Upgrade Notifications By Email

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.

5 Comments


  1. Since somebody seems to have problems keeping up with upgrades no matter how well its published, one solution would be to use this plugin to send an email to a mail-to-sms service. Then its no excuses.

    Maybe someone may make a bookmarklet that displays a 100px blinking red overlay in the browser saying: New WordPress release available: UPDATE NOW !! :/

    …or maybe the “Lazy admin sequrity insurance plugin”, a plugin that locks WordPress down with htaccsess if its not running latest version.

    :P

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  2. The main reason why a plugin is better than a mailing list is that, if you make it part of your standard set-up, you will receive emails from EACH of your WordPress installations, including all the test or experimental ones you forget about but which are still out there and still delicious worm-food.

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  3. Here’s another one by Jon Cave at Lions Go Roar, which allows you to define two email addresses which will receive notifications:

    http://lionsgoroar.co.uk/wordpress-plugins/update-notifier/

    Repository page:

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/update-notifier/

    I have no idea if Jon’s plugin takes the approach suggested by Donncha, of checking wp_version_check(), or if Konrad Karpieszuk’s plugin can also accept two email addresses.

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  4. http://chkversion.com
    This site provide email notification of update service with many web site software include WordPress, but a problem is this site is in chinese.
    If you really want to try this site, click the “订阅更新” link with orange background color in the box of software which your want to subscribe, type your email then click “确定”.

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  5. Just wondering if anybody has actually received a Release Notification from WordPress.org?

    Email can be entered on the right side of the following page:
    http://wordpress.org/download/

    I have entered emails in that box a few times over the past few years and did not get one single email. Maybe this is something WordPress.org should fix.

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