If your website or blog is running on the WordPress platform, you need to know about changes in the works for 2019 regarding PHP, the programming language installed on your website’s server that runs your site.
In April of 2019 WordPress will officially stop support of all PHP versions below 5.6. If your site is running on a lesser version your site will not be able to update to the newer versions of WordPress, some themes, and plugins after April.
As of December 2019, support for PHP versions below 7.1 is scheduled to be dropped.
While your site may seemingly remain unaffected and continue to function without updates, it may be more and more at risk of being hacked as holes are discovered on older WordPress versions by bad actors. Or newer versions of some browsers may start to denegrate functionality for your visitors or even the ability to edit your content.
Obviously, the real answer is keeping not only PHP, but WordPress and its associated components up-to-date.
Most WordPress themes and plugins are developed and maintained by third party developers, with almost all currently supporting PHP 5.6. However, once updated by your web host, you will want to cruise your site, test functions such as form submissions and email notices, to be sure all is well.
As the deadline to move to PHP 7.1 looms larger in the Fall of 2019, most developers should offer updates to keep in synch. However, some may not still be maintaining their products and producing updates of their own. You’ll need to consider replacement plugins or theme in these cases.
Comstar has or will be updating our hosted sites to PHP 5.6 in April and will be starting preparations for PHP 7.1 soon after.
As a convenience to our host clients we also offer a very convenient WordPress Maintenance Program, where we perform weekly updates of WordPress, themes and plugins as they become available, keeping your site safe and secure on an ongoing basis. Read more here »