Have you been notified by your hosting provider that you need to upgrade to a new version of PHP and are unsure what this implies for your website?
The PHP programming language is used to create WordPress. It’s a server-side language, which means it generates WordPress pages dynamically on your web hosting server.
In this article, we’ll go through how your web host’s PHP upgrades affect your WordPress sites. We’ll also talk about what you can do to avoid any website issues or outages.
Updates to WordPress and PHP
WordPress is written in PHP, an open-source programming language. WordPress requires PHP version 7.4 or above at the time of writing this article. The most recent stable version of PHP is 8.1.3.
The majority of shared hosting providers now offer PHP version 7.4 or higher, with the ability to update or downgrade PHP from your hosting control panel.
Switch to the ‘Info’ tab on the Tools » Site Health page to see which PHP version your website is using.
After that, go down a little and pick the ‘Server’ tab to enlarge it.
This section displays information about your server, including the PHP version it is running.
Note: If anything in this section is older than PHP 7.4, you should update your PHP version.
Why don’t hosting companies use the most recent PHP version by default?
There are a variety of reasons why web servers don’t use the bleeding edge and most recent stable versions of PHP, but the most prevalent argument is because the most recent versions can break some PHP programs, such as WordPress.
They don’t want to fall too far behind, though. PHP 7.4.+ is now the minimum necessary version, with PHP 8.0+ being widely recommended.
Your web host’s PHP upgrade is supposed to go easily, but it can also go horribly wrong. It all relies on your web provider and how their servers are configured.
This is why we advise our users to get the best WordPress hosting, so they can rest assured that their servers are being looked after by top-notch professionals.
Using an unreliable web host for your WordPress site can result in unexpected downtime during or after the upgrade, and there’s little you can do about it except transfer to a more dependable server.
When Your Host Updates PHP, Here’s What You Should Do
Thousands of WordPress sites are undoubtedly already hosted on your web server. They will take every care to ensure that everything runs well and that clients do not experience any service issues.
The message you received helps you to stay informed about the update and keep an eye out for any problems.
Although it’s doubtful that this update will cause any problems, it’s always a good idea to be prepared.
Here are some things you may do to get ready for the update.
1. Take a complete backup of your WordPress site.
First and foremost, we always advise our users to back up their WordPress sites on a regular basis. If you don’t already have a backup solution in place, have a look at our list of the top WordPress backup plugins to choose one.
You can also use FTP to download all of your website files and manually backup the WordPress database.
2. Download and install WordPress updates
After you’ve completed your backups, check sure you’re running the most recent version of WordPress. Also, check sure your plugins and themes are up to date.
Simply go to the Updates screen and install any available updates.
The PHP change will not affect WordPress or most popular WordPress plugins. It is possible, however, that some plugins will stop operating.
If a plugin on your site has stopped operating as a result of a PHP update, you should contact the plugin creator for assistance or look for a replacement.
What Should You Do If Your WordPress Site Is Broken by a PHP Update?
There’s a slim possibility that a PHP update will break your WordPress site. With so many free and commercial plugins available, a single line of bad code might cause any of the frequent WordPress issues.
The first step is to ensure that the error is not being caused by a plugin or theme. You can do this by deactivating all WordPress plugins and switching to the default WordPress theme.
If this does not resolve your problem, contact your web host’s customer service department. There’s a considerable chance they’ll be aware of the problem you’re having and will be able to assist you.
If your web provider is unwilling to assist you, consider installing WordPress from scratch and then restoring your WordPress site from a backup.
If none of these works, it may be time to switch WordPress hosting providers.
We hope this information has helped you understand how your web host’s PHP changes affect your WordPress site.