Why You Need to Upgrade PHP Version Plus How to do it Safely
Updating PHP to the current version is an essential step in maintaining a secure website. If Apple issues an iOS update, it’s in your best interest to process the update (unless you have an old phone, then it will just slow the phone down so you have to buy a new one, while Apple denies any wrong doing) Every year, PHP releases a new version of its scripting language with security fixes, performance improvements, and new features. It is essential to upgrade your PHP version to the latest version to take advantage of these benefits and to protect your website from security vulnerabilities.
In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of upgrading your PHP version and provide tips on how to do it safely.
What is PHP?
PHP is a scripting language that creates dynamic web pages and applications. It is one of the most popular scripting languages in the world and is used by millions of websites. If your website is running on WordPress, you need to make sure you’re updating PHP with each new release or you’re leaving yourself wide open to bad actors swooping in for a hack!
What are the risks of not upgrading your PHP version?
If you do not upgrade your PHP version, you may be putting your website at risk. Older versions of PHP are more likely to have security vulnerabilities, which hackers could (and eventually will if you don’t update) exploit. Additionally, older versions of PHP may not support newer features and functionality, which could limit the capabilities of your website and cause it to break.
How to upgrade your PHP version safely
Upgrading your PHP version can be a complex process, and it is important to do it carefully to avoid breaking your website. Here are some tips for upgrading your PHP version safely:
- Back up your website. Before you make any changes to your website, it is important to back it up. This will allow you to restore your website if something goes wrong during the upgrade process.
- Test your website in a staging environment. A staging environment is a copy of your live website that you can use to test changes before you deploy them to your live website. This is a good way to test your website with the new PHP version to ensure everything works properly.
- Upgrade your PHP version gradually. If you are using an older version of PHP, it is a good idea to gradually upgrade to the latest version. This will minimize the risk of breaking your website.
- Update your plugins and themes. Once you have upgraded your PHP version, you should also update your plugins and themes. This is because some plugins and themes may not be compatible with newer versions of PHP. A team like WhatArmy is always a good idea if you’re not technical or don’t have time to keep things updated, they take that burden off of your hands.
Here are some additional tips for upgrading your PHP version:
- Check your compatibility. Before you upgrade your PHP version, it is important to ensure your website is compatible with the new version. You can do this by using a PHP compatibility checker.
- Disable your plugins and themes. When upgrading your PHP version, disabling your plugins and themes is a good idea. This will help prevent conflicts between the plugins/themes and the new PHP version.
- Update your database. Once you have upgraded your PHP version, you should also update your database. This is because the new PHP version may require changes to your database schema.
- Test your website thoroughly. Once you have upgraded your PHP version and updated your database, you should test your website thoroughly to make sure that everything is working correctly.
How to avoid website downtime during a PHP upgrade
One of the biggest concerns when upgrading your PHP version is the possibility of website downtime. Here are a few tips to help you avoid website downtime during a PHP upgrade:
- Use a staging environment. Again, a staging environment is a copy of your live website that you can use to test changes before you deploy them to your live website. This is a great way to test your website with the new PHP version to make sure that everything works properly before you upgrade your live website.
- Use a PHP version manager. A PHP version manager is a tool that allows you to manage multiple versions of PHP on your server. This can be helpful if you need to test your website with multiple versions of PHP or if you need to roll back to a previous version of PHP.
- Schedule your upgrade. When you are ready to upgrade your PHP version, it is a good idea to schedule the upgrade for a time when your website traffic is low. This will minimize the impact of any downtime that may occur.
- Monitor your website. Once you have upgraded your PHP version, it is important to monitor your website to make sure that everything is working properly. You can use a tool like WatchTowerHQ to monitor your website uptime.
Upgrading your PHP version is important to maintaining a secure and up-to-date website. Following the tips above, you can upgrade your PHP version safely and avoid breaking your website.
If you are not comfortable upgrading your PHP version yourself, you can hire a team like WhatArmy to do it for you.