It is also necessary for you to run an updated PHP version on your WordPress website. However, before you go on to update PHP in WordPress, you will have to take care of multiple things.
However, updating a PHP version on your WordPress site is not a common issue. You will only have to deal with it if you have been running a website for quite some time.
Before we go on to share the details of updating the PHP version in WordPress, you need to understand why it is important.
Why update PHP in WordPress
There are various reasons why you should update PHP in WordPress. One of the most common reasons to update PHP is to enhance security. Whenever, there is new release of a software version or PHP version, it usually includes security fixes. To keep your WordPress site updated will help you keep your site secure as well. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why update PHP in WordPress.
Security fixes and features
You must know that hackers are always looking for loopholes that will get them into your website. If there is an outdated software version or PHP version is running on your WordPress site with no security, then it can be easily exploited. New versions usually include bug fixes, security patches, and multiple features that will protect your website from viruses and malware threats.
In this digital era, speed is everything and if you have outdated versions running on your WordPress website, then it can easily affect the performance of your website. If your WordPress site is running slow, then there is a chance that you have not updated the core files or PHP version. If you have a faster website, then visitor will stick around and roam around your website.
Programming language is improving day by day and that is the reason why you get notified of a newer version of PHP. It usually means that it has become faster, secure, and better than the previous version.
However, before you go on to update the PHP version, you should run few basic tests and update all other products including themes and plugins. Here is what you need to do before updating PHP of your WordPress site.
Things to do before updating PHP in WordPress
If there is a newer version of WordPress available, you need to update it first. Before updating WordPress to its newer version, you should also check with theme and plugin developers if their products are compatible with the latest version of WordPress. More importantly, you need to follow the mentioned steps before updating anything.
Backing up your WordPress site
Before you go on to update WordPress version or PHP version, you should consider taking a complete backup of your website. Creating a complete backup of your website is extremely important so if something goes wrong, you can get back to the previous live version of your website.
Updating all the themes and plugins
You also need to update all the themes and plugins that you are using on your website. Sometimes, upgrading PHP version creates compatibility issues. If your core files are not up to date, then they can create compatibility issues with the latest PHP version.
Checking PHP compatibility first
To check PHP compatibility, you can use tools like PHP Compatibility Checker. With the help of this plugin, you will be able to test the compatibility of your WordPress theme and plugins with different PHP versions out there.
You can install the plugin just like any other plugin from the WordPress plugin repository. After installing the plugins, you will find the settings for this plugin by navigating to Dashboard > Tools > PHP Compatibility.
Here, you will be able to see multiple options and you can scan all plugins and themes on your website to check compatibility with the latest version of PHP.
How to Update PHP in WordPress
Now that you are finally ready to upgrade PHP version for your WordPress site, you must know that there are different ways to do so.
However, we will be discussing one of the easier ways that you can use to upgrade PHP version. All you have to do is to login to your cPanel account. PHP versions are managed by your hosting provider and to upgrade it, you either have to do it using your cPanel credentials or by asking your hosting service provider.
When you will login to your cPanel account, you will have to select ‘PHP Selector’ under Software tab. After clicking it, you will be able to see different PHP versions and you can set your WordPress site to the latest version of PHP.
Once you have set your site to the latest version of PHP, you can then move on to check your website thoroughly. Make sure to check your website pages to ensure that there are no compatibility issues.