Time to Move Forward from PHP 7.0
Some time ago PHP 7.0 introduced some great performance gains for all web applications including WordPress. Our efforts to popularize it among our customers resulted in many sites becoming faster than before. However, since that time two newer PHP versions have been launched – 7.1 and 7.2. It is now time to move forward to one of the newer versions.
PHP 7.1 is Now Default for New Accounts
The PHP default version on our servers is always selected with safety in mind. When a new version appears, we are fast to make it available. Thanks to our server setup, which allows multiple PHP versions, anyone is able to start using the latest PHP immediately after its release.
However, we are also cautious to make the new version default. We always aim to give enough time to site owners and plugin developers before doing the switch to make their code compatible with the latest version.
Now that PHP 7.0 is no longer actively supported by the PHP team, we have switched the default PHP version for all our servers to PHP 7.1. Thus all new accounts will be shipped with PHP 7.1. This change does not apply to existing sites and we strongly recommend all of our users to check the PHP version they use and switch it to 7.1 or higher through the PHP Version Manager tool in cPanel.
Our WordPress users can also check their website compatibility with PHP 7.1 before making the switch in their WordPress admin panel, thanks to our SiteGround Optimizer plugin. It is done in the same way as when we introduced this cool option for PHP 7.0: just navigate to the PHP Config page in SiteGround Optimizer and start the Compatibility Check. Easy as that!
What About PHP 7.2?
Right now, the latest version available is PHP 7.2 and you may ask why we haven’t switched our defaults to it. Despite the fact that PHP 7.2 has performance and other improvements compared to its predecessor, it does deprecate a large number of functions too.
This means, that a lot of scripts will not work properly or at all with it. In the context of WordPress, although the core is fully compatible (and actually recommends 7.2), a lot of plugins will not work correctly right now. That’s why we’ve decided to recommend PHP 7.1 at this point.
After the majority of plugin developers release PHP 7.2 support, we will once again update our server default version and the SiteGround Optimizer plugin compatibility check and ask you to update to 7.2.