Lock Your WebsiteI’ve already written about the importance of updating your website software because hackers take advantage of sites running older, out of date software often containing well known bugs and vulnerabilities.

If you’re a website owner running WordPress, Joomla or other popular CMS, this is a serious issue that shouldn’t be ignored. We’re not just talking about Joe Schmo, amateur hacker here. We’re talking about large-scale, sophisticated attacks using sophisticated software on sophisticated networks. Did I mention they’re a sophisticated lot? And don’t be fooled into thinking hackers wouldn’t be interested in your small or obscure site. Hackers will attack any website regardless of size or purpose.

Joomla Security Releases Available – 2.5.25 & 3.3.4

Joomla Security ReleasesThe Joomla Project has made available two security releases (i.e. they address security issues in the Joomla core software).  If you have a Joomla website, then you should keep the Joomla core software up to date – particularly if it addresses security issues.  This helps protect your website against security issues like malware, viruses and hackers.

You should plan on updating to Joomla 3 by the end of 2014

JoomlaAccording to the Joomla Roadmap, version 3.5, the next long term support (LTS) release, will be available in November, 2014. Support for version 2.5 is scheduled to stop at the end of 2014. So, ideally you will want to be on Joomla 3 by the end of 2014 to avoid the unnecessary risks of being on an unsupported version. What risks you ask? Hackers and malware causing problems on your website due to security holes that will never be fixed. Keeping your Joomla software and extensions current is the best defense against this.

WordPress 4.0 released

wp-logo-stackedWordPress 4.0 was released yesterday and focuses on making content creation easier.

Highlights include:

  • Editor enhancements such as toolbar staying in view to reduce required scrolling
  • Improved, seamless media embedding
  • New plugin browser  makes it easier to view plugin info & reviews before installing
  • Enhanced media library – new grid layout – easier to manage, view and navigate media

Website Forms – Why You Need Them

Do you need a form on your website? Well, I would say the answer is almost always “Yes”. At least some type of form is appropriate for most sites simply because there are so many uses and gathering and analyzing potential customer data is so important to just about any business. Let’s go through some examples of common uses of forms. Later, I’ll discuss some useful tips I’ve learned from creating forms over the years. This discussion will focus on using forms with a content management system, or CMS, like WordPress or Joomla. This is accomplished by using a forms plugin.

Common Uses of Website Forms

WordPress 3.9 – new (major) release

wp-logo-stackedI’m always a little wary about upgrading any software to a major new release.  It needs to be tested very thoroughly to try and account for every conceivable configuration and platform.  And with an ever expanding number of devices and platforms, that’s a pretty tough task.

But I upgraded a few sites to WordPress 3.9 this past week and to my delight, all went well!  It seems that the people at WordPress.org, and really the whole open source community working on WordPress, have it together and are doing something right.  Since I’ve started using WordPress close to a year ago, I’ve never had an issue with any upgrades.  Thanks WP developers!

WordPress 3.8.2 – security release

wp-logo-stackedSecurity Release
This release addresses some important security issues, so you should update your site ASAP.  Here’s the official blog post from WordPress.org with details of what is contained in the release.

This is the first security release to come out since automatic background updates were implemented so you may already be on this release – assuming you have not explicitly turned off automatic updates.  If you have not turned off automatic updates, then you should receive an email from your site when it has been updated.  The email is sent to whomever is designated to receive admin emails.