PHP upgrade is one of those areas thats often overlooked not just by business website owners but by developers as well, the prime reason for this complacency is that websites and application built using the last version of php works fine and is supported for a long period of time even after the update is released. While it might be easy to overlook your core engine upgrade, its very important to realize that this programming language drives the entire WordPress ecosystem and with subsequent updates comes improvement in security, stability, compatibility and overall user experience in general. For content when PHP 8 was released on Nov 2020, only 5% of users made the switch while many choosing to upgrade later when the support was withdrawn. PHP 8.2 is the latest version of PHP and if you have a WordPress or a compatible website you should definitely upgrade.
Reasons to upgrade to PHP 8.2 :
The latest version of PHP is the one thats fully supported and which receives regular updates, if you haven’t updated your PHP version your website is prone to malicious attack. Newer version of PHP would have security patches for all ongoing and known security issues making your WordPress stable and secure.
PHP 8 and above is around 4x faster than PHP 7.4 and with the the introduction of Just in Time (JIT) compiler, the performance difference with earlier versions of PHP is significant. JIT compiler allows complex applications to be executed faster hence speeding up the entire structure on which its based.
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With new version comes a lot of new features ensuring smoother operation and ease of use. With the upgrade to PHP 8 from PHP 7.4 new features like attributes, named arguments, match expressions and null safe operator were introduced to enable quick code execution and overall improvement in performance.
WordPress strongly encourages its development community around the world to build application and plugins based on the latest version of PHP, if your WordPress website is running an outdated version you will run into compatibility issue and could end up with a broken site. You might not receive updates for plugins and be required to upgrade before receiving support from developers as well.
How to update your PHP version to the 8.2 ?
The first thing to consider before you make an upgrade is to make sure every component on your website or application supports the latest version. If you have WordPress setup, you would want to check that all the plugins installed would work properly with the latest version, if not you might want to wait till the developers push an updated of the plugin compatible with the latest version. once thats done proceed to have the version upgraded to 8.2 and here are the steps to properly do it-
- Back up your website using a plugin or a simple download from your Cpanel
- Upload your backup as a staging site and upgrade the PHP version for that
- Test for any issues with the functionality of the staging site, if there are work on having them fixed
- Implement the changes you had to if any for the fix of the issues you got from PHP update
- Upgrade your PHP to 8.2 and enjoy the benefits
or you can simply call your web developer or your website host and have them do it for you.
Its always a good idea to be on the latest version of PHP for your WordPress website or WooCommerce online store or other applications. Latest versions are fast, effective, supported, compatible and overall better than its predecessors, thats the reason they were bought out in the first place. It might just be the extra push that your website needs to place you ahead of your competition.
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