Updating PHP 7.4 to 8+ FAQs

PHP is a scripting language for web development and WordPress is a PHP-powered content management system. Processing PHP code ultimately renders your WordPress page or post. Your WordPress core system files, themes, and plugins all include PHP code.

Every year, a new version of PHP is released with improvements and additional features. Every new version of PHP is fully supported for two years from its initial stable release. During this period, bugs and security issues that have been reported are fixed and are released in regular point releases.

Once those two years pass, the version is then supported for an additional year for critical security issues only. Releases during this period are made on an as-needed basis, and once that year is up, the version is no longer supported and is considered End of Life (EOL).

PHP 7.4 is reaching EOL and will no longer receive security updates as of November 28, 2022. The WordPress community still has some work to do to support PHP 8+ broadly, so our parent company, Automattic, has committed resources to help maintain security updates for PHP 7.4 temporarily. This will allow time for the community to catch up and continue supporting websites on PHP 7.4.

  • August 9, 2022: PHP version 7.4 was removed as an option for new sites on August 9, 2022. The default for all new sites became PHP 8+.
  • Date TBA: All sites on the Pressable platform that are currently running PHP version 7.4 will be automatically updated to PHP version 8+.

Will notifications be sent to customers regarding this update?

Yes, we sent an email on July 20, 2022, to inform all customers that PHP 7.4 will no longer be an available option for new sites, noting all sites will be upgraded to PHP 8+ in November, 2022. That same day, we also posted a banner inside the MyPressable Control Panel announcing this.

We sent another email on August 9, 2022, to inform customers that the update was complete and customers could choose either PHP 8.0 or PHP 8.1 for new sites.

We have since postponed the November, 2022 automatic update. We will send additional emails notifying customers with sites running PHP 7.4 to ensure everyone has an abundance of time to test and complete the update on their sites before the required update deadline. Our plan is to send these once per month leading up to the update. The date for this will be announced as soon as possible.

What happened to my sites that were running on PHP 7.4 when it was removed as an option for new sites?

Any sites you have that are running PHP 7.4 will continue to use that version, and any clones (or staging sites) that you create of that site will carry over your use of PHP 7.4 as well.

All sites running PHP 7.4 will be automatically upgraded in the near future, so we recommend all customers begin testing and updating their sites as soon as possible. 

What are the differences between PHP 7.4 and PHP 8+? 

We have published an article here that details the new features and enhancements that come with the update to PHP 8+. Beyond the technical details, it’s important to note the upgrade comes with performance improvements as well. For example, PHP 8.1 can handle 18.4% more requests per second than PHP 7.4. That can make a noticeable difference for a busy site or store!

How do I check to see if my site will work on PHP 8+?

We published a blog post here that discusses more about what PHP is and how to safely upgrade the version on your site. Don’t forget to take advantage of your free staging environment that comes with your plan!

My site is showing an error?  What can be done to fix it?

If the PHP update triggered an error on your site, most likely an outdated plugin or theme is the cause.  The error logs for your site might indicate where the problem is originating from.  We have a guide on how to access these logs here.

Additionally, you can reach out to our customer success team for assistance, either through live chat or via email at help@pressable.com. What we can help with is limited (more information here) but we would be more than happy to point you in the right direction for a fix!

When will the next required PHP version upgrade occur?

PHP.net maintains a timeline showing the various PHP versions and their lifecycles. It’s a great resource for anyone wondering when the next version will reach EOL. We will be managing the security patches for all Pressable customers between that date and the automatic update.