Being able to test that a website that your are having developed works on the latest version of PHP is an important step in future proofing your website and making sure that it will last a long time before needing to be rebuilt. This also enables you to keep your old website going longer by downgrading your PHP to an older version if your site doesn’t work on a newer version.
Our servers now have a new feature which allows you to choose which version of PHP you want to run on your hosting accounts and any websites hosted on them.
To change the version of PHP your hosting account is using, do the following:
- Login to cPanel
- Scroll down to the Software section
- Click on the icon labelled Select PHP Version
- Select the version of PHP you wish to use from the drop-down up the top of the page
- Click the Set As Current button next to that drop-down field
And that’s it! There are also some additional PHP options that you can update through the Switch to PHP options link up the top right, so take a look at that page if you need to alter them for website compatibility.
Although all the available versions of PHP on our servers are updated with security patches as they are released, we do recommend that anyone who is using PHP version 5.3 or below upgrade to 5.6 as soon as possible. PHP 5.6 is considered a semi-standard for established sites — if your website doesn’t work on 5.6 contact your web developer to discuss updating/re-developing it (or you can contact us and we can discuss converting the website to a WordPress website that works with newer versions of PHP).
At this point PHP 5.3 is considered out of date/too old to use, so it’s important to check your site on 5.6 and move to that newer version if you haven’t already. It’s likely we will discontinue PHP 5.3 sometime in 2018.
Also, if you are getting a website developed it makes a lot of sense to do that work with PHP set to the latest version 7 (eg: 7.1) so that you are testing on the latest version. This effectively future-proofs your website as you will know it works on the latest version of PHP.