How To update PHP In WordPress

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Running a quick and efficient WordPress site is often about paying attention to the small details. One of those small details is checking that you are using the latest PHP version to make sure your site loads as quickly as possible. If you depend on your WordPress site to make you an income, the last thing you want is people bouncing off your website straight onto a competitor’s page. According to studies, more than 50% of people will abandon a site if it takes too long to load. That’s why it’s essential that you take a few minutes today to update PHP in WordPress to the latest version.

Why You Need To Update

If you aren’t even sure what PHP is, it is the scripting language used by WordPress. Your WordPress site will be able to support different versions of PHP, so you might not even realize something is wrong if you haven’t been updating it. However, here are a few good reasons why you should keep your PHP updated.

  • Better Performing Website. The simple act of updating your website can help it run almost four times faster. When your website loads quicker, it means that your visitors are more likely to stay on your page, purchase items, or click on your links. Having a fast loading page is also crucial for search engine optimization purposes, as it is one of the things Google takes into account when ranking websites. 
  • Keeps your site secure. Unfortunately, hackers and scammers are always finding a new way to infiltrate websites, which is why updating your site with any security patches is crucial. The latest PHP version can help keep your website safe from any malware, viruses, or other digital threats.


Before Updating PHP In WordPress

Luckily, there are just a few short steps to updating your WordPress and improving your site’s loading time. However, before you get started, you’ll want to make sure that your website, plugins, and themes are all ready to go.

  1. Create a backup of your WordPress site. In general, you should be regularly backing up your website, but you will want to backup your website before you update PHP in WordPress for two reasons:
    1. Compatibility issues. Because your WordPress themes and plugins will also be written in PHP, which means if there is a problem with the script of a plugin or theme, there will be compatible issues once you update your site.
    2. Unforeseen error. Unfortunately, something might go wrong during the update process, which could be catastrophic. Having a backup on file is always a good idea before doing updates.
  1. Update your themes and plugins. Keeping your plugins and themes updated is a good idea because that's one of the ways bad actors can hack into your website. For those who are using third-party themes or plugins, you’ll want to make sure that it will be compatible with the latest version of PHP.
    Therefore, before updating, check to make sure everything is updated by going to your WordPress Dashboard. You’ll be able to install any updates there.
  2. Ensure WordPress Site is Compatible 

Once you have updated all your themes and plugins, you’ll next want to scan your site for any issues with PHP. A free plugin like this PHP Compatibility Checker makes this process a little bit easier. Once you've installed the plugin, you can scan your site to see if there might be any compatibility issues that will pop up with your themes or plugins, which might cause problems when you try to get the latest version of PHP.

Once you’ve done these simple steps, you’re ready to update your WordPress site’s PHP.

How To Update PHP In WordPress

There are a couple of different options available: contact your host provider or use your control panel.

  • Contact your host provider. For those who aren’t as technically savvy, it might be an easier and safer option to reach out to your hosting provider directly. Each control panel will be a little different. If you aren’t using a cPanel, it might not be as intuitive. Reach out to your hosting providers’ customer chat support, and they can either update it for you or give you clear instructions on how to do so on your own. 
  • Use your control panel. Navigate to your control, and you should see an option that says “Select Php Version.” Once you’ve selected that, you’ll be able to see which PHP version your website is currently using. From the drop-down menu, select the most recent one. Once you have done so, you’ll click “Set as Current.” That’s it!


Keeping your WordPress site is vital to make sure that you are providing your site visitors with a seamless and quick user experience. Taking A few minutes every few months to ensure you have a smooth transition to the new version of PHP to keep your site safe and running efficiently.

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