PHP Version Update in WordPress

When it comes to managing a WordPress website, every administrator must make sure their theme, plugins, and core files are running the most recent versions. Further to this, you should also be mindful about PHP version update in WordPress.

In case you are not aware, the open source programming language PHP is used to build WordPress. Updating to the most recent PHP version is always advised and required when updates are available.

WordPress’s code demonstrates how sophisticated it is; however, it’s not always obvious how to check and update the PHP version. And at times your web hosting company may be using an older version of PHP. This is why knowing how to check and update PHP version in WordPress is important.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to update the PHP version of your WordPress website.

What is PHP?

PHP is a widely used open source server-side scripting language that provides powerful capabilities for web development. It enables you to create websites, web applications, and software components which you can execute on the hosting server.

What purpose does PHP provide in WordPress?

The main job of PHP in WordPress is to process, build, and send out to the browser.

WordPress includes numerous PHP files, each of which manages a distinct section of your page. Each time there’s a page request, the PHP code retrieves the necessary information from your WordPress database, converts it to HTML, and then delivers the HTML back to the user who requested it.

With PHP’s versatility, it enables developers to create WordPress themes and plugins that run on their own PHP files. These themes and plugins are free to make any use of the content in the WordPress database. This configuration also allows you to change plugins and/or themes without having to produce a fresh set of pages each time. Every page on your website is formed instantly when a request is made.

Why PHP version is Important and Why Should It Be Checked and Updated?

PHP is a dynamic programming language that frequently receives updates for performance and security.

Website performance and loading times can be up to 3 or 4 times faster with newer PHP versions than with older ones. Better performance will not only keep users on your site longer, but can also help you rank higher in search results.

Due to the popularity of PHP and WordPress as programming language and content management system respectively, both are target of cyberattacks. Even while your website may continue to function, there is a good probability that it is vulnerable to security risks. Patches for vulnerabilities found by hackers are included in new PHP releases as a defence against these attacks. Your WordPress website will be less at risk to malware, viruses, and unwelcome backend access when it is running a new PHP version.

Moreover, the incompatibility of PHP with your core files, plugins, and theme may cause your website to malfunction if you’re still using an older PHP version.

Older PHP versions transition over time into what we refer to as end-of-life status, which means that no support or updates will be given to these versions.

This is why it’s imperative that you check for and update to the most recent PHP version.

Updating the PHP Version

Now we begin to go into the steps to update the PHP version.

Step 1: Check the current PHP version

To make sure your system requires a PHP update, run a WordPress PHP version check first. You can use the WordPress Site Health Tool to check your PHP version in WordPress:

From the administrator dashboard, select Tools > Site Health.  Click on “Info”, and tap on “Server.” You will find the version your WordPress website is presently using there.

Step 2: Create a backup of the website

Backing up your WordPress website is usually advised before performing PHP version update. This will insure you against any significant issue that may arise along the way. So, it is generally best to have a backup copy on hand.

You can download a backup plugin in WordPress which you can use to create a complete backup of your WordPress website.

Step 3: Update the WordPress core files, installed plugins, and active theme

As part of preparing your WordPress website for the PHP version update, you need to verify that all of your themes, plugins, and core files are using the most recent versions. This is carried out to avoid functionality issues caused by PHP compatibility issues.

To find information about updates, set auto-updates and see what plugins or themes need updating, select Updates from the administrator dashboard.

Step 4: Get the PHP version update

All PHP version updates must be made through your host because your server controls how PHP functions internally.

You have two options for updating PHP version on your host: you can either get in touch with your hosting company or, if you can, update manually.

Get the update through the Hosting Provider – Contact your host directly via chat, email, or phone to update your PHP version for you. Most hosting providers will handle this when you request a PHP version update.

Manual update – To update the PHP version manually, you will need access to a hosting control panel like cPanel.

To make PHP version update with cPanel, navigate to Software tab, and click on “Select PHP Version.”

On the next screen, choose the latest PHP version from the drop-down menu, and click “Set as Current.”

This process will vary slightly between hosts. If you run into difficulties, refer to your hosting provider’s documentation or support materials and contact support if necessary.

Step 5: Check the website after updating the PHP Version

Checking to see if the WordPress website is operating properly is the last step.

A minimum of 30 minutes should pass for your host’s PHP version to update completely. If the WordPress website works fine as it should, then the PHP version update is successful.

What to DO if the Website Malfunctions After the PHP Version Update?

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that no plugin or theme is the source of the issue before taking any further action. You can do this by turning off all of your WordPress plugins and use the default theme.

Should this fail to resolve the issue, you may go back to your previous PHP version in cPanel or by getting in touch with your hosting provider once more. If the worst happens, you can always restore your WordPress website to its previous working state using the backup you created.


Every WordPress website must be using the most recent version of PHP as it significantly affects the user experience on your website. Following the above instructions will update your WordPress website without the need for programming expertise.

We hope this article helped you learn how to update the PHP version of your WordPress site. Leave a comment if you have any questions and share it if you enjoyed.

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