It’s important that the code your website uses is kept up to date. Hosting companies are responsible for the infrastructure on which your website is hosted on, but as the website owner, you are responsible for keeping your website code and plugins up to date.
As security updates for older PHP versions have ended, most hosting companies like Xneelo will no longer support these versions on their hosting platform. If your website is still making use of older PHP version and PHP 7.4, it will automatically be upgraded to PHP 8.0 by certain hosters.
If your website’s core and plugins have not been updated recently then the chance that your website will stop working, give errors or will crash is highly likely.
How do I know which version of PHP I am using?
Your website control panel or hosting control panel will be able to show you the version. But it is best to ask your website builder to have a look. Or ask a company like Bunnypants to analyse your website to see if it is compatible. We will need temporary administrative access to your website to do this.
We will also supply a verdict and solution if it is not compatible.
Will the automatic upgrade to PHP 8.0 affect me?
Yes, the upgrade will affect all customers using PHP 5.6, 7.2 and 7.4
Most hosting companies have extended the automatic update till 28th November 2022. After that if your website does not function on PHP 8, you will not have a working website.
Do not presume your website is PHP 8 compatible as many websites older than 2021 may have issues. And most hosters will be upgrading to PHP 8 in batches, so it does not mean your site has not been affected as it may still be running on older PHP version.
What will the upgrade cost me?
The upgrade is free of charge (no cost) BUT if your website is not PHP 8 compatible it will cost money to fix your website or get it PHP 8 ready. Only by analysing your website it can be truly certified PHP 8 compatible?
What are the benefits of using PHP 8.0 or later?
There are numerous benefits to using PHP 8.0, including many new features and optimizations including named arguments, union types, attributes, constructor property promotion, match expression, nullsafe operator, JIT, as well as improvements in the type system, error handling, and consistency BUT especially better security.
Active and security support for PHP 7.4 will end on 28 November 2022, so any website even those that are not being forced to run on PHP8 for now will be vulnerable as the support for their components will be nulled.
How will I know PHP 8 has effected my website?
The most common error will be the following on your website front end that clients see: “There has been a critical error on your website”
Or your website will work one day perfectly and the next day it will show errors on the front end. It can also maybe still function and certain parts will have problems, like forms, eCommerce will fail etc.
Some website may even say PHP Error.
What do I do if my site is not compatible with PHP 8.0?
Then a website developer like Bunnypants will need to suggest a fix. If the site is very old and can not be upgraded in the backend, then a rebuild will be the next step.
How can I ensure my website if compatible with new PHP versions in the future?
Just like a car you need to service and maintain the engine and working parts. Does not help you are just maintaining the exterior of your vehicle, it needs a service plan to service and maintain all the serviceable parts. The same way your website needs ongoing maintenance and servicing NOT only on the exterior but especially the websites engine, theme, and plugins.
If you do not have a maintenance plan in place, please speak to one of our consultants and hear how we can help you maintain your websites health. At a small monthly fee, you will not get big surprises one day when all fails to work and you have to rebuild your whole website from scratch.