Default PHP to PHP 8.0

Thursday, March 24th, 2022 - General

Previously we discussed changing the default version of PHP on our servers from PHP 7.3 to PHP 8.0. This got stalled out a bit due to unrelated issues garnering much of our attention.

We have slowly been pushing this out to all of our servers as a type of “beta” testing the change. We are still doing this beta test. But from all accounts, the transition appears to be going smoothly.

So we are announcing that beginning Monday April 4, 2022, we will start changing all accounts and default PHP settings to PHP 8.0 en masse across all of our servers.

The biggest issue we have seen in regards to this upgrade is with outdated scripts, themes, plugins, extensions, and components. It’s always important to keep your scripts and script addons up to date. When a security hole is discovered in a script or script addon, a developer that cares about their product, will update the code to fix the security hole and release an update. However that update does you no good if you never apply the update. This also speaks to scripts and script addons that have been abandoned when their developers no longer care about the product.

A lot of our users use WordPress for their website – the best advice we have for you is to insure that your WordPress is up to date and that you are using up-to-date and in-life-supported plugins and themes. If your WordPress, WordPress theme, WordPress plugins are out of date or have been abandoned by their developers (as in, they haven’t released an update in some time) then you are more likely to see issues with the PHP 8.0 upgrade.

If you are using an outdated or abandoned WordPress, WordPress theme, or WordPress plugin then you need update it or stop using it and find an alternative in-life-supported plugin/theme. If something is outdated or abandoned then there’s no way to know what security holes you are exposing your website to.

PHP 7.3 and PHP 7.4 will still be available and we can change your account to one of these PHP versions if need be. However, please understand that PHP 7.3 is end-of-life, which means it really does not need to be used. If you are switched back to PHP 7.3 you will be encouraged to update the coding and scripts on your website to be compliant with an in-life version of PHP.

PHP 8.1 is gaining maturity. At this time, we would prefer to wait in offering support for PHP 8.1 until the base gets a bit more secure. The sooner we can fully remove PHP 7.3 support the sooner we can add PHP 8.1 support to our servers.

As a reminder the outlook for PHP support is:

PHP 7.3 – Supported until December 2021 – END OF LIFE
PHP 7.4 – Supported until December 2022
PHP 8.0 – Supported until December 2023
PHP 8.1 – Supported until December 2024