How to Check and Update Your WordPress PHP Version (2021) | Cheema Developers Blog

Because the primary programming language of WordPress, PHP performs a crucial position within the safety and pace of your web site. Subsequently, for those who’re not operating the most recent WordPress PHP model, you may be hampering your website’s efficiency.

The excellent news is that upgrading to the newest model isn’t a tough course of. There are a number of strategies you should use relying in your internet hosting supplier, however the steps are comparatively fast and easy. All it takes is a couple of small preparation duties, then you possibly can sometimes full it with only a few clicks.

On this submit, we’ll briefly introduce you to WordPress and PHP, and focus on why it’s essential to replace to the most recent PHP model. Then we’ll clarify tips on how to test your present WordPress PHP model and stroll you thru how one can improve it if crucial. Let’s get began!

📚 Desk of contents:

An summary of WordPress and PHP

First launched in 1990, PHP is likely one of the hottest and extensively used languages. PHP and WordPress have an essential relationship as PHP is the first programming language that WordPress runs on. Which means for those who use WordPress, you additionally use PHP.

Since WordPress is constructed utilizing PHP, it impacts most of the content management system’s (CMS) options and performance.

PHP is a server-side scripting language, which suggests it runs in your internet hosting server.

With out getting too technical, when a customer visits your web site, your server runs the PHP code after which returns your webpage in HTML, which is what your customers see of their browsers. Subsequently, if one thing goes improper along with your PHP, it may have an effect on the way in which your website seems and features.

Why it’s essential to replace WordPress to the most recent PHP model

The 2 essential causes to replace to the most recent PHP model are for the security and loading times of your WordPress site. Contemplating that PHP is utilized by almost 80% of internet sites[1] at present, it’s usually a goal for hackers.

Commonly performing WordPress updates for the Core software program, in addition to your plugins and themes, is an important a part of web site upkeep. Doing so might help you keep away from safety vulnerabilities and shield your information.

In the identical vein, it’s crucial to replace PHP to make sure that your website is operating on the most recent, quickest, and most secure model. It is because each model that’s launched helps enhance efficiency, reduces reminiscence usages, and general helps improve the effectivity of operating processes.

There are a number of variations of PHP that you should use. Nonetheless, not all of them at the moment obtain lively assist, together with PHP 5.5, 7.0, and seven.1. WordPress requires you to run PHP 7.4 or higher.

For the very best outcomes, we advocate upgrading to the most recent secure launch, which is at the moment PHP 8.0. On the absolute minimal, you’ll wish to ensure you’re nonetheless utilizing a PHP model that receives lively assist and/or safety updates, which you’ll be able to check on this page:

PHP support timelines
PHP assist timelines as of September 2021

The best way to test your present WordPress PHP model

Earlier than you replace the PHP model of your WordPress website, it’s a sensible concept to test which one you might be at the moment operating. Some internet hosting suppliers mechanically improve PHP to the most recent model for you, so this may occasionally not even be one thing you have to fear about.

To test your present WordPress PHP model, navigate to your admin dashboard and go to Instruments > Web site Well being:

The WordPress Site Health screen.

In the Site Health dashboard, you can find some particulars about your web site standing and data. For instance, it provides some suggestions for actions you possibly can take to enhance your website’s efficiency, comparable to eradicating inactive themes and plugins.

To find your WordPress PHP model, click on on the Information tab, adopted by the Server panel:

The Server tab of the WordPress Site Health.

Right here, you can find a handful of details about your server, together with the PHP model. Relying on which model you’re operating, it’s possible you’ll or could not wish to improve.

Nonetheless, simply because WordPress at the moment helps your present model, doesn’t essentially imply it’s the very best one to be utilizing. As we talked about, we advocate upgrading to the most recent secure launch. Within the subsequent part, we’ll stroll you thru how to try this.

The best way to replace the PHP model of your WordPress website

Now that we perceive extra in regards to the significance of updating your WordPress PHP model, it’s time to check out tips on how to go about it. Nonetheless, earlier than getting began, there are a couple of duties we advocate caring for.

Earlier than getting began

First, it’s essential to recollect to back up your site. If something goes improper within the updating course of, you’ll wish to have a current model of your website to revive. For instance, often, a plugin could battle with the most recent model of PHP. If that’s the case, you’ll probably wish to roll again to your older model till the plugin is up to date otherwise you discover a alternative.

Subsequent, we advocate ensuring that WordPress Core, themes, and plugins are all upgraded to their latest versions as nicely. This might help stop compatibility points. To take action, you possibly can navigate to your WordPress admin dashboard, then click on on Updates below Dashboard:

The WordPress Updates screen.

If there are any out there updates, it is going to let you know on this display. When you get these duties taken care of, you’ll be prepared to start updating to the most recent WordPress PHP model. As we talked about, the method for doing so will rely in your internet hosting supplier. Let’s discover a number of the hottest choices.

Updating your PHP model in cPanel

In case your internet hosting supplier uses cPanel, updating your PHP model must be a fast and simple course of. First, log into your internet hosting management panel.

