With new and great PHP 7.0 released last year, and even better PHP 7.1 released this month, it is time to finally, say goodbye to old and very much outdated PHP 5.3 and 5.4.

PHP 5.3 & 5.4

PHP 5.3 received the last update on August 14, 2014. and since that day it was no longer supported by the PHP development team. PHP 5.4 received the last update on September 3, 2015. and, once again, since that day, it was no longer supported by the PHP development team. Both these versions are known for many bugs and security issues, they are the clear threat to your website security. The fact that they have bugs and security issues are not that problematic, problem is that they will never get any of these issues fixed because they are dead for years.

If you use PHP 5.2.x, PHP 5.3.x or PHP 5.4.x (or earlier versions) on your server, please, switch to newer versions as soon as possible! By using these PHP versions, you are exposing your website to myriad of security threats.

Dev4Press Development

Development Policy on Dev4Press is updated to remove PHP 5.3 and PHP 5.4 from the regular development testing. All Dev4Press plugins from now on will be tested with latest builds of PHP 5.5, 5.6, 7.0 and 7.1. This will not change for the next year, and by the end of 2017, PHP 5.5 will be also removed from regular testing.

What does this mean exactly? It means that we are no longer going to test any of Dev4Press plugin with PHP 5.3 and PHP 5.4. That doesn’t mean they will not work with these PHP versions, most likely, all plugin will work fine with these two PHP versions. But, if you run into problems with our plugins using PHP older than 5.5, we will not be able to help you in any way. If you have problems with our plugins, update your server to supported PHP version first.

WordPress.org recommends using PHP 7.0 or newer for using WordPress. PHP 7.0 is a much faster than any PHP 5 version, it is actively supported by PHP team and it is regularly updated to fix bugs and security problems.

How to change PHP version?

This depends on your hosting company. Most hosts use cPanel for server management, and if that is the case, you have Software panel in the cPanel, where you will find PHP Version Manager (it can be named differently, based on the hosting company).

cPanel Software Panel
cPanel Software Panel

Once you open the PHP Version Manager, there are two likely scenarios. Some hosts have direct selection of PHP version to use, and it is applied to your whole website. And, some hosts allow you to select PHP version to use in each folder of your website, so you need to select folder first, and then set PHP version. Typically, select your website root (public_html), and then set PHP version you want to use:

cPanel PHP Selection
cPanel PHP Selection

Before you make the switch, make sure all plugins you use are compatible with PHP you want to use. At this point, most PHP plugins updated regularly in the past year are PHP 7 compatible. If you use plugins that have not been updated for so long, either update them, or switch to other plugins.

If you can’t make the PHP switch this way, contact your hosting company support to make the PHP switch for you.

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About the author

Dev4Press owner and lead developer

Programmer since the age of 12 and WordPress developer since 2008 as freelancer and author of more than 200 plugins and more than 20 themes.

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