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What to do if my Site Does Not Support Newer Versions of PHP

My sites don’t work with newer versions of PHP; what can I do?

Many widely-used website platforms utilize PHP to display their content. While these sites typically incorporate automatic update tools to stay compatible with the latest PHP version, occasional challenges arise. Themes or plugins associated with these services may, at times, hinder updates or prove incompatible with newer PHP versions. 

If you can test and confirm that your sites are incompatible with a newer version of PHP, explore the various options below to address the issue. 

Attempt to Update Your Website

Various platforms, including WordPress, can be upgraded to versions that are compatible with the latest PHP versions. The initial step might involve attempting to update your website directly from the dashboard. It's important to remember to create a backup before making any changes to ensure the ability to restore the site to its previous state if any issues arise during the upgrade. 

Contact a Developer

Reach out to your web developer or consider consulting another professional to help update your website and ensure compatibility with a modern and secure version of PHP. The developer who initially built your site is likely to have the expertise needed to address the issue promptly and effectively. 

Design a New Site

Consider designing a completely new site, taking advantage of the opportunity to offer your visitors a refreshed experience powered by a modern PHP version. Bluehost provides a range of tools for building a website from the ground up that is compatible with your new service. 

Tip: See Getting Started with your New Account to learn more.

Alternatively, you can engage third-party developers to reconstruct your site for you. 

Migrate to a Platform Supporting Older PHP Versions

IMPORTANT UPDATE: PHP version 7.3 is deprecated. PHP Version 7.3 is no longer supported; thus, we strongly advise you to upgrade to a currently supported version of PHP. 

Please note: We have updated the PHP version to 8.2 in 2023. To learn more about what is changing with PHP version 8.2, please see please see PHP.net's release notes

We recognize that updating your site to align with modern PHP versions can be challenging. If updating or rebuilding your site to comply with your upgraded service seems impractical, you can consider moving your content to another service provider that supports PHP versions 7.0 to 7.3. 

In case you can't find a provider explicitly offering this option, another viable solution is to opt for a VPS or dedicated server. This will grant you control over the software environment hosting your website.

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