Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Keeping you up to date with the latest version of PHP

Increasing the speed and security of your WordPress site is no easy task, but running an up-to-date version of PHP is a simple step that can yield immediate results.

While the future of PHP has its share of naysayers, this open source scripting language has remained a steady fixture on the server-side of WordPress development for nearly two decades. As new versions have been released in recent years, PHP has arguably become even more built-in as an essential framework for building sites and improving performance.

At WP Engine, we work hard to make sure our customers have access to the latest versions of PHP, and we usually upgrade those versions as soon as we’ve completed the necessary testing for all of our customers’ sites. provide.

While PHP 7.4 was made available to all WP Engine customers after its release last year, we have now made PHP 8.0 available to all WP Engine customers who wish to update.

As of today, customers have the option to self-select PHP 8.0 as their version of PHP. Customers using PHP 7.4 can continue to use it on existing sites, however, PHP 7.3 will be deprecated from November 2021.

Switching to PHP 8.0 is easy—as always, our award-winning support team is on hand to answer questions about upgrading, and they can help you with the process, if needed.

As with any major PHP version release, there are some backwards compatibility issues that may need to be tested before moving your site to PHP 8.0.

That said, updating on your own is a simple process—just log in to your user portal and follow the steps here. Still have questions? View this helpful guide or login to your account to contact support.

What are the benefits of PHP 8.0?

There are many improvements and new features that come with PHP 8.0, including:

In general, running an up-to-date version of PHP will speed up your site (as noted above, our customers’ sites saw significant speed increases since upgrading to 7.4 last year). It also prevents actors from taking advantage of it. Security vulnerabilities that may be hidden in older PHP versions.

Although no major security vulnerabilities have been identified with PHP 7.4, it is considered a best practice to run the latest version of WordPress as well as up-to-date versions of components such as PHP.

Like any piece of software, older versions are usually not actively supported, so they are not guaranteed to be patched as quickly as newer versions. By updating to PHP 8.0 today, you can rest easy knowing that your WordPress site is running the most up-to-date and secure version of the scripting language.

You will also ensure that your site is one of the top performing websites in the WordPress ecosystem. Despite the well-known benefits of running the latest PHP version, most WordPress users today are still using PHP 7.3 or older—and 20% of those users are still using a version of PHP 5.0!

Updating PHP for the Larger WordPress Community

In addition to leaving performance and security improvements on the table, continued use of older PHP makes it harder for WordPress developers to use the latest version of PHP—doing so could alienate a large number of potential customers who are still using it. old version

Meanwhile, if most WordPress users update their PHP versions regularly, it will benefit WordPress and the WordPress community as a whole.

This presents another reason why WP Engine is committed to offering our customers the latest version of PHP. Doing this not only allows them to customize their site with the most up-to-date server-side language that WordPress has to offer, it also makes WordPress a better platform for all its users.

Want to find out more about upgrading your version of PHP with WP Engine? check it out Customer Testimonials, and as always, chat with one of our experts at any time for the answers to all your questions!

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