Updating PHP in WordPress is an essential task that every site owner should consider. PHP is a scripting language that drives WordPress, and keeping it up-to-date is critical for security and performance. PHP updates can fix vulnerabilities and enhance performance, speed, and stability on your website. Although it might sound complicated, updating PHP in WordPress is a straightforward task that can be accomplished with the help of your web hosting provider. In this blog post, we’ll explain what PHP is, why its update is necessary, and how you can update it on your WordPress site. So, let’s dive in.
Check the compatibility of your theme and plugins with the latest PHP version
Before updating PHP in your WordPress website, it is really important to check the compatibility of your theme and plugins with the latest version of PHP. Sometimes, older versions of plugins and themes may not be compatible and may result in breaking the website. It is always recommended to update all themes and plugins to their latest version before updating PHP.
You can check the compatibility of your themes and plugins with the latest PHP version by using the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin. This plugin will scan your website and provide you with a detailed report of any compatibility issues. Once you have the report, you can update individual plugins and themes or replace them with a newer version.
In some cases, you may find that some of your plugins or themes are not compatible with the latest PHP version. In this case, you have a few options. You can either contact the developer and request an update, or you can find an alternative plugin or theme that is compatible with the latest PHP version.
By checking the compatibility of your themes and plugins with the latest PHP version, you ensure that your website will not break as a result of the update. This is a critical step that should not be skipped.
Backup your website files and database
Before you begin updating PHP in WordPress, it’s crucial to backup your website files and database. This is always recommended as a precaution in case something goes wrong during the updating process.
Making sure you have a backup will allow you to easily restore your website to its previous state if anything goes wrong. It’s essential to perform backups before making any major changes to your website to ensure peace of mind.
You can easily backup your WordPress website files and database using a plugin or through your hosting service. Make sure to store the backup files in a secure place, such as a cloud storage platform or an external hard drive.
Once you have backed up your website files and database, you can proceed with updating PHP in WordPress. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so don’t skip this crucial step.
Update your WordPress core to the latest version
Updating your WordPress core to the latest version is essential to ensure that all the files and plugins in your website work seamlessly with the latest version of PHP. Most modern hosting platforms provide automatic updates for your WordPress installations. However, it is recommended that you manually check for updates and install them to maintain your website’s security and performance.
To update WordPress, follow these steps:
1. Check if there is an available update by logging into your WordPress dashboard. 2. If there is an update available, make sure to back up your website before proceeding with the update. 3. Click the “Update Now” button and wait for the update to complete. 4. After updating WordPress, make sure to update all your WordPress plugins to their latest version to ensure compatibility.
It is important to keep your website’s PHP version up to date to ensure that your website is secure and fast. Following these steps to update your WordPress core and its plugins will ensure that your website stays up to date and safe.
Disable all plugins (Optional)
Before updating PHP in WordPress, it’s recommended to disable all plugins, if you can add maintenance screen this will ensure users do not see a broken website. This is because some plugins may not be compatible with the new version of PHP and can cause errors or even break your website.
To disable all plugins, go to the WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins. Select all the plugins by clicking on the checkbox at the top and select Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu. Click on Apply and wait for all the plugins to be deactivated.
It’s also recommended to take a backup of your website before updating PHP to avoid any potential issues. Once you have taken the backup and deactivated all plugins, you can go ahead and update PHP to the latest version.
After updating PHP, test your website thoroughly to make sure everything is working properly. Then, reactivate all the plugins one by one and test your site again after each plugin activation. This will help you identify any plugins that may not be compatible with the new version of PHP and need to be updated or replaced.
Update PHP version in cPanel or through your hosting provider
Updating the PHP version in WordPress is an essential task that needs to be performed regularly to ensure that your website stays up-to-date with the latest advancements in technology and security patches. Most hosting providers and cPanel offer the ability to update PHP with just a few clicks.
To update PHP, log in to your cPanel account or get in touch with your hosting provider. From there, click on the “PHP Version” tab and select the latest version of the language available. If your website was designed using an older version of PHP, then it is highly recommended that you update it to the latest version.
Updating PHP can significantly improve the speed and performance of your website, and will also help to prevent security breaches that may occur due to outdated software. Always keep an eye on updates and make sure that everything is up-to-date to ensure that your website continues to perform optimally.
Reactivate plugins one at a time and test for compatibility with the new PHP version (If you disabled)
After you have successfully updated PHP in WordPress, it is important to reactivate the plugins one at a time instead of all together. This is because different plugins are created by different developers and some may not be compatible with the latest version of PHP.
Reactivating the plugins one at a time allows you to test for compatibility issues and address them accordingly. To do this, simply go to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the ‘plugins’ section.
Deactivate all the plugins and activate them one by one, testing your website for compatibility issues after each activation. If any compatibility issue arises, deactivate the plugin and contact the developer for an update or find an alternative plugin.
It is important to keep your plugins up-to-date to ensure that your website runs smoothly and securely. Therefore, it is recommended to go through this process after every PHP update to avoid any website downtime or errors.
Verify website functionality including front-end and back-end features
The first thing to do after updating PHP in WordPress is to verify the website’s functionality. This includes checking both front-end and back-end features. Go through the website pages and ensure that everything is working as expected. Check the contact forms, comments section, and any other interactive features to ensure that they work correctly.
Next, confirm that the website’s back-end features are working. This includes checking the WordPress Dashboard, plugins, and any other third-party integrations. Ensure that there are no issues with logging in to the Dashboard and that all plugins and themes are functioning correctly.
If you notice any issues, it could be due to compatibility issues with the updated PHP version. To fix this, consider updating your plugins, themes, or WordPress version to ensure that they are compatible with the updated PHP version.
Overall, verifying website functionality is crucial after updating PHP in WordPress to ensure that the website remains functional and effective.
Monitor your website for any errors or issues
One crucial step to take after updating your PHP version in WordPress is to monitor your website for any errors or issues. This is necessary because certain plugins and themes on your website may not be compatible with the updated PHP version. As a result, this can cause your website to misbehave, display errors, or even crash.
To prevent this, it is essential to test your website’s functionality thoroughly. After updating the PHP version on your website, take some time to click through all the pages and links on your website to ensure they are working correctly. Also, check if any plugins or themes are not functional and remove them if necessary.
Monitoring your website for errors or issues after updating the PHP version is crucial because it helps to maintain the integrity of your website. By doing so, you ensure that your website visitors enjoy a smooth user experience, and you avoid potential loss of traffic and revenue.