Hello and welcome to another tutorial.
This time we are going to talk about “How to update our PHP version for faster page speed”. But before we get started…
What is PHP?
PHP is one of the most popular scripting languages on the web. In fact, 70% of all websites that use server-side programming use PHP. That’s 8 out of 10 sites.
What PHP versions exist?
When you update your PHP version to a 7+ version from a standard 5.4 or 5.6 version, it will automatically make your website faster.
Why do we say 7+ version?
It actually varies from hosting provider to hosting provider what version of PHP will be offered. Our old hosting provider HostGator for example only supported PHP 7.1. for shared hosting and our new hosting provider, Cloudways is supporting PHP 7.3.
Unfortunately, hosting solutions don’t update your PHP version on their own. This is mostly due to compatibility issues with themes & plugins and wanting to avoid breaking your page.
The best way to identify if a PHP upgrade will cause any issues:
-> install the plugin called PHP Compatibility Checker.
If you don’t know on what PHP version your website is currently running:
-> install the plugin Display PHP Version.
But how do I update my PHP version?
In the next steps, I will show you how you can update your PHP version with the example of our old hosting provider HostGator.
Step 1: Go to the cPanel of your hosting.
(usually, you need to log in at your hosting’s website)
Step 2: Browse through your cPanel to find the option where you can access and change your PHP version.
In HostGator, the function was called the “PHP Selector”.
Step 3: Go ahead and update to the highest PHP version possible after you did the compatibility check.
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