The PHP 7.4 End of Life has arrived. This means that the PHP version is likely no longer receiving security updates as of November 28, 2022. 60% of all websites are written in PHP and are still using the final version of PHP 7. This update is going to affect a lot of major websites, and yours could be included. In this article, we’re going to cover what PHP does and how these changes will affect your website if you use PHP 7.4, as well as what you should do now.

What is PHP?

PHP (or Hypertext Preprocessor) is an open-source server-side scripting language commonly known for its attachment to WordPress that millions of developers use for professional or personal websites. PHP is also known as a general-purpose language that can be used to create Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) or be embedded into HTML. PHP, in its early days, was one of the first scripting languages used for making dynamic websites. PHP made it simple to add dynamic features to websites without the use of external data.

PHP 8 Update

What Does This Change for my Website?

With WordPress being the main creative source of 40% of all websites, PHP 8 is going to be a game changer. For WordPress users, staying on PHP 7.4 beyond its expiration date can open their sites up to security risks and malware. As of now, there will be no more security updates for PHP 7.4 in WordPress. Failure to switch will result in an unprotected site, vulnerable to cyber attacks and breaches. With this in mind, the time is now to protect your site and your private data.

Risks of not Switching to PHP 8 for WordPress
  • Site becomes vulnerable to security risks
  • Security updates cease
  • Private information/customer data now at risk
  • Malware
  • Decreasing site performance
  • Website crashes
Caution - Risks of Not Switching to PHP 8

Anyone with stock in their online management knows that using outdated software is not worth the risk in any scenario. Failure to update to PHP 8 could result in PHP-related warnings that could inevitably turn into dangerous errors that will likely bring your WordPress website down completely. You can also expect problems when you update your active theme as well as plugins that are updated for the PHP 8 versions.

Furthermore, sticking around with PHP 7.4 will lead to massively reduced site performance, which can actually cost you more long term. Your hosting and website maintenance costs will drive up as your online traffic builds. Having your website updated to WordPress 6.1 and PHP 8 will result in much lower website maintenance costs in the long term.

Benefits of Switching to PHP 8 for WordPress
  • Completely compatible with WordPress 6.1
  • Security improvements
  • Overall performance improvement
  • Improvements in development
  • Less WordPress errors
Switch to PHP 8

It’s Not Too Late, Update to PHP 8!

The PHP 7.4 End of Life date was November 28th, 2022. Ignoring this update will result in reduced security, website performance decline, crashes, and vulnerability to hackers. A professional web developer can assist in making the switch from PHP 7.4 to PHP 8 for WordPress if you are not familiar with the process of updating the backend of your website. The update process itself will be dependent on the type of hosting or server that your website is using. The application has a decent chance of breaking, so if you have no experience in web development, you’ll need an experienced dev to help you resolve the issue.

The bottom line is that if you have a WordPress website or your website utilizes PHP, make sure you’ve made the update to PHP 8. At RYNO Strategic Solutions, we’re handling this update for all of our clients that have their websites hosted with us!