PHP 8: Is your WordPress website ready?

PHP 7 has been a popular and widely used version of PHP for many years. However, its end of life (EOL) occurred in November 2022. Once PHP reaches End of Life, there will be no more patches or security updates. This poses a significant security risk for websites and web applications still running on PHP 7. Without security updates, websites may be open to potential security breaches vulnerabilities. Is your website ready for PHP 8?

Some web hosting companies are beginning to stop offering PHP 7 and forcing websites to upgrade to PHP 8. A client recently received an email from their web hosting company that they would start automatically updating to PHP 8. They requested an update on when this would be happening. The response they received was it would be a rolling update (as the hosting company had thousands of websites using PHP 7).

The client figured they had some time to test the websites before enabling PHP 8. Then, some of their websites broke and stopped functioning properly. Seems their websites were on one of the first servers to receive the PHP 8 update.

Web Host Forced Update

We received the call to help them fix their websites. When we gained access to their back end cPanel, we discovered that they had not performed any updates since going live (many years ago). We had to download a copy of each website and take a systematic approach to updating each website to get them functioning properly again.

We installed each website on our local server and went through each theme and plugin to discover which item caused their website to stop functioning. The culprit was some outdated and abandoned plugins. We found suitable replacements which we installed and tested before moving the newly updated websites from our test server to their live server. All of the client’s websites now function properly again.

Need Help Getting Ready for PHP 8?

If your WordPress websites are still running old versions of PHP, then you should consider updating before your web host forces the update. Upgrading to a newer version of PHP, such as PHP 8, is essential to ensure that websites and web applications continue to run smoothly and securely. PHP 8 brings with it significant performance improvements, new features, and better security.

Upgrading to PHP 8 may require changes to your codebase, as some functions and syntax may have changed or been removed. Therefore, it is essential to test your website or web application thoroughly after upgrading to ensure that everything is working as expected.

It is worth noting that upgrading to a newer version of PHP may also improve the performance of your WordPress website or web application. This is because each new version of PHP includes performance improvements and optimizations that can make your code run faster.

Need help preparing your WordPress website to PHP 8?

Give us a call.

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