Latest PHP Versions: The Ultimate Guide
Latest PHP Versions: The Ultimate Guide

Exploring the importance of using the latest version of PHP  

PHP remains the cornerstone scripting language in the ever-evolving web development landscape. If you use WordPress sites or any website, PHP is vital in the backend. Its frequency is such that well-known websites such as Facebook and Wikipedia are built with PHP, contributing to its continued popularity. Additionally, WordPress, which powers 40 percent of the web, relies heavily on PHP. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at the importance of keeping your PHP version up to date and explore why it’s necessary. Understanding PHP: The Web Developer’s Toolkit 

PHP or PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor is a versatile open-source scripting language primarily used in web development. It is the basis for creating dynamic web pages, manipulating databases, and executing server-side scripts. In particular, the widespread use of PHP extends to some of the most significant websites on the Internet. Not only is it robust, but it is also freely available, making it an easy-to-use option for developers around the world. 

 The latest PHP version, 8.2, was released. 

At the time of writing, PHP has evolved to version 8.2, which shows the dynamic nature of this language. The PHP Foundation has committed to actively supporting this version until December 8, 2025, with an additional year of security updates. Keeping updated with the latest version of PHP  is very important for developers who want to utilize its full potential. 

Encryption of multiple PHP versions: Required 

Improvements and innovations in technology are everywhere. Just like your mobile phone gets regular updates, and your favorite PC games get patches, PHP goes through updates. Each iteration of PHP introduces new features carefully designed and implemented by the language maintainers. The availability of multiple PHP versions facilitates smooth transitions for development teams looking to introduce new features or move between significant versions. 

Why is it important to follow the latest version of PHP? 

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter: Why use the latest version of PHP? Below are several good reasons.  

  1. Access to cutting-edge features 

The development of PHP, especially in recent years, has brought many new features that have improved its power and capabilities. As the use of PHP for web development grows, developers have access to state-of-the-art features that rival other potent programming languages. Failing to keep up with the latest PHP version means missing out on these innovative features that can hinder your web development projects. 

  1. Active maintenance and bug fixes 

The hallmark of sustainable software is its continuous improvement and improvement. Regular and consistent updates are essential to fix bugs and vulnerabilities quickly and efficiently. By staying up-to-date with the latest version of PHP, you ensure a stable and secure development environment and take full advantage of the language’s features. 

  1. Enhanced security 

In an era full of cyber security threats, prioritizing the security of online applications is of utmost importance. Data security issues arise over time and require quick and effective solutions. Using the latest version of PHP ensures access to the latest security updates and patches. While older PHP versions may offer limited support after their end of life, the PHP Foundation actively maintains the most secure version. 

  Detailed overview of PHP versions 

Let’s look at the evolution of PHP versions and highlight the most critical features and release dates: 

PHP 8.2 (November 24, 2022) 

  • Read-only classes 
  • New functions and classes 
  • Standard features 
  • Improvements to the type system  
  • New random expansions 
  • New built-in parameter property 

PHP 8.1 (current version 11/25/2021) 

  • Read-only properties 
  • No return type 
  • New in initialization 
  • Final class constants 
  • Threads (asynchronous PHP) 

PHP 8.0 (November 26, 2020)  

  • Significant performance improvements 
  • Just-in-time collection 
  • Nullsafe operator 
  • Match the expression 
  • The developer’s real estate promotion 
  • Union types 
  • Mixed type 
  • Static return type 

PHP 7.4 (November 28, 2019) 

  • Serialization of custom objects 
  • Zero adjacency operator 
  • Reference for reference 
  • Foreign function interface 

PHP 7.3 (December 6, 2018) 

  • Reference definition of unstructured arrays 
  • Flexible heredoc and no-doc syntax 

PHP 7.2 (November 30, 2017)  

  • Object suggestion 
  • Overriding an abstract function  

PHP 7.1 (December 1, 2016)  

  • Empty return type 
  • Constant visibility of the class 

PHP 7.0 (December 3, 2015)  

  • Significant performance improvements 
  • Zero connection operator 
  • Types of returns 

PHP 5.6 (28 August 2014) 

  •  Variable functions 
  • Deconstructing arguments 

It is important to note that PHP 6 has yet to materialize. The planned initial PHP 6 was abandoned, and the subsequent release after PHP 5.6 was marked PHP 7. x. The purpose of this jump was to alleviate confusion between the deprecated PHP 6 and the next version. 

Individuals can download versions of PHP dating back to PHP 1 at the PHP Museum website. 

Set the PHP version. 

It is essential to check your current PHP version before starting updates. There are several ways to achieve this: 

  1. Command line: 

Use the php -v command to get the active PHP CLI version. Note that this may differ from the version of the server responsible for serving web requests.  

  1. PHP Features: 

Use PHP functions such as phpinfo() or phpversion() to access server configuration information. These functions display server information in tabular form to aid in debugging. However, be careful as this information should not be publicly available due to potential security risks.  

  1. WordPress Dashboard: 


If you are working with WordPress, go to your WordPress admin panel. Under “Tools” -andgt; In “Site Health,” you can find information about the version of PHP installed on your server.  Updating the PHP version 

For those who want to upgrade to the latest version of PHP, here is a step-by-step guide  to upgrade it: 

 Updating PHP with apt for Ubuntu, Debian, and Linux: 

Install a specific PHP version using the appropriate command line tool. Follow the phpX.X naming convention, such as php8.0 or php7.4. Install PHP version 8.0 with the following command: 


sudo apt-get install php8.0 

Note that you can have multiple versions of PHP  installed, but only one can be active at a time.  Assuming you are currently using PHP 7.4 and want to upgrade to PHP 8.0,  disable PHP 7.4 and enable PHP 8.0 with the following script: 

sudo a2dismod php7.4 

sudo a2enmod php8.0 

sudo service apache2 restart 

Wrap Up

The latest PHP version is the gateway to many advanced features, robust maintenance, bug fixes, and enhanced security for your web development projects. Staying abreast of PHP developments and actively updating your PHP version are essential practices in the dynamic world of web development. Use the power of PHP and find out.

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