How to Update Your WordPress PHP Version

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.

Update Your WordPress Site's PHP Version

You can easily change the PHP version used by your website with any of the top WordPress hosting companies. We’ll show you a few examples from leading hosting companies.

Changing PHP Version in Bluehost

First, you need to login to your Bluehost hosting account dashboard and click on the Advanced tab in the left column.

PHP manager Bluehost

This will bring you to the advanced tools page to manage your hosting account. From here you need to click on the MultiPHP Manager icon.

On the next page, you need to select your website and then select the PHP version that you want to use.

Changing PHP version in Bluehost

Click on the Apply button to save your changes.

Bluehost will now start using the PHP version you selected for your website.

Changing PHP Version in SiteGround

If you are using SiteGround hosting, then here is how you would update the PHP version of your WordPress website.

First, you need to log in to your SiteGround account dashboard.

After that, switch to the ‘Websites’ page and click on the Site Tools button next to your website.

Site Tools section on SiteGround

Next, you need to go to DEVS » PHP Manager from the left column.

From here, you can choose to use SiteGround’s Ultrafast PHP or Standard PHP. You can also change the PHP version number by clicking on the Edit icon.

PHP Manager in SiteGround

This will bring up a popup where you first need to select ‘Change PHP version manually’ under the ‘Set PHP Version’ option.

Changing PHP version in SiteGround

After that, you would be able to select your PHP version from a drop-down menu.

Don’t forget to click on the Confirm button to apply your changes.

Changing PHP Version in HostGator

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.

Launch HostGator cPanel dashboard

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.

Launching MultiPHP manager in HostGator

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.

Changing PHP version in WP Engine

This will bring up a popup where you can choose to downgrade or upgrade the PHP version for your WordPress website.

Upgrade or downgrade PHP version in WP Engine

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

Security

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.

Performance

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.

Support

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.

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