With the most recent update to WordPress coming on November 7, 2023, version 6.4 recommends your server has a PHP version of 8.1 or 8.2. This requirement is due to some known issues present with previous versions of PHP.
Why is the PHP Version on My WordPress Website’s Server Important?
Updating the PHP version on your WordPress site server is very important for security, performance, and compatibility. A current PHP version provides crucial security patches, protecting your site from potential vulnerabilities, while also enhancing overall performance and load times.
You may have recently seen notices once you log into your WordPress site detailing your current servers PHP version and a recommendation to make the update. Be sure to follow these important steps to ensure you update your PHP version correctly.
Before making any changes, create a full backup of your WordPress website. This includes your files and your database. Use a reliable backup plugin or your hosting provider’s backup tools to ensure you can restore your site if anything goes wrong.
Contact Your Hosting Provider
Get in touch with your hosting provider to inquire about available PHP versions and any recommendations they might have. They can guide you on the best PHP version for your server configuration and offer support during the process.
Test in a Staging Environment
If available make the updates on a staging server to test and issue that may arise prior to pushing the update live. This allows you to make sure all themes and plugins are still working after the update, and they can be tested in a similar server environment to your current website.
Update Themes and Plugins
Outdate themes or plugins may have issues with a new PHP version it is best to test these updated on a staging server prior to the PHP update to ensure no loss of data or site downtime occurs.
Switch PHP Version
In your hosting control panel or dashboard, you can typically select the desired PHP version. Choose the version that you’ve tested and confirmed to be compatible with your website. Once updated check your site for any issues ensuring that caching is disabled or you are refreshing the site clearing the cache to get the latest version.
By following these steps, you can safely update the PHP version of your WordPress website while minimizing the risk of compatibility issues and ensuring that your site continues to operate smoothly and securely, ensure no downtime or a negative impact on your rankings. Contact our team of Web Development Experts if you need assistance.