WordPress and PHP Updates: A Beginner’s Guide
What is PHP?
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a scripting language used to build dynamic web pages. It is open-source and creates web pages by interacting with databases, processing forms, and communicating with web servers. It supports WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, making it a vital component in web development.
Why Update PHP Version?
Regular updates to PHP are essential to maintain site security, performance, and functionality. Newer versions improve performance, provide advanced features, bug fixes, backward compatibility, and robust security. An outdated PHP version can compromise your website, the features, and functionalities of your site.
Why Update PHP Version in WordPress?
WordPress is committed to all PHP versions’ compatibility, and the latest WordPress version (5.6 as of 2021) should work with all versions released down to php 5.6 to 8. However, using an outdated PHP version in WordPress can compromise your website’s security, performance, features, and functionality. Therefore, updating PHP keeps your WordPress site’s security, speed, and functionality in top shape.
Steps to Update PHP Version in WordPress cPanel
Step 1: Check Your Current PHP Version
Before updating, check the current PHP version of your site. Log in to your WordPress cPanel, go to “Software and Services,” and select “Multi-PHP Manager”. You will see the PHP version you’re using for your site.
Step 2: Backup Your Website
Back up your entire site before updating PHP to ensure you have a fallback point if things go south. Go to cPanel’s “Backup Wizard” under “Files” to generate a complete backup of your site.
Step 3: Update PHP Version
Select your preferred PHP version from the “Multi-PHP Manager” page, and install it. Wait for cPanel to download and install the updated PHP version.
Step 4: Test Your Website
Test your website to ensure everything works correctly. Go through every part of your site, including the backend. If everything looks good, you’ve successfully updated your PHP version.
Step 5: Fix Any Errors
If you encounter errors, update your WordPress, themes, and plugins. Outdated themes and plugins may cause conflicts with newer PHP versions. If issues persist, consult your vendor for compatibility updates.
Updating your PHP version is crucial to maintain performance and security on your WordPress site. Backup your site before you start the update process and test to ensure everything is working correctly. With these tips, you can keep your website running smoothly and securely.