If your WordPress platform is used to manage and maintain your website, it may be time for a PHP upgrade. Don’t know what PHP is? You’ve come to the right place.
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a popular open source general-purpose scripting language that is easily embedded into HTML and used for web development. When a page contains PHP, the code is executed on the server, creating HTML that gets sent to the client. The results of that script get sent to the client, but they never know what the underlying code is. It’s entirely possible to set up your server so that all of your HTML files are processed with PHP.
PHP is simple, but still contains a lot of features that are enticing to a more advanced programmer.
Need to Upgrade?
Now that you have some information on what PHP does for your site, it may be time for an upgrade. When a new version of PHP gets released, it’s fully supported for two years. After the two years of active support have ended, it’s supported for an additional year, but only critical security issues are fixed. After three years, that version of PHP has reached the end of its shelf life and is no longer supported. That could be the case for the PHP running on your site right now.
Unless your site is currently using PHP version 7.1 or higher, it’s no longer supported and you need to upgrade. Active support for version 7.1 ended 5 months ago, but security support will still exist for another 6 months. You’re even better off if you currently have versions 7.2 or 7.3. Active support for version 7.2 continues for another 5 months, while version 7.3 will still have active support until 18 months from now.
What About My Site?
If your website has been developed within the past two years or so – or if it is built on a WordPress theme that has been recently updated by the designer to accommodate the latest PHP – chances are your site should run fine on the latest version. However, if you’re site is older or the theme is outdated, it may be time for a website refresh. Older themes may have other issues as well including mobile-friendliness and compatibility with some of the more recent plugins and integrations. Think five years isn’t a long time? The iPhone 6 was released in 2014 so imagine how displays and technology has changed!
Why is it Important?
Maybe you’re thinking that upgrading your PHP isn’t all that important and that you can continue running an unsupported version on your site without anything bad happening. After all, PHP is used by over 78% of all websites, and some of those sites have to be running on unsupported versions of PHP, right? Instead of falling behind and coming face to face with your very own PHP horror story, remember these important reasons to stay ahead of the curve.
- Security: Ensure that you’re running on a version of PHP that is fully supported and regularly checked for security vulnerabilities.
- Performance: PHP versions 7.2 and 7.3 perform much better than older versions and will help your website to run smoother and more efficiently.
- New Features: Some of the new features for the most recent versions of PHP include combined comparison operator, new type hinting, and anonymous classes.
Have questions about PHP, WordPress, or your website? SPARKS! Marketing Communications is here to help. Give us a call at 866-500-8088 or CLICK HERE to request a Free Website Review.