As of January 2019, PHP 5 will no longer be supported. What, pray tell, is PHP and why does this matter?
PHP is an open source programming language that is used for web development and is the language WordPress is written in.
The latest version of PHP is 7.1.20, but a lot of WordPress sites are still using version 5. This is a problem because version 5 is reaching its End-of-Life. That sounds almost like a nice vision of retirement, doesn’t it?
On the contratry, End-of-Life (EOL) in software means that a version/product will no longer be supported or maintained. This means that if any security holes are found, they will not be patched, which would put your site at risk for security breaches or plugin failures.
There are several plugins available to help you test your site to see if it’s compatible with the newest version of PHP. My personal favorite is WP Engine’s PHP compatibly checker. Once you know that your site is compatible, you would contact your host to change the PHP version or log into your hosting account to change it yourself. Make sure that you have a good, working back up of your site and databases before you make any changes.
If you are a Hammersmith Support client, never fear…this is being taken care of for you. If you need help with this, please reach out. We love helping clients keep their sites updated, secure, and running smoothly.