PHP is the core coding language that takes care of running the internal functions and processes database information for WordPress sites. Keeping WordPress, your themes, and plugins updated is essential. Like all coding and software, it gets improved over time and support is eventually dropped for older versions. As PHP is evolving, you must keep the pace with updates to maintain a secure WordPress site.
Most WordPress site owners are still on some version of PHP 5. Older versions of PHP put your site at risk for bugs, breaks, and security breaches. Support for older versions has either ended or will end by December 21, 2019. Lack of PHP version support means that anyone using an older version will have a gaping security hole on their site if they don’t update.
WordPress.org requires PHP 7.3 by default.
If your site is running on an unsupported version of PHP, the WordPress updater will not offer WordPress 5.2 to your site. If you attempt to update WordPress manually, that update will fail. To continue using the latest features of WordPress, you must upgrade to a newer version of PHP.
There are many benefits to PHP 7.3. Overall, your website will be quicker and more secure. But it also has some secondary benefits:
· higher rank by search engines for being faster,
· visitor retainment and website effectiveness and
· protection against hackers.
While most plugin and theme developers have prepared for PHP 7.3, there is no guarantee that your plugins or theme will work with the newest PHP version.
What does this mean for you? If you are a Web Strategies hosting client, then rest assured that your website has been tested and migrated to the most current version of PHP. If your site is not compatible with the newest version of PHP, then we will be reaching out to you to discuss your options.
If you don’t host with Web Strategies, we’d be happy to discuss your website security and what it would take to migrate your website to the latest version of PHP.
Do you have questions, comments, or concerns? Get in touch with us, and we will be happy to discuss them.