Retiring old PHP versions
PHP is the programming language that WordPress code is based on. This language runs on the server and keeping it up to date is important to the security and functionality of your WordPress site.
Select a question to see its answer:
- Why is this happening?
- How will I know what PHP version I'm using?
- What do you recommend I do?
- How do I change my PHP version?
- What happens if I do nothing?
Why is this happening?
End of Life (EOL) versions are no longer supported for security updates, potentially making your WordPress site vulnerable. Updating to the current PHP version can also improve performance and stability for most sites.
To prepare for this, we're getting ready to retire the following PHP versions:
- 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3
How will I know what PHP version I'm using?
Your PHP version can be seen in several locations:
- Managed WordPress hosting dashboard: Under Settings > Production Site > PHP Version. You can update your PHP version here as well.
- WordPress Dashboard: On the Home page, an admin message will display PHP Update Required. Follow the link to update your PHP version.
- PHP info script: You can create a PHP info file and place it in your public_html directory. This will display your PHP version info when the file is loaded in your browser.
What do you recommend I do?
If your site is running on an EOL version of PHP, we recommend being proactive and updating your site.
First, you should update your plugins and your active theme. This is the most probable cause of trouble when updating the PHP version for your WordPress site. You should also take this opportunity to review the developer's documentation for your plugins and theme to see if there are any issues to be aware of when updating the PHP version.
Our Deluxe, Ultimate, and Ecommerce Managed WordPress plans include a one-click staging site where you can test your site on the latest version of PHP. This is a great place to troubleshoot and overcome any problems you may encounter without affecting your live site. Once you've completed the update and fixed the issues in your staging site, you can push the changes to your live site.
Note: If your site is on a Basic Managed WordPress plan, you'll need to upgrade to a Deluxe, Ultimate, or Ecommerce plan to access the staging environment. (Here's how to upgrade)
Depending on the EOL PHP version your site is running on, there may not be much that needs to change for your site to work properly. The older the version, the more work may be involved in getting your site ready for the change.
If your site is running on PHP version 5.6, you should review the features that are deprecated in PHP 7.0.x at PHP.net. You may need to involve your WordPress developer or admin to ensure your site will function properly after the PHP version change.
If your site is running on PHP 7.0 - 7.3, you can find information on migrating to a newer version in the appendices on PHP.net.
If you don't have a WordPress developer or admin to help with your site, our paid-for service WordPress Premium Support can help.
How do I change the PHP version?
In the Settings section of your Managed WordPress hosting dashboard, you can change the PHP version.
What happens if I do nothing?
If your website is currently using an EOL PHP version and you don't act, you may find some aspects of your website won't work if they depend on deprecated code in these older versions. You should consult your web developer or WordPress admin if you're unsure.
As EOL PHP versions are retired, anyone that is still using an EOL version will find that their site has changed to a more recent, stable version of PHP.