PHP 7.4 End of Life happened recently & even us at Rocoja were caught off guard!
The version we relied on – for our own site & for clients sites had stopped receiving any security updates from November 28, 2022.
For many of us, the first we realised this had happened was our sites going “off-line” in January 2023 – as the hosting companies switched everyone over.
Thankfully some hosts are allowing a longer “Grace” period & letting us move the sites over in the next few weeks.
(However we have heard that some hosting companies are now charging an admin fee for sites who do not switch)
WordPress powers over 40% of all websites worldwide, which makes moving to the new PHP 8 of paramount importance for all WordPress website owners.
Staying on PHP 7.4 now is a major no no as not only will sites be unstable, there are numerous security risks which can result in malware issues, alongside data breaches.
Our recommendation is – Upgrade & upgrade as soon as you can.
What to do:
1) Test Compatibility of Themes and Plugins
Not all WordPress websites will easily transition to PHP 8.1. It is essential to test the existing code on the site (themes, plugins, and scripts) for compatibility. If one of these components is not compatible, it could result in a part of the site breaking / site downtime.
2) Build a Staging Site to Test Compatibility Issues
In simple terms this is to create a mirror copy of your site in another area/domain (stage) so the PHP can be updated & the site can be tested for compatibility. This is done in the following steps..
- * Take a backup of the entire WordPress website and database
* Ensure that WordPress core and all plugins are up to date
* Change the environment from your current PHP version (for Rocoja built sites – its 7.4) to 8.1
* If the site breaks immediately, try deactivating all plugins and themes and then reactivate one-by-one to try and isolate which specific one is not compatible
* For those plugins/themes that were found to be incompatible, check to see if there are any updates available or reach out to the developer regarding readiness for PHP 8.1
* Once the site is up and running, proceed to test the front-end
3) Perform a thorough review after updating the PHP
Since the updated website will be on a stage site, it can be thoroughly tested before replicating the live environment changes.
The functionality of different components of the website should also be checked. Review all contact forms and call-to-action buttons. A test purchase should be made if the website is running e-commerce.
4) Move to Live Domain/Site
If all is well, it is time to implement the PHP switch on the live version of the website. Make sure to take a backup of the site, just in case it needs to be reverted.
This is a task that should be done by a competent web developer.
Rocoja has partnered with a trusted developer for this purpose & will be offering this service to our created sites.
Please let us know if you need support with this too (even if you are not a Rocoja created site).
email us at info@Rocoja.co.uk
Contact Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below for more information or even just some advice.