Which Is The Best Version of PHP For WordPress?
Which is the best version of PHP for WordPress? What do you mean by PHP versions? Why should you care? You may speak English, Hindi, Spanish, or any other language in the world. As such, programming is also done in many languages.
PHP is one such language. This is the language WordPress is primarily written in. Your website's language version can make a big difference in loading times.
This guide will help you choose the right PHP version for WordPress.
What is the significance of PHP version numbers?
WordPress is built on PHP. This means that you need to use the same version of PHP as WordPress. Each version not only offers new features but also fixes bugs and offers stability improvements. Also, new versions fix security problems.
Like, it would be a mistake to install Windows 98 on a new computer, as it is outdated and no longer supported. Not only would you miss out on many new features but also, you could be at risk for security and bugs that can be fixed in the latest versions of the software. PHP 5.2 was released in January 2011 and had approximately 40 security flaws. It is also 400% slower than PHP 7.0.
Which Is The Best Version of PHP For WordPress?
Now, WordPress works with PHP versions:
- PHP 7.0
- PHP 7.1
- PHP 7.2
- PHP 7.3
- PHP 7.4
The latest PHP version is 8. It is the Best Version of PHP For WordPress. It was released on November 26, 2020. PHP has an annual release cycle. Each year, PHP releases one new version and then phasing it out.
Even though PHP 7.3 was discontinued in December 2020, security updates will continue to be available for it through December 2021. PHP 7.4 will continue to be supported fully through November 2021, and security updates will be available through November 2022. PHP 7.3 is the lower version of PHP. You should upgrade your site to PHP 7.4, or higher, as PHP 8.0 and PHP 7.4 are currently supported.
Display PHP Version is a plugin that allows you to see the version of PHP your site is using in your WordPress Dashboard. The PHP Compatibility Checker plugin can be used to check compatibility with older PHP versions. If you are running WordPress 5.2 or higher, the Site Health Check will alert you if your PHP version needs to be updated.
Before you upgrade your PHP version, make sure that all of your plugins and themes are compatible. PHP 7.4 should be used if your plugins and themes are compatible with the new version.
Benefits of Upgrading Your PHP Version
Okay, speed is a big deal. But it's an important factor in any website. It doesn't matter if you have the best product or the most beautiful website. But if your website loads slowly, nobody will buy your product.
Did you know your website is not protected if you are using PHP 5.6, PHP 7.0, or PHP 7.1? All PHP versions that are older than 5.0 are considered EOL, or end-of-life. They don't get any updates for security or bug fixes.
Your website is at risk by using an older PHP version. Support for PHP 7.2 is ending soon, even for those running PHP 7.2.
Although we don't claim that you will be hacked if your PHP version is older, it does play into the hands of third parties. Upgrade to PHP 7.3 or PHP 7.4.
What happens if PHP has a bug? Generally, the PHP bug is fixed, and the web hosting companies apply the patch to their servers. You may not even notice.
But what if a PHP version has reached its end of life? Unfortunately, this is your last chance! You can only fix it by upgrading to a more recent PHP version.
It is safer to upgrade when the situation isn’t critical (e.g. your website isn’t broken). However, upgrading because of a problem with your current version is not ideal.
How to Upgrade Your PHP Version on WordPress?
Upgrading your PHP version does not have to be frightening.
There are always issues that can arise in any software project. I am going to show you how to upgrade PHP safely. And if you're still not happy with the process, you can hire a professional WordPress developer.
Use a Staging Website
You should first create a replica of your website in a development environment (staging site). This will allow you to apply the new PHP version and check your site before you upgrade it.
There are many benefits to using a staging website over a live one.
- There is no money loss — If your live website goes down, money will be lost in one way or the other. You can upgrade your live website by upgrading a staging site. If any issue arose, you could fix the problem without harming your live website.
- Time — If you are upgrading WordPress PHP on a staging website, you have plenty of time. You can test the site for a few days to make sure everything is working properly. It is easy to overlook things that are not working, which can lead to a poor user experience.
- Reputation remains intact — If your live website is upgraded and breaks, it will affect your reputation and cause people to stop visiting your site. If there are any problems, you can fix them quickly on your staging website.
Back up your website first
Although this should be obvious, it is crucial to backup your WordPress website before you do anything else. But how do you backup your WordPress website?
- Go to wp–admin > plugins. Now Search for “Updraft.”
- Click on “Get Now”, then click activate. You'll be taken directly to the tour/setup wizard.
- Click on “Click here to get started!”. Next, click “Back up.”
- Make sure that “Include the database in the backup” and “Include your files into the backup” are checked.
- When you are satisfied with everything, click on “Backup Now.”
It can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on how large the backup is. After the backup is completed, you will receive a success message. You should also see an existing backup in you list.
You have now successfully backed-up your WordPress website and are ready to upgrade to the latest WordPress PHP version. But where is the backup?
The backup is automatically saved on your server, so you will need to download it. Here's how.
Downloading your Backup
Scroll down to Existing Backups in your wp-admin > Settings > UpdatePlus Backups. You should see all of your backups as follows:
Click on each item-
Clicking an item will locate it on your server. Then you can download the file to your PC.
Click on each of them and then download them. After everything is downloaded, you will be able to upgrade your PHP version with confidence, knowing that you can easily restore your website in the event of an emergency.
Ask Your Host
Although your host can help you upgrade PHP safely, it is important to make a backup of all data. Your host should be able to report any problems and to check the error log of your website.
It is essential to upgrade your WordPress PHP version for the security and performance of your website. It may seem daunting at first but upgrading is easy. You can ask your hosting company for help or hire an expert.