Amidst all the fuss about what it takes to find out when there is an upgrade available for WordPress, Konrad Karpieszuk took advantage of the situation and created a plugin that provides email notifications on when an upgrade is available. The plugin sends a check to WordPress.org every day to see if the version installed is different from the version available although Donncha has informed the plugin author that he could use the wp_version_check() function instead. This would cut down on the one request a day to WordPress.org. Amazingly, there is nothing to configure. Just install the plugin and once a new version of WordPress is released, it will send you an email.
Now you might be wondering, didn’t WordPress itself have some sort of mailing list that would be used for announcements such as this? The answer is yes, but they have done a terrible job utilizing the list for that function. The last time that list was used was around the release of WordPress 2.7. I know a few people chimed in on Twitter that because of the mailing list, there was no need for this plugin but since we know the mailing list isn’t being used, this plugin ‘plugs‘ the gap.
Even though I don’t need to use a plugin like this, I’ve decided to install it just to see if it works. As someone mentioned on Twitter, if you maintain a large number of sites, this could be used as a reminder tool that a particular site needs upgrading. Personally, I’m waiting for the plugin that calls me on my cell phone using a robotic voice to tell me that a new version is available and that if I don’t upgrade the site, I will be terminated.
Let me know in the comments if you have installed this plugin on all of the sites you operate.