WordPress is built using the PHP language. By running older versions of PHP on your WordPress website you are leaving your doors open for hackers to find vulnerabilities and hack your website.
Benefits of updating your PHP version
- Security –
Every update for PHP fixes the previous security vulnerabilities and loopholes. This prevents hackers from finding any previous vulnerabilities and taking advantage of it to gain access to your website. By updating your PHP version you are basically closing that loophole.
- Increase Page Load Speed –
Everyone knows how important it is for a page to load fast. With the PHP version 7 there has been a huge increase in page load speed. This also helps you with SEO as search engines prefer websites with fast page load times.
Things to do before updating PHP
- Backup your website:
It is very important that you backup your WordPress website completely before doing any kind of upgrade to your PHP version. If anything goes wrong during the update process your backup will be there to save you. Without a backup you can be in a jeopardy.
- Update all the plugins and theme to the latest versions:
Many older versions of plugins might not be compatible with the latest versions of PHP. It’s best to update them to avoid any compatibility issues.
Updating PHP on your WordPress website
You can update PHP on your website using two methods:
Updating through cPanel
cPanel is one of the most popular control panels. Below are steps to update PHP using cPanel.
- Log in to your cPanel from your hosting dashboard.
- Find and click the “Select PHP Version” option.
- Select the latest PHP version from the drop down menu and click the Set as current button.
- Your WordPress website will now be running on the latest version of PHP.
Updating by contacting the hosting provider
If you are using some other control panel or if you are facing some issue in the above steps then you can simply contact your hosting provider and ask them to update your server to the latest version of PHP.
Many WordPress websites are still running on the older versions of PHP which is leading to many successful hacking attempts on them. It is important to protect your website from such vulnerabilities and keeping your PHP version up to date is a step in the right direction.
The page load speed also increases tremendously with the newer versions of PHP. By being on the previous versions one is losing all the benefits of it. After updating the PHP version you can also look if any new updates are available for your plugins or theme and update them.