Understanding Software Versions

You may find you have installed various third party software on your website such as Joomla, Moodle, and WordPress. Periodically, you may be trying to determine if you have an older version of the software. This can be confusing to some, so we’re going to explain it to you.

Each new release of the software you use, will have a different software version number associated with it. Most software uses the same basic setup for versioning.


Major is described as the number defining the major release. 3.2.21 in this example the major version is 3

Minor describes if the changes to the software were minimal without drastic changes. 3.2.21 in this example the minor verison is 2

Build is the number associated with the rebuilt version of the software. 3.2.21 – in this example the build version is 21

So let’s review some example versions numbers. If we have sofware isntalled and our current version is 3.2.9 but we see there is a released verison of 3.2.14 we can determine that our version, 3.2.9 is older. This is done by comparing the numbers. Since the major and minor numbers are the same we need to look at the build number. Since 9 is less than 14 we can determine that it is an older version. Sometimes, this can be confusing since the build number of the released version starts with a 1 in our example. However, it is important to look at the full number of the build and compare it with our current version we are running.

Keep in mind, if you are updating your software, as new versions are released they may not be compatible with your current server configuration. When updating any software, it is important to always review the requirements of the new version you are looking to update to.

Carrie Smaha
Carrie Smaha Senior Manager Marketing Operations

Carrie enjoys working on demand generation and product marketing projects that tap into multi-touch campaign design, technical SEO, content marketing, software design, and business operations.

More Articles by Carrie

Was this article helpful? Join the conversation!