php development

Learn About PHP Compatibility with WordPress Amid Official Updates

Aug 30, 2022

Sachin Agrawal

By Sachin Agrawal

Introduction

The technologies evolve over time and so do their versions. The new versions come with better features, performance upgrades, extended functionalities, security upgrades, and more.

This is why it makes sense to upgrade the websites and web apps that are built with older versions.

Selection of PHP programming language is one of the most critical elements of the technology stack finalized to develop a website, web app, or web portal.

As a matter of fact, According to W3Tech, 78.9% of the websites on the internet are powered by PHP.

It is also an opportunity for a top WordPress development company like ours to make their clientele aware of the situation.

So what all of this fuss is about?

Apparently, most of the hosting providers are deprecating or stopping the support for PHP 7.3 and older. And WordPress version 5.6 or above (6.0 is the latest) will support PHP 7.4 and later (8.0 is the latest).

Also read: AMP for WordPress: Know why it might be important for you

It is a grueling fact that PHP version 5 is still running over 44% of websites. Imagine how many more websites would be running on versions before 7.4. Have a look at the image below that shows PHP Versions Usage Stats.

php version

Image source

According to the official WordPress Stats page, as of writing this, a whopping 64% of all WordPress websites are running unsupported versions of PHP.

Being a top web application development company, it is our responsibility to let our customers know this fact.

The PHP community has been notified that all the hosting service providers will be discontinuing their support for all PHP versions older than 7.4 by the end of 2022.

This includes PHP 7.3, 7.2, 7.1, 7.0, 5.6 and older versions. Also, WordPress 5.6 will be compatible with only PHP 7.4 and later versions and will not support older versions.

This makes it inevitable for the website and web app owners to keep their client-side and server-side compatible and updated with the latest PHP versions or with version 7.4.

As a top PHP development company, we keep track of how each PHP version evolves, especially how fast it is adopted by the leading website and web app developers, and we make proactive efforts to make sure our customers get all the benefits of the newer versions as soon as possible.

Hey, Hi

Want to upgrade your web solutions to the latest versions, be it a WordPress website running on PHP or built on a different tech stack?

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Why Should You Upgrade to the Latest PHP Version?

As we have understood the aforementioned benefits of staying updated with the versions of PHP, here we will see the drawbacks of not upgrading to the minimum prerequisites.

Growing Risks

It has been a while that the security support for PHP 7.3 and versions below that has been officially over.

Hence, the risk associated with using the websites powered through these outdated versions is growing if not updated.

Imagine a custom eCommerce web application having a larger customer base and payment integration implemented.

Running such web applications on the outdated PHP 7.3 or lower versions would put your app against an instant security threat.

Your eCommerce app would also lose its reliability and your brand image gets hampered due to that.

Performance

It directly is connected to the end-user experience and the success of your web application or website. And it has been proven that the performance of the websites running on older versions of PHP was significantly poor than those running on newer versions.

The summary of core benefits is given below when your WordPress websites stay updated with the latest PHP version 7.4 or after.

  • Improved Performance
  • Improved Security
  • Arrow Functions
  • Preloading
  • Null Coalescing Assignment Operator

And this is why it has been decided that the PHP versions below 7.4 will no longer be supported on their servers.

This is why hosting services providers are urging the whole development and client community to upgrade their existing digital solutions powered by PHP to their latest versions (from 7.4).

  • Official PHP benchmarks show that PHP 7 allows the system to execute twice as many requests per second in comparison with PHP 5.6, at almost half of the latency.
  • Christian Vigh found that PHP 5.2 was 400% slower than PHP 7.
  • Andrei Avram saw faster execution times and less memory usage in PHP 7.4 versus that of PHP 7.3.

I hope now you know the importance of the benefits you get by staying updated. Now you all must be asking what to do, right? Let us check it out!

What to do if Your WordPress Website is on older PHP versions?

The update of the PHP version will also affect the website and which is why you need to look at the checklist shown below:

  • WordPress version needs to be 5.6 or greater (the latest release is WordPress 6.0) to make it compatible with PHP 7.4 or PHP 8.
  • Plugins compatibility needs to check with the WordPress and PHP versions.
  • The custom-made plugin needs to update accordingly if we are using any old library or functions.
  • Themes need to be updated and a custom theme needs to check for the older versions of the library and functions.
  • All the things need to perform on the local machine on the demo server after changing the PHP versions.

Hiya!

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How Bytes Technolab Can Help ‘YOU’?

Bytes Technolab is an award-winning website and web application development company with unmatched expertise.

We have been helping global businesses, enterprises, and even startups to design and develop websites or web apps from scratch, migration, maintenance, and upgradation services.

Our web development services suite has been covering all aspects related to software engineering since 2011, leveraging our expertise in all the popular web frameworks, front-end, and backend technologies.

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