WordPress is built with PHP, an open-source programming language. PHP 8.1.9 is the most recent stable version available.
To meet the minimum WordPress requirements, most WordPress hosting companies use PHP versions 7.4 or higher.
Each PHP version improves performance by running processes more efficiently and using less memory. This affects the speed of your WordPress site by making it faster and reducing the load on your server.
First, you need to login to your HostGator hosting account dashboard and then click on the Hosting section.
You need to click on the cPanel link under your hosting account.
This will launch cPanel dashboard where you can manage advanced settings for your hosting account.
You need to scroll down to the Software section and click on the MultiPHP Manager icon.
Next, you need to select your domain name and then choose the PHP version. Don’t forget to click on the Apply button to save your settings.
Changing PHP Version in WP Engine
WP Engine is a managed WordPress hosting company which means they automatically upgrade the PHP version for you. However, you can also manually upgrade and downgrade the PHP version for your websites.
Simply log in to your WP Engine dashboard and click on the PHP version next to your website.
This will bring up a popup where you can choose to downgrade or upgrade the PHP version for your WordPress website.
Don’t forget to click on the ‘Change PHP Version’ button to save your changes.
Changing PHP Version in Other WordPress Hosting Environments
The majority of WordPress hosting companies use similar hosting dashboards with minor variations. The MultiPHP Manager icon is usually found in the cPanel dashboard.
If you can’t find it, contact your WordPress hosting provider and request that the PHP version of your website be changed.
Things to Do After Updating PHP Version of Your Website
After updating the PHP version on your WordPress website, you should double-check that everything is working properly.
We recommend that you visit your website to check for any immediately noticeable issues.
After that, you can access your website’s WordPress admin area.
Check that your website is running the most recent version of WordPress and that all of your plugins and themes are up to date.
Finally, it is always advisable to create a complete backup of your WordPress website.
What to Do if a PHP Update Breaks Your WordPress Site?
There is very little chance that a PHP update will break your WordPress site. However, with so many free and paid plugins available, a single line of bad code can cause any of the common WordPress errors.
The first step is to ensure that the error is not caused by a plugin or theme.
Deactivate all WordPress plugins and use the default WordPress theme to accomplish this.
If this does not resolve your problem, contact the support team at your web host. There is a good chance that the problem you are experiencing has already been brought to their attention, and they will be able to assist you.
If your web host is unable to assist you , then you can use the methods described above to downgrade your PHP version.
4 Reasons to Upgrade
The main reason to upgrade PHP is to ensure that your eCommerce project is running on a fully supported and regularly updated for security threats version. DoS, code execution, overflow, memory corruption, XSS, directory traversal, information traversal, and retrieval are all possible threats. Every year, numerous vulnerabilities in older PHP versions are discovered. Some will never be repaired.
There is a significant performance boost with the release of PHP 8! In addition, PHP 7.4 allows the system to perform three times more requests per second than PHP 5.6.
Another important reason to use the most recent supported version of PHP is for support. It all comes down to compatibility. When you run older versions, you risk breaking your site. This is the primary concern for web project developers.
PHP versions that are supported imply that these protocols are regularly monitored and improved. Each one includes major and minor updates to improve security and eliminate flaws, configuration failures, and other issues. It's a good idea to stay up to date on the latest versions and their changes.
Developers will have more opportunities.
PHP 7.4 is the most recent stable version of PHP, preceding PHP 8. It was released on November 28, 2019 and includes numerous new features, syntax additions, and bug fixes. Here are just a few highlights from PHP 7.4:
increased type variance
Preloading for better performance
FFI for better PHP extension development
For cleaner one-liner functions, use arrow functions.
Class properties that are typed
As a shortcut, the null coalescing assignment operator
Numeric values can be formatted using underscores.
Array spread operator
Unfortunately, many developers become stuck supporting a wide range of versions, exposing their projects to instability, lack of security, and performance gaps.