Why You Ought to Replace Your PHP Model (& Easy methods to Do It)

Often updating your web site’s copy of WordPress ensures that your web site can have…

Often updating your web site’s copy of WordPress ensures that your web site can have a excessive degree of efficiency and safety. Should you overlook to replace your web site’s PHP model although, you’re leaving your web site susceptible to each hackers and potential efficiency bottlenecks. Yikes!

Fortuitously, it’s pretty simple to examine your web site’s present PHP model and proceed with upgrades if it occurs to be outdated. This course of can contribute to quicker load occasions, improved safety, and assist for brand new performance.

This text will talk about what PHP is, and why it’s best to contemplate updating it. Then, we’ll present you easy methods to examine your present PHP model and improve it if wanted. Let’s get began!


An Introduction to PHP

PHP is a programming and scripting language that performs an vital position in WordPress growth. PHP takes information from the database and converts it into an HTML net web page each time somebody visits your web site.

As an internet site proprietor, you may by no means have to be taught PHP coding. Nonetheless, after downloading WordPress, you’ll robotically obtain all the PHP information that make up WordPress core:

Though these information have been written for you — and are simply ready in your content material, themes, and plugins — there are some eventualities the place you’ll be able to profit from modifying PHP information:

Since PHP is likely one of the key languages behind WordPress, studying a little bit bit about easy methods to work with it’ll open up the scope of tasks that you’ll be able to do.

It’s possible that you just gained’t must edit your PHP information. Nonetheless, studying the language may be helpful for builders who want to create new software program or customizations.

Why You Ought to Replace Your PHP Model

You may already be acquainted with the significance of updating your WordPress, themes, and plugins. It’s additionally essential to usually replace your PHP model:

PHP 8.1 released

At the moment, WordPress recommends upgrading your PHP model to at the least 7.4. This isn’t required, however older variations could have reached their finish of life, that means they not have lively assist for bug fixes or safety updates.

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Listed below are the primary advantages of upgrading your websites to the newest PHP model:

  • Higher safety: Older PHP variations may be extra susceptible to cyberattacks.
  • Improved efficiency: Upgraded PHP can enhance load occasions by way of inside code enhancements and diminished reminiscence utilization.
  • Extra assist: At the moment supported variations have lively assist, with common bug fixes and safety patches.

Take it from our Director of IT Operations, Luke Odom:

“Operating a contemporary, supported, model of PHP is likely one of the greatest issues you are able to do for the well being, safety, and velocity of your web site. Let’s evaluate an outdated PHP model to an previous automobile. Certain, it’ll run and get you from level A to B, however with out trendy security sensors, expertise, gasoline effectivity, and GPS navigation you might end up in some hassle a bit extra simply.”

In the end, your web site will likely be quicker and safer when it’s operating on the newest model of PHP. Many net hosts present computerized updates for his or her clients, however if you happen to’re not with considered one of these hosts, you’ll be able to observe this handbook course of.

Easy methods to Verify Your Present PHP Model

Earlier than you get began, it’s best to examine which PHP model is at the moment supporting your web site. Should you’ve put in WordPress 5.0 or greater, you’ll be able to view your PHP model in your dashboard.

First, go to Instruments > Web site Well being:

WordPress Tools Site Health

On the Web site Well being web page, click on on Data. Then discover the Server part:

view server Site Health in WordPress

Right here, it’s best to be capable to see your present PHP model:

view your server's PHP version

One other easy technique for checking your PHP model is utilizing your net host’s management panel. For DreamHost web sites, click on on the Handle button subsequent to your area:

manage websites in DreamPress Panel

Then, discover the part labeled PHP. It will listing your web site’s PHP model:

modify your PHP version

The newest PHP launch is 8.1. If in case you have a model older than 7.4 — the model that the WordPress venture suggests — you’ll be able to proceed with the next steps.

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Easy methods to Replace Your PHP Model (In 4 Straightforward Steps)

When you resolve to replace your model of PHP, we suggest taking just a few precautions. Firstly, contemplate backing up your web site. If something goes incorrect, you’ll be able to roll again your model of PHP after which revert your web site to the backed-up model.

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Subsequent, make certain your web site is absolutely updated. In your dashboard, go to the Updates web page and set up the newest variations of WordPress, themes, and plugins:

WordPress Proxy Cache plugin

After taking these preventative steps, you can begin manually updating your PHP model. As a less complicated different, you may also contact your internet hosting supplier. The host can sometimes deal with this course of for you.

