Every once in a while, I am evaluating the development setup used to develop plugins, and make adjustments based on the latest versions of WordPress, PHP, MySQL, and other technologies important to the process.
With the release of PHP 7.0, PHP has set a very strict development cycle, and every December one of the older PHP versions stops getting support and updates, and a new one is released. This year, on December 6, 2021, PHP 7.3 will stop receiving security updates and will officially reach End of Life status. That means that from December 6, 2021, only PHP 7.4, PHP 8.0, and PHP 8.1 will be supported.
Right now, Dev4Press plugins are developed to support PHP 7.0 and newer. It is not realistic to support only official supported PHP versions, so I always support some of the previous versions too. From December 6, 2021, the Development Policy will change on Dev4Press, and PHP 7.0 and PHP 7.1 will be removed from the list of supported PHP versions, and all plugins will be developed with PHP 7.2 and newer compatibility. That doesn’t mean that plugin will no longer work with PHP 7.0 and PHP 7.1, but all future updates will require PHP 7.2 and will be tested only with PHP 7.2 and newer. I have not changed PHP requirements for the past two years, so this year, the change will be more substantial, and 2 PHP versions will be no longer supported.
Dev4Press statistics show that PHP 5.6, PHP 7.0, and PHP 7.1 are used by 1.85%, 3.15%, and 1.5% of Dev4Press users in the past 6 months, while PHP 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4 have collective usage of 90%. WordPress.org statistics show similar values, with PHP 5.6 and 7.0 having a bit higher usage.
I do not support PHP 5 for the past years, and all current plugins require PHP 7.0, and since December, all updates will require PHP 7.2. When it comes to PHP 8.0 compatibility, Dev4Press plugins are fully compatible with PHP 8.0 and so far, tests done with 8.1 revealed no issues.
On the same date, Dev4Press Development Policy will also get updated with supported WordPress versions, and WordPress 5.0, 5.1, and 5.2 will no longer be supported. With soon to be released, WordPress 5.9, Dev4Press plugin will support the last 7 WordPress major releases. Dev4Press Statistics show that 97% of all websites using Dev4Press plugins use at least WordPress 5.4. All Dev4Press plugins released from December 6, 2021, will support WordPress 5.3 and newer (in some cases this may differ).
PHP support policy will be revisited again in about a year (end of 2022), and the WordPress support policy will be updated in about 6 months (Spring 2022).