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WordPress PHP Versions: How to Update Your Settings

WordPress PHP Versions

Important: PHP versions PHP 7.3, PHP 7.4, and PHP 8.0 are deprecated. We advise that you update to a supported version of PHP. For more information, read cPanel's PHP documentation.

PHP is a programming language designed for creating websites. WordPress, for example, is a CMS (Content Management System) powered by PHP. Your WP core system plugins, themes, and files have PHP code, and your server interprets and executes the PHP code through a program. PHP versions refer to the version of PHP your server works from.



Best PHP Version for Your WordPress Website

PHP versions 8.1 and higher offer a significant improvement in speed and memory usage over past PHP versions. It also comes with better error handling and many bug fixes. Before making the switch, you need to be aware of backward compatibility issues with scripts: Older PHP coding may not be compatible with newer PHP versions. Therefore, ensure to avoid skipping versions and instead make updates incrementally.

It is important to check first the compatibility of your WordPress site against new versions of PHP before upgrading. Sites built with WordPress can use the PHP Version Compatibility Checker plugin. You can also check the PHP Manual to review the new and deprecated features of PHP.

Note: In addition to ensuring you have the latest PHP, protect your data and files in case of data loss, hackers, or accidents with CodeGuard. For more information, please see Getting CodeGuard Set Up for Backups.

Benefits of Updating Your PHP Version

Keeping your PHP up-to-date has the following benefits:

  • It improves your website's performance as PHP is more efficient with each update or new version.
  • It offers better security. Since PHP is a popular scripting language, hackers target it. However, the latest version of PHP will have better security features.
  • It gives your website a higher chance of ranking in search results. Search engines reward websites that load faster. Also, it enables you to retain visitors better because they tend to leave if your website takes too long to load.

How to Check and Update Your PHP Version

For step-by-step instructions on checking and updating your PHP version in cPanel, check out the article: What is the Latest Supported PHP Version?

How to Update Your PHP Settings

The php.ini file is the default configuration file for running applications that require PHP. It is used to declare settings and control variables such as upload sizes, file time-outs, resource limits, etc. Your server is already configured with standard settings for PHP, which your site will use by default. Unless you need to change one or more settings, there is no need to create or modify a php.ini file.

If you want to change these settings, please do so through the MultiPHP INI Editor. Please see How to Edit the PHP Ini Settings to learn more about the process.

Troubleshoot PHP Version Update Errors

To resolve php version update errors, visit the article: What to Do If Your Site Does Not Support Newer Versions of PHP.

Note: If you have a custom php.ini file that references PHP modules that are unavailable in your selected version, your site may not work. Either remove the custom php.ini file (which will cause the server to use the default php.ini file) or create a php.ini file compatible with your selected version.

Summary

Understand the importance of updating PHP versions to ensure your website's security and performance. We suggest upgrading to PHP 8.1 or higher for better speed, memory usage, and error handling. Before updating, check your site's compatibility with new PHP versions using tools like the PHP Version Compatibility Checker plugin and consulting the PHP Manual for changes. There are benefits to updating your PHP version, such as improved website performance, security, and SEO rankings. Learn how to check and update your PHP version in cPanel, modify the PHP settings through the MultiPHP INI Editor, and troubleshoot update errors.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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