Keeping your WordPress website’s PHP version up to date is crucial for security, performance, and compatibility. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of updating your WordPress website’s PHP version safely. We’ll also address common troubleshooting issues and provide answers to frequently asked questions to make the process as smooth as possible.
Step 1: Backup Your Website
Before updating the PHP version, create a complete backup of your website. This ensures that you can easily restore your site in case any issues arise during the update. Use a backup plugin or your hosting provider’s backup feature.
Step 2: Check PHP Compatibility
Before updating, ensure that your website’s themes, plugins, and WordPress version are compatible with the new PHP version. Check with your theme and plugin developers for compatibility information.
Step 3: Identify Your Current PHP Version
• Log in to your hosting account or cPanel.
• Find the “PHP Version” or “Select PHP Version” option. This may vary depending on your hosting provider.
• Take note of your current PHP version.
Step 4: Update PHP Version
Now, let’s update your PHP version:
• In your hosting account or cPanel, find the “PHP Version” or “Select PHP Version” option again.
• Select the latest stable PHP version available from the list provided.
• Confirm your selection.
Step 5: Test Your Website
After updating PHP, it’s important to thoroughly test your website for any issues:
• Check all pages and functionalities to ensure they work as expected.
• Test your contact forms, login forms, and e-commerce features.
• Look for any error messages on your site.
Issue: Website Doesn’t Load
• If your website doesn’t load after updating PHP, the new version may be incompatible with your site.
• Revert to your previous PHP version in your hosting account or cPanel.
• Check for updates or compatibility patches for your themes and plugins.
Issue: Plugins or Themes Stop Working
• Outdated plugins and themes may not be compatible with the new PHP version.
• Update all themes and plugins to their latest versions.
• Contact theme and plugin developers for support.
Issue: PHP Errors
• If you encounter PHP errors on your site, they may be due to code incompatibility.
• Check the error message for details and contact your developer or hosting support for assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Why should I update my website’s PHP version?
Updating PHP is essential for security, performance, and compatibility with the latest web technologies. An outdated PHP version can expose your site to vulnerabilities.
Q2: How do I check for PHP compatibility?
Contact your theme and plugin developers to inquire about compatibility with the PHP version you plan to update to. Many developers provide this information on their websites.
Q3: What do I do if my website breaks after updating PHP?
If your site breaks, revert to the previous PHP version and update themes and plugins. If issues persist, seek help from a web developer or hosting support.
Q4: How often should I update my PHP version?
It’s recommended to check for PHP updates and compatibility with your site’s components at least once every six months. Update as soon as you’re certain everything is compatible.
By following these steps and considering compatibility, you can safely update your WordPress website’s PHP version. Regularly check for updates, and keep your themes, plugins, and core files up to date to maintain a secure and high-performing website.