How to Prepare Your WordPress Site for the Upcoming PHP 7.0 Requirement

July 5, 2023

Read time: 7 minutes

TL;DR

WordPress 6.3 is discontinuing support for PHP 5 and moving to PHP 7.0 as a minimum requirement, enhancing website performance, security, and memory usage. It’s crucial to check your current PHP version and upgrade it for seamless website operation. We’ve provided a step-by-step guide to help you upgrade your PHP version on popular hosting platforms like WPEngine, Kinsta, SiteGround, Bluehost, and GoDaddy. For more assistance or if you’re unsure about managing these updates, reach out to us at Some Web Studio.

If you’ve been keeping up with the recent updates on WordPress, you may be aware that WordPress is officially discontinuing support for PHP 5 with its upcoming 6.3 release, slated for August 8th. This decision signifies a shift towards a minimum requirement of PHP 7.0.0. So, what does this mean for your website? And how can you ensure a smooth transition to a supported PHP version? Read on as we at Some Web Studio guide you through the process of upgrading your WordPress site to the latest PHP version and help you navigate these updates.

Why Upgrade to PHP 7.0?

In the evolving digital landscape, keeping your website updated with the latest technologies is paramount to ensuring optimal performance and security. Upgrading from PHP 5 to PHP 7 offers numerous advantages including improved speed, enhanced security, and decreased memory usage, which in turn contributes to an overall better website performance and user experience. In fact, the PHP 7.0.0 update is expected to significantly reduce memory usage and provide improved core tooling for the WordPress ecosystem.

How to Check Your Current PHP Version:

Before you proceed with the upgrade, it’s important to check the current PHP version of your WordPress site. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Navigate to “Tools > Site Health > Info > Server.”
  3. Under the “Server” section, you’ll find your site’s PHP version.

Steps to Upgrade Your PHP Version:

1. Backup Your Website: Always backup your site before making any significant changes. This will save you from potential headaches if things don’t go as planned.

2. Check Plugin and Theme Compatibility: Ensure that your plugins and themes are compatible with PHP 7.0 or higher.

3. Ask Your Hosting Provider for Support: Most hosting providers offer support for PHP upgrades. Reach out to your hosting company and ask for assistance in upgrading your PHP version.

4. Test Your Website: After the upgrade, check your website for any issues. If you encounter any, revert back to the previous version and address these issues before trying again.

Step-by-Step Guide to Upgrading PHP Version on Top Hosting Platforms

Below are step-by-step guides on how to upgrade your PHP version for WPEngine, Kinsta, and SiteGround, along with two additional popular hosts, Bluehost and GoDaddy:

1. WPEngine:

  1. Log in to your WPEngine User Portal.
  2. Click on the environment you want to upgrade.
  3. Go to the “PHP version” tab.
  4. Select your desired PHP version.
  5. Click “Update.”

2. Kinsta:

  1. Log into your Kinsta dashboard.
  2. Click on “Sites” and select the site you want to upgrade.
  3. Under the site’s “Tools” tab, you’ll find the “PHP Engine” section.
  4. Click on the dropdown menu and select your new PHP version.
  5. Click “Change PHP version” to apply the change.

3. SiteGround:

  1. Log into your SiteGround account.
  2. Go to “Websites” and click on “Site Tools” for the site you want to upgrade.
  3. Click on “Dev” from the left-hand side menu.
  4. Click on “PHP Manager.”
  5. Under “PHP Version,” click on “EDIT” and choose your new PHP version.
  6. Click “CONFIRM.”

4. Bluehost:

  1. Log into your Bluehost cPanel.
  2. Navigate to the “Software” section.
  3. Click on “MultiPHP Manager.”
  4. Select the domain name you wish to change the PHP version for.
  5. Choose your desired PHP version from the dropdown menu.
  6. Click on “Apply.”

5. GoDaddy:

  1. Log in to your GoDaddy account.
  2. Click on “Web Hosting.”
  3. Next to the account you want to use, click “Manage.”
  4. In the “Software & Services” section, click on “Select PHP Version.”
  5. Select your new PHP version and click on “Set as current.”

Remember, before making any major changes like these, it’s always best to backup your website and ensure that your theme and plugins are compatible with the new PHP version. Also, while most hosts make the process seamless, should you encounter any issues, their customer support should be able to guide you through the process.

Don’t wait until it’s too late and you need a developer

With WordPress 6.3 dropping support for PHP 5 and requiring PHP 7.0.0 as a minimum, it’s time to upgrade your PHP version. At Some Web Studio, we’re dedicated to helping you stay ahead of these changes. If you’re unsure about managing these updates yourself or simply need guidance along the way, reach out to us for a hassle-free transition to PHP 7.0.

Some Web Studio offers an array of marketing and communication products and services, from branding and web design to website SEO and graphic arts. Reach out for a consultation. If you are launching a community business and need help establishing a web presence,  Some Web Studio can help you create a website customized to your business’s audience and needs. Visit our website for more information today!

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