How to change PHP version for your WordPress site?

WordPress and its plugins are written in the PHP programming language that is actively improving. If you get a notification that it’s time to get to a newer version of PHP, here’s what you need to do.

Check which version of PHP you are currently using

If you created your site in WordPress a few years ago and since then you have not changed the version of PHP in cPanel, it is possible that you use older versions 5.3 or 5.4. To check which version you are using sign into cPanel and open the Select PHP Version application.  If it says that “Current PHP version: native (5.6)” this means that the 5.6 version is used.

This also means that WordPress and its plugins are adapted to work on that version. You need to contact the developer who made your site and checks that everything will work properly when you move to a newer PHP environment. It’s important that, at the time of switching to a newer version, your programmer is next to the computer to correct certain irregularities if they occur.

Log in to cPanel and select PHP version

When you check everything, changing the PHP version is easy. You need to login into cPanel and look for the Select PHP version application. You can also read our previous article about: How to change PHP version from cPanel.

If you are on version 5.6, it is not urgent to immediately switch to a newer version. WordPress and its plugins still work great on this version. What you can do is to slowly prepare the transition to version 7.2 in the next few months, which is recommended for the most optimal work.

If you want to change the PHP version now, it’s enough to select a new version from the drop-down menu and click on the button Set as current:

This will make the transition to a newer PHP version, so check the site and make sure everything is working properly.

Recommended PHP versions for better performance and security

WordPress and most of the plugins can display a notification that you should switch to a newer version if you are under the 5.6 version. For example, the Mail Poet 3 plugin cannot run on PHP versions older than 5.6, while the recommended version is 7.2. This is currently the most downloaded version and feels free to move.

At the same time, 7.2 is the version with active support, and the development of a platform such as WordPress relies on new versions instead of the older ones. The benefits of these versions are that the previous bugs, as well as security flaws, have been corrected so your site will be safer. The sites on these versions work faster, while if you have your own server, new PHP versions will have a lower hardware requirement when the resources are in question.

The latest and supported versions of PHP are already available on Adriahost hosting packages, so you only need to plan your transition with your developer. If you have problems or you just need a newer version of PHP, feel free to contact us from our contact page.


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