Considering WordPress powers 32.4% of the internet and is responsible for 59.4% of all Content Management Systems, it may seem surprising that the majority of people using WordPress probably have no idea what PHP is. But when you think about how WordPress is an ideal platform to build a website if you do not know how to code, then it does make sense.
PHP stands for Hypertext Processor, which therefore shouldn’t even spell PHP! Therefore, it is more of a recursive acronym – PHP: Hypertext Processor. However, it used to stand for Personal Home Page, but changed its name in 1997.
What is the latest version of PHP?
The latest version of PHP Is PHP 7.0, which came out in December 2015. It dropped several deprecated functions and replaced these with much more modern features. However, over 90% of the web are using version 5.6!!
What’s happening with PHP 5.6?
We can’t speak for everyone but we predict that the reason why the majority of people are still using PHP 5.6 despite PHP 7.0 being out for nearly three years now is because they don’t know any difference! When major updates are released, many people often wait for a while to see what effect it will have before knowing it’s safe to use. However, three years is a long time!
PHP 5.6 was always advertised as being the most stable version for your website, so many hosting companies recommended it. However, since the 19thJanuary 2017, PHP 5.6 has stopped receiving support and instead, it’s only received the most important security updates.
However, from 31stDecember 2018, PHP 5.6 will stop receiving security updates and you will need to upgrade before it stops being supported completely.
Why upgrade to PHP 7.0
Apart from the fact that PHP 5.6 will no longer receive security updates, PHP 7.0 is actually superior. If you have a WordPress site, the upgrade to PHP 7.0 makes even more sense. With WordPress progressing so rapidly, many plugins and themes will become completely incompatible with PHP 5.6. Plus, your site will be even more open to hackers!
PHP 7.0 is actually much faster and more secure, plus it uses less resources. For example, PHP 7.0 can have twice as many people visit the site than a site on PHP version 5, whilst using the same amount of memory.
How to upgrade to PHP 7.0
First of all, you need to check that your site is compatible to PHP 7.0 – the last thing you want to do is have shiny new programming but then you find that everything breaks on the front end.
Secondly, you need to check that your hosting company actually supports PHP 7.0! Some companies may also make it really quite difficult to upgrade. You should write to them to request the upgrade and there should be no problems.
What if I can’t upgrade to PHP 7.0?
If your hosting company cannot help you with your upgrade to PHP 7.0, then it may be a good idea to switch providers! London Creative Designs offers professional and affordable website hosting packages from as little as £2.95 per month.
We also offer a specialised WordPress hosting package should you also have a WordPress website.