WordPress is built on PHP, and its performance is directly dependent on the version of the PHP language you are running. Keeping your PHP version up to date is crucial if you wish to have a website that functions at an optimal level.
The two main reasons for keeping up with PHP updates are:
- Speed – Later PHP versions are more efficient in execution and as such can give your site a performance boost that will be reflected in the speed at which your site is loaded.
- Security – PHP is an open-source language that is very popular for site-building and as such, they represent an appealing target for many attacks. Keeping your PHP version up to date makes your site less susceptible to security threats.
Since the PHP version is determined by your hosting, you will ultimately have to make the change on your server – however, before doing that it’s good to make sure that everything stays the way you want it on your website after you perform the update.
Firstly, like with any major changes, you should make a full site backup. This will ensure that in case anything goes wrong during the update, you have the option to easily revert your site to its previous stable version. You can either consult your hosting on how to back up your site, or you can use one of the many available plugins for this purpose.
Then, you should make sure that your plugins and theme are up to date. Once everything is updated, you should check whether your website is working as intended.
If everything checks out fine so far, the next step involves installing the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin and test whether your site is ready for the update:
This plugin will check if everything is in order and it lets you know whether you can proceed with updating PHP, or if you should fix some things up before proceeding. Please note that while this plugin is generally pretty reliable, it might skip reporting some issues.
Nonetheless, this step is important in helping you make sure that everything on your site works the way it is supposed to.
Please note that our themes have been tested with and we recommend running them on PHP7 or higher, so you shouldn’t have any compatibility issues with the theme in this step.
Finally, you should fix any compatibility issues that were flagged in the previous step. Since our themes are compatible with PHP7, you shouldn’t have any issues with the theme itself, but you might run into issues with your plugins, in which case you should get in touch with the plugin’s author and try to fix the problem before proceeding.
After you’ve made sure that your site is ready to go, you can proceed with the update. Since your PHP version is dependent on your server configuration, you will have to make the change on your server. You can either do this through your host’s settings, if they are available, or you can ask your hosting provider to perform this for you.
Since there are many hosts with different configurations there’s no one unique way to make this change – it depends on the specific host. Here you can find the list of instructions on how to update your PHP version, provided by hosting companies and relevant to their individual platforms:
If your hosting provider isn’t on this list, the best course of action is to contact them directly and ask for assistance.