What is PHP?
Your favorite, easy to use WordPress is built using PHP and HTML. PHP is a server-side script that means it runs on your web server, contrary to HTML that runs on your computer through internet browsers. PHP is a very powerful and very popular server-side scripting language that is open source.
Every update of PHP includes speed enhancements. It is evident that just a PHP version update can make your site much faster. In some cases, it can make a site load 3x to 4x faster. When a new version of PHP is released, it is supported actively and coders from all around the world find, report and fix bugs in that version. However, after two years, only security updates are published for the same version, and then no update is released.
PHP has a very active community and before support for a version expires, a new, enhanced version is released that is even faster, better, and more secure because due to its popularity, it is exposed to a relatively high number of attacks.
The first and foremost reason to update the PHP version is the security aspect. As said earlier, due to its popularity, more people try to hack it. However, due to its open-source nature backed by thousands of coders, any vulnerability is patched before it becomes problematic. That’s why any sites and CMS using PHP are very safe. WordPress uses PHP and therefore, it is the safest among other CMS’s.
Every update of PHP focuses on enhancing the speed of your website. In many other content management systems (CMS), a page’s loading speed is determined solely by the hosting hardware. However, in sites using PHP and HTML, the hardware isn’t the only solution to enhance the speed with. A website using PHP can reduce its loading times and load up to 4 times faster if it starts using a new stable version of PHP. The newer version uses enhanced coding and techniques that greatly relieve the hardware and the end result is faster loading sites. A site’s speed is a search engine ranking factor and is very important to retain visitors.
The active and supported life of a PHP version is 3 years. Of which, in the first two years every issue is addressed and fixed but after the first two years, development of a new version begins. In the third and last year only security patches are released for that version. A new version of PHP includes, security enhancements, speed improvements and increased reliability. WordPress is a go to CMS for some of the top websites in the world and it is an active support for PHP.Moreover, WordPress itself is what makes it standout and leave the competition way behind.
How to update the PHP version?
PHP is a server-side script and unlike the Themes and Plugins updates that appear in your WordPress dashboard, you cannot update it from there. You will need access to the backend of your WordPress hosting. By the way, PHP update is handled by the hosting company itself. If they do not do the update themselves, you can ask your hosting provider to do so. As with any major changes, always backup your website and once the hosting company verifies that they have updated your site, wait a few minutes and refresh your page. You will not only be able to verify the update through the backend but will also notice a speed boost in your page loading.
Manually updating the PHP version is also very easy. Just go to the PHP section in your cPanel, scroll down to the PHP version part and select the one that you want from that list. If it is not yet supported by your hosting provider, do ask them and they will consider it as soon as possible.
Did you know that GeekBee is always running the latest version of any software on their server?
We do this to ensure not only speed but security and reliability as well. Whether it is updating the PHP version or WordPress, we are always up-to-the-minute.