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How to Update PHP for WordPress

WordPress and PHP

WordPress is built on the PHP coding language. While it is essential to keep your themes and plugins up to date, keeping your PHP version up-to-date is equally important. Running the latest PHP version will ensure that your website runs faster and will stay more secure.

Additional benefits

  1. Faster WordPress websites may rank higher in search results.
  2. Faster websites will help you retain site visitors.
  3. A secure website will cost less in the long run.
  4. A secure website will keep its reputation when protected from hackers.

WordPress is backward compatible, meaning that it will still run on older versions of PHP. But to take advantage of new features, it is advisable to update to the latest version offered in your hosting dashboard.

Before you update

Updating your PHP will not usually be a problem, but there is no guarantee that an issue might arise.

  1. Backup your website. Use one of the free backup plugins available through your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Update WordPress, themes, and plugins to the latest versions.
  3. Run the PHP compatibility checker plugin.
  4. Fix any compatibility issues found by the checker.
Pro Tip: If you are on the following versions of PHP 5.3, or 5.5 you will have to update your PHP in two steps. Step 1 upgrade to version 5.6 then Step 2 upgrade to PHP version 7.4 in order to prevent any issues with your website.

How to update your PHP version

  1. Log in to your Hosting Dashboard.
    Hosting Tab
  2. Click Scripting Config.
    Login to Hosting dashboard, Scripting Config
  3. Click on Manage PHP Scripting.
    Manage PHP scripting
  4. Click on the Change PHP Version button.
    change PHP version link
  5. Click on the Set Version button.
  6. Select the latest version of PHP available.
    Select version of PHP
  7. Click on the Set Version button again.
    Click on set version button again
  8. A popup message will alert you to the success