Keeping your WordPress system up-to-date is essential, but have you ever checked your PHP version recently? PHP versions play a crucial role in your website’s performance and security. However, many website owners tend to overlook this, much like neglecting smoke detectors until they start beeping. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the importance of upgrading your site’s PHP version and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to manage PHP upgrades effectively.
PHP serves as a scripting language for web development and powers over three-fourths of all websites globally. In the WordPress ecosystem, PHP plays a pivotal role as it processes the PHP code that ultimately renders your WordPress pages and posts. Your WordPress core system files, themes, and plugins all contain PHP code, making it a vital component of your website’s functionality.
As of WordPress 6.0’s release in May 2022, the platform requires servers to run PHP version 7.4 or higher. While WordPress may function on older PHP versions exceeding 5.6.20, it is not recommended. In the following sections, we will explore why upgrading your PHP version is a wise decision.
The PHP development team provides full support for each PHP version for two years after its initial release. During this period, regular updates are released to address bugs and security vulnerabilities. However, after this two-year period, PHP versions receive only one additional year of security support, and no other updates are provided. Beyond this timeframe, a PHP version reaches its end of life and will no longer receive updates or support.
For instance, PHP 8.1, the latest version as of November 25, 2021, saw its security support ending on November 28, 2022. Using an unsupported PHP version poses significant risks to your website’s security and stability.
Upgrading your PHP version offers several advantages:
1. Enhanced Site Speed
2. Improved Security
3. Access to New Features
4. Better Support
Now that we understand the importance of upgrading PHP versions let’s explore the steps to achieve this:
1. Check Your Current PHP Version
2. Confirm Host Support
3. Create a Site Backup
4. Update WordPress
5. Switch Your PHP Version
6. Check for Errors
7. Update Plugins and Themes
8. Finalize Your Update
Upgrading your WordPress site’s PHP version is a vital aspect of maintaining its performance and security. Ignoring PHP updates can leave your site vulnerable to security threats and hinder its speed. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure your site runs on the latest PHP version, benefiting from improved performance, enhanced security, and access to new features. If you’re looking for a hassle-free hosting experience, consider a managed hosting platform like Pressable, where PHP versions and WordPress updates are managed for you, ensuring your site remains up-to-date and secure.