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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Reasons to Update the PHP version
2.1.
Improved Security
2.2.
Improved Load Speed
2.3.
Improved SEO
3.
Check your current WordPress PHP version
4.
Steps to take before updating PHP version
4.1.
Backup your site
4.2.
Update WordPress
4.3.
Check your Plugins and Themes
5.
Updating the PHP version of your Website
5.1.
Updating the PHP version in CPanel (or any other Control Panel)
5.2.
Contact your Host Provider
6.
FAQs
6.1.
How to check your current WordPress PHP version?
6.2.
What are the advantages of updating the PHP version of your WordPress Site?
6.3.
What is the first step you must take before updating your PHP version?
6.4.
What if you can’t change the PHP version from the Control Panel of your site?
7.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Updating PHP in WordPress

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Introduction

PHP and WordPress have a close association since PHP is the fundamental programming language on which WordPress is built. Because WordPress is written in PHP, it impacts many of the CMS's features and functions. Each PHP version increases speed by running processes more effectively and utilizing less memory. This affects the performance of your WordPress site by making it quicker and minimizing the strain on your server. 

The primary reason to update to the newest PHP version is for your WordPress site's security and loading speeds. Since PHP is utilized by approximately 80% of websites nowadays, it is frequently a target for hackers. WordPress updates for the core software and your plugins and themes must be performed regularly as part of website maintenance. This can help you prevent security flaws and secure your data.

 

Source: WPsec

Reasons to Update the PHP version

Improved Security

PHP and WordPress are extremely popular and also potential targets for hackers. Upgrading to the most recent version of PHP is essential for protecting your website against hackers. This is not to argue that previous versions, such as PHP version 5, are wholly devoid of security protections; instead, they are insufficient to hinder a skilled hacker.

Improved Load Speed

While there are other ways you can employ to increase your website's load speed, upgrading to the most recent PHP version is one solid option. The most recent PHP version is three times quicker than the previous one.

Improved SEO

According to statistics, 40% of visitors will leave a website if it takes over 3 seconds to load. Furthermore, Google has considered page load speed one of its ranking considerations. Specific PHP changes will speed up the loading of your site. This implies that your website will be able to retain more visitors. This will result in a higher search engine rating and a better user experience.

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Check your current WordPress PHP version

It's advisable to check which PHP version is presently running on your WordPress site before updating it. Some hosting companies will routinely upgrade PHP to the newest version for you, so you may not need to bother about this. Go to your admin panel and choose Tools > Site Health.

To find your WordPress PHP version, go to the Info tab, then the Server panel. You'll discover a plethora of information about your server here, including the PHP version. You may or may not wish to upgrade depending on your version. However, just because WordPress presently supports your current version does not guarantee it is the ideal one to utilize. As previously stated, updating to the most recent stable release is strongly advised.

Source: Themeisle

Steps to take before updating PHP version

Backup your site

Before changing your PHP version, make a complete backup of your WordPress site. If something goes wrong, you may simply restore your site to its original state. Adding the BlogVault backup plugin allows you to create a backup of your complete site in minutes. Merely connect your site to the BlogVault dashboard, and your site will be automatically backed up. It is also guaranteed to function and allows you to recover your site with a single tap.

Update WordPress

To avoid problems while updating your PHP, keep in mind that your WordPress core installation is up to date. If you use an older version of WordPress and upgrade to the current PHP version, you may encounter incompatibility concerns, rendering your site inaccessible. Navigate to your WordPress dashboard. If a new version is available, then it'll notify you. Click on the Update Now button.

Check your Plugins and Themes

We advise going to your WordPress dashboard and reviewing the list of plugins and themes you've installed. If there are any outstanding updates, we recommend that you install them first. Again, this is due to the possibility that some plugins would become incompatible with the new PHP version. We recommend first performing the PHP upgrade and then activating your plugins one by one to check that they all operate correctly.

 

Source: Malcare

You should disable the plugin before updating PHP if you get a warning indicating the new version is incompatible with your PHP version. You can be sure that it will cause problems on your site. We recommend that you update the plugin once you have upgraded PHP.

Updating the PHP version of your Website

There are two methods to do this: using your control panel (in this case, cPanel) or approaching your host provider.

Updating the PHP version in CPanel (or any other Control Panel)

Log in to the control panel of your hosting provider. Click on Select PHP Version under the "Software" tab.

 

Source: Fixrunner

The PHP version used by your web server will be displayed on the next page.

 

Source: Fixrunner

Choose the newest PHP version from the drop-down menu after clicking on the present PHP version.

 

Source: Fixrunner

Finally, choose Set as Current. You're finished!

 

Source: Fixrunner

Contact your Host Provider

All control panels are not built the same way. Contact your hosting company if you can't locate the option to update PHP on your dashboard. They would either do it for you or provide you with instructions on how to do it. Please contact your hosting company and request assistance.

FAQs

How to check your current WordPress PHP version?

Go to your admin panel and choose Tools > Site Health. To find your WordPress PHP version, go to the Info tab, then the Server panel.

 

What are the advantages of updating the PHP version of your WordPress Site?

Updating the PHP version of your site results in improved Load Speed and SEO Rankings along with improved security status.

 

What is the first step you must take before updating your PHP version?

Before changing your PHP version, make a complete backup of your WordPress site. If something goes wrong, you may simply restore your site to its original state.

 

What if you can’t change the PHP version from the Control Panel of your site?

Contact your hosting company if you can't locate the option to update PHP on your dashboard. They would either do it for you or provide you with instructions on how to do it.

Conclusion

In this article, we have extensively discussed the process of updating PHP in WordPress.

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