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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 popular website platforms use PHP for rendering their content. It’s common for these sites to have automatic update tools to ensure that they work with the latest version of PHP; however, sometimes a theme or plugin for these services may prevent them from updating or may not work with a newer version of PHP.

If you are able to test and identify that your sites do not work with a newer version of PHP, you have a number of options.

  • Attempt to Update Your Website
    Many platforms, such as WordPress, can be updated to versions that are compatible with the most up to date versions of PHP. The first step may be as simple as attempting to update your website from the dashboard. Please remember to take a backup before making any changes so that the site can be restored to its previous state if it experiences any issues while upgrading.
  • Contact a Developer
    Either your web developer or another web developer may be able to assist you with updating your website to be compliant with a modern secure version of PHP. The Developer who originally built your site is likely to have the best chance of resolving the issue quickly and effectively.
  • Design a New Site
    Another valid option is to design a new site, using the opportunity to provide your visitors with a fresh experience that uses a modern version of PHP. Bluehost offers a variety of tools to build a website from scratch that will work on your new service.

    See Getting Started with your New Account to learn more.

    Additionally, it is possible to get third party developers to re-build your site for you.

    Bluehost offers web design services that will provide you with a forward-thinking website that will be compliant with current technologies and prepared for upcoming changes so that it can update as technology continues to evolve.
  • Migrate to a Platform that Allows End of Life PHP Versions

    PHP 5.2 and 5.4 are outside of their end of life and are not receiving security updates. Actions taken to continue to remain reliant on this service are not recommended by Bluehost.

    We understand that it may be a challenge to update your site to be compliant with modern versions of PHP. If there is no way to update or rebuild your site to be compliant with your updated service it is possible to migrate your content to another service provider that has PHP 5.2/4 available.

    If you are unable to find a provider that explicitly offers this option, it is possible to get a VPS or dedicated server that will allow you to control the software environment on which you host your website.
For more information and frequently asked questions about this migration, please see the following articles regarding the migration: