PHP 7.2 update for all WordPress maintenance clients

PHP is the programming language that WordPress is written in. Every website we manage is built on PHP.

The developers of this software have announced that as of today, versions of PHP older than 7.0 will not be receiving any updates, not even security patches.

Calendar showing support for different versions of PHP

This calendar shows support for different versions of PHP

Old PHP versions mean your website could get hacked

PHP 7.0 was released in December 2015 (3 years ago) and PHP 5.6, still used by many websites, was released in August 2014. If your website is still running these versions and hasn’t been updated, as of this month you may find that it is more susceptible to security problems, such as hacking or malware.

Effects of having your website hacked include:

  • your website fills up with spam
  • your site may become part of a criminal botnet
  • you may be penalised by Google and lose your search engine ranking
  • visitors to your website may see warnings telling them your site is unsafe
  • your website may be wiped entirely and replaced with objectionable content

If you don’t have good backups and address this promptly, it can have serious effects on your business.

What Flax Digital is doing to protect your website

We have already updated all our premium WordPress maintenance plan clients to PHP 7.2 as of this week. For clients on our standard plan (who are using their own hosting) we will check whether your hosting provider offers PHP 7.2, and update it as soon as possible.

In the rare case that a maintenance client’s website isn’t compatible with PHP 7.2, we’ll work with the hosting provider and with our client to find a solution. This sometimes happens if the website is using old or poorly-written themes or plugins. In some cases, this may mean that the website’s theme needs to be replaced, which could mean a redesign. If you’re in that situation, our summer special gives you a great opportunity to refresh your site!

Not on a maintenance plan yet? You really ought to contact us.

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Alex is the owner of Flax Digital, a website consulting agency based in Ballarat, Australia. Alex has over 20 years' experience developing websites and digital strategy for businesses and non-profits in Australia and internationally.

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