A little over a year ago, the new version 8 of PHP was released. Since the end of 2021, there are only security fixes for older PHP versions and even these only until November 2022.
Therefore it’s time to upgrade your WordPress installations to PHP 8.0 or even better, to PHP 8.1.
Next to the reason that End of Life of PHP 7.4 is coming closer, there are also several new features in PHP 8.0, especially in the area of performance from which your website will benefit! And as you know, better speed = better ranking. So lets go for it!
WordPress Core support for PHP 8.x
WordPress supports PHP 8 since version 5.6, so make sure you have at least this or a newer version installed.
With PHP 8.1 you may still get warnings even with the latest WordPress versions. More about this in an official post on the WordPress site.
The tricky part – WordPress plugins and themes support for PHP 8.0 and 8.1
It becomes more critical with plugins and themes. While you can assume that most widely used plugins already support PHP 8.1, there may still be errors, especially with smaller manufacturers.
To be able to react early, we recommend testing your complete site with at least PHP 8.0.
How can I test my WordPress site with PHP 8.0 or PHP 8.1?
If your existing host offers a staging or testing environment and already offers PHP 8.0/8.1, you can create a staging site there directly and then convert it to PHP 8.x. Make sure that only the staging page is converted. If your hosting provider does not support this, you can simply create a sandbox on Sandbox.page, import your page and test everything in peace with PHP 8.0 or PHP 8.1.
To create a staging & testing environment on Sandbox. page, simply import your site with a few clicks.
It is possible to transfer a website via Site Import extension:
- Log into the Sandbox Panel or create a new Account if you are not registered yet
- Transfer the website under Domains > example.com > Website Importing option Open.
- Specify the source website’s domain name, and also FTP or SSH username and password;
- Click Ok.
Then set the desired PHP version and you can test your site for problems with PHP 8.0 or PHP 8.1.
- Within the Control Panel, navigate to the Website & Domains Tab
- Click on Hosting & Dns and Hosting Settings