php 8 upgrade

PHP 8 upgrade: We answer all your questions

What is PHP?

PHP is a popular general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited to web development. About 77% of all active websites on the internet use PHP. All WordPress website sites run on PHP. PHP versions have a lifecycle of about three years, after which they are no longer supported.

How do I know which version of PHP I am using?

As a Select Web website hosting client your website will currently be running on PHP 7.4.

Why the upgrade?

It’s important that the code your website uses is kept up to date. As a website owner, you are responsible for keeping your website code up to date.
And as your website developer that “makes websites work”, it is our responsibility to act on your behalf to ensure that your website is compatible with industry standards.

When is the upgrade happening?

The upgrade will happen automatically on 3 October 2022. If your website is hosted with Select Web, PHP 7.4 will no longer be supported on our hosting platform from this date onwards.

Why now?

Active and security support for PHP 7.4  will end on 28 November 2022. Therefore, with effect from 28 November 2022, we will be unable to roll back your website to operate on an older version of PHP.

What happens if my website isn’t compatible with PHP 8?

Each new version of PHP is intended to bring positive changes to the development environment. However, there are times when certain adjustments can affect your existing code.

When incompatible, backward or outdated attributes conflict with new PHP updates, it might end up breaking your entire website or causing areas of the site to stop working.

Moreover, unsupported versions of PHP pose a security risk to your website and our hosting platform.

The upgrade is likely to affect websites that were developed more than two to three years ago.

Should the upgrade affect the way your website either looks or functions – in other words, the changes affect the WordPress theme or plugins – our developers will have to investigate the cause and quote on the development work to ensure it is compatible with PHP 8.

The most likely scenario is that you would need to purchase the latest versions of the theme used to develop your website and the plugins that are installed.

What are the risks of not running PHP 8?

Running your WordPress site on an older version of PHP is a major security risk. Outdated PHP versions have security flaws that hackers can exploit.

Alarmingly, almost 25% of all websites are still running on PHP 5.6, which is a huge liability.

The only way you can patch the existing vulnerabilities is by keeping PHP completely updated at all times.

We also recommend installing a security plugin to bolster your website’s security protection. Feel free to contact us for more information.

An outdated version of PHP can cause various issues that can cause glitches or completely break a website. Some themes and plugins require a fully up-to-date PHP version to work properly.

What are the benefits of running PHP 8?

Better security: Newer versions of PHP are better at countering hackers, for example, because outdated code is no longer supported.

Speed: PHP 8 is faster than the previous versions. And because it uses less memory and has faster execution times, websites (especially WordPress) will benefit.

New features and improvements: As with all updates, a newer version includes new features and improvements on how to do things. In PHP 8 these include technical aspects such as named arguments, union types, attributes, constructor property promotion, match expression, nullsafe operator, JIT, as well as improvements in the type system, error handling, and consistency.

What will the upgrade cost?

The upgrade to PHP 8 on our hosting server infrastructure will happen automatically and is free of charge (no cost). Your hosting bill will not be affected.

• If you have any more questions about the PHP 8 update, please contact us.