Step 1: Create a Staging Web site

Updating your PHP model may cause software program conflicts in your web site. Subsequently, it’s smart to check the replace in a staging space initially. This creates a separate, protected atmosphere to implement modifications slightly than breaking your reside web site.

With many internet hosting suppliers, you’ll be able to create a staging web site by way of your management panel. For this tutorial, we’ll be utilizing the DreamHost panel.

If in case you have a managed DreamHost plan, you’ll be able to arrange your staging web site in minutes. Merely open your management panel and navigate to WordPress > Managed WordPress > Handle:

DreamPress managed WordPress settings in PanelOn the following web page, go to Staging. Then, click on on Create Staging Web site:

create a one click staging site with DreamPress managed WordPress hosting

It will arrange your staging web site on an robotically generated subdomain. After this, you’ll be able to replace your PHP model with out modifying your reside web site.

Step 2: Change Your PHP Model

Irrespective of your internet hosting supplier, you’ll be able to normally change your web site’s PHP model by way of your management panel. This course of will look completely different primarily based in your host, however you’ll wish to search for a MultiPHP Supervisor or PHP Selector.

To edit your DreamHost staging web site, you’ll be able to merely scroll right down to the Configure PHP part. This part will listing your present PHP model and the newest replace choice:

change PHP version

To replace PHP, click on on Change PHP to v8.1. If profitable, this part will point out that your web site is updated:

configure your PHP version

Though we strongly encourage you to check PHP model modifications in a staging atmosphere, you’ll be able to modify your PHP model in your reside web site. To do that, go to Handle Web sites in your DreamHost Panel. Then, scroll right down to PHP and click on on the arrow to Modify:

select PHP version in the DreamHost panel

Lastly, choose the brand new model you wish to run in your web site. Click on on Change PHP Model to complete the method.

Step 3: Search for Conflicts

After updating your PHP model, we suggest reviewing your plugins and themes for conflicts. Upgrading PHP could trigger widespread issues such because the White Display of Dying or 500 inside server errors.

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Whether or not you up to date a staging atmosphere or your reside web site, go to the entrance finish to see if all the pieces is functioning appropriately. Should you discover any errors after searching the web site, you’ll have to troubleshoot the difficulty.

One widespread purpose for WordPress errors is a plugin battle. When points come up, strive deactivating all your plugins utilizing the Bulk Actions in your Plugins web page:

deactivate WordPress plugins

To focus on the conflicting plugin, reactivate every plugin one after the other. Then, you’ll be able to obtain an identical plugin or delete it if it’s pointless.

Should you face further issues like exceeded most execution time or upkeep mode errors, you may have to edit your wp-config.php file. This course of may require extra intensive troubleshooting, reminiscent of rising your PHP reminiscence restrict.

Step 4: Publish Adjustments to Your Stay Web site

Should you carried out a brand new PHP model on a staging web site, it’s time to publish this modification in your reside web site. Normally, you are able to do this in your host’s management panel.

For instance, DreamHost gives a easy one-click switch of your staging information to your web site. When you’re positive you’ve focused any potential conflicts, you’ll be able to click on on Publish Staging to Stay:

push staging environment to live

It will efficiently replace your web site’s PHP model. Because you used a staging web site, you gained’t have to fret about surprising errors!

Prepared for an Improve?

You is perhaps hesitant to replace your PHP model since you’re nervous about breaking your web site. Nonetheless, PHP updates in the end enhance the safety and efficiency of your web site. You’ll be able to simply keep away from any conflicts by testing modifications earlier than making them reside.

To evaluate, listed below are the 4 steps you’ll be able to take to replace the PHP model of your web site:

  1. Create a staging web site.
  2. Change your PHP model.
  3. Search for conflicts.
  4. Publish modifications to your reside web site.

Though you’ll be able to manually replace your PHP model, you may wish to keep away from doing this for each new growth. Right here at DreamHost, our Web site Upkeep plans now embrace computerized PHP updates! This manner, you’ll be able to sit again, calm down, and go away this course of to us.

Web site and PHP Model Administration Made Straightforward

Allow us to deal with the backend — we’ll handle and monitor your web site so it’s protected, safe, and all the time up.

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