Subsequent, navigate to the Software program part and click on on Choose PHP Model:

The Select PHP Version option in cPanel.

On the subsequent display, you will notice your web site’s present PHP model alongside the highest:

The screen showing the current PHP version in cPanel.

Whenever you click on on the present model, you possibly can select from an inventory of all out there PHP releases. On this case, the record goes as much as 8.0:

The option to update WordPress PHP version in cPanel.

To save lots of your adjustments, you possibly can choose Set as present. In fact, not all internet hosting suppliers use cPanel. Many have their very own customized dashboards and website instruments that can require related however barely totally different steps.

Updating your PHP model utilizing SiteGround’s Web site Instruments

For those who use SiteGround as your hosting provider, the method varies only a bit. To get began, log into your internet hosting account.

Subsequent, navigate to the Web sites tab and click on on Web site Instruments:

The SiteGround websites screen.

When you’re logged into your Web site Instruments space, you’ll wish to browse to the Devs part on the left-hand facet menu, then click on on PHP Supervisor:

The Site Ground PHP Manager menu option.

On the subsequent display, you possibly can view your present PHP model:

The Site Ground PHP settings.

As you possibly can see, SiteGround has a Managed PHP Service that runs automated updates. Nonetheless, in addition they provide the possibility to vary it manually, which you are able to do by clicking on the pencil icon to the proper of the PHP model:

Manually changing PHP version via Site Ground.

For those who do want to try this, you possibly can choose Change PHP model manually from the drop-down menu, adopted by the model you want to improve to. On this case, each PHP 7.4.23 and PHP 8.0.10 are choices. As soon as you choose it, you possibly can click on on the Verify button to save lots of your adjustments.

Updating your PHP model through MyKinsta

One other fashionable internet hosting supplier that gives a barely totally different methodology is Kinsta. For those who’re a Kinsta consumer, you probably already know that the host makes use of its personal customized management panel known as MyKinsta.

To get began, log into your MyKinsta dashboard and navigate to Websites. Then, click on on the title of your dwell website, adopted by the Instruments tab:

The MyKinsta tools screen.

Underneath this panel, you possibly can scroll to the PHP engine instrument. As you possibly can see, it is going to present you your present model of PHP (which is PHP 7.4, on this case).

Subsequent, you possibly can click on on Modify. Whenever you do, a dropdown record will seem with the out there model you can replace to:

Modifying the PHP version in MyKinsta.

When you make a brand new choice, it is going to ask you to verify that you just wish to change the PHP model. Click on on the Modify PHP model to proceed:

Modify PHP version confirmation popup in MyKinsta.

It could take a number of minutes in your internet hosting supplier to finish the PHP updating course of. Ensure you don’t exit the display earlier than it’s completed to keep away from inflicting errors.

SiteGround and Kinsta are simply two examples of internet hosting suppliers that allow you to replace your WordPress PHP model utilizing instruments apart from cPanel. Nonetheless, whatever the host that you just’re utilizing, the general idea and course of will largely be the identical.

Do not forget that not all internet hosting suppliers provide their customers the choice to replace the PHP model by way of their management panels. For those who can’t discover an possibility to take action by way of your internet hosting account, we advocate getting in contact along with your supplier to ask their necessities/course of for doing so.

What to do after you’ve up to date your WordPress PHP model

When you’re completed updating your PHP model, there’s not a lot you need to do. Nonetheless, we do advocate checking to ensure that all the pieces in your website works correctly.

You’ll be able to go to your web site from the entrance finish and search for any apparent points or errors. If all appears to be functioning because it ought to, you possibly can transfer onto the again finish of your website.

Whereas it’s not widespread, there are situations when updating your PHP model might trigger your site to break. For this reason we advocate safely backing up your website earlier than updating.

Nonetheless, if this does occur, you’ll wish to get to the supply of the difficulty. You can begin by deactivating all of your plugins and switching to a default theme. Then you possibly can activate your plugins one after the other to attempt to isolate the reason for the issue.

If this doesn’t work, we advocate getting in contact along with your internet hosting supplier. In some instances, it’s possible you’ll must downgrade your PHP model again to what it was earlier than it broke your website.


As an internet site proprietor, it’s essential to just remember to’re staying on prime of your website upkeep with a purpose to present a quick and safe expertise in your customers. A type of duties is performing common updates, together with PHP updates. For those who’re operating an outdated model of PHP, you may be hurting your website pace and safety.

On this article, we defined you can simply test your present model of PHP below the Web site Well being part of your WordPress dashboard. If you have to replace PHP, you are able to do so by way of your internet hosting supplier. Some hosts provide cPanel or Web site Instruments that allow you to improve your self, whereas others require you to contact them to request an improve.

For another methods to work with WordPress and PHP, you possibly can learn our guide on how to add PHP to WordPress.

Do you’ve got any questions on updating your WordPress PHP model? Tell us within the feedback part beneath!

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