One of the great things about our multiple-PHP server setup is that it allows us to provide the latest PHP versions safely to anyone who wants it, even before their official stable release. As a perfect example, we've added the new PHP 7.3 to the list of available PHP branches you can use on your SiteGround account. Right now, we support PHP 7.3 RC3, which will be replaced by the final version once it’s released (expected in Dec 2018). So if you write your website code, you can start testing it for the upcoming changes.
What’s New in PHP 7.3?
Most major PHP version updates include syntax changes, new features, and function depreciation. PHP 7.3 follows suit and has all three. If you’re writing code yourself, we strongly recommend that you check the PHP 7.3 changelog in detail, because you may find out a feature or a function you love is now deprecated (sorry).
Does your Application Support it?
Most web applications, including WordPress, don’t work on PHP 7.3 yet. According to the official WordPress 5.0 Schedule Post, full PHP 7.3 support will be added in the major 5.0 update or in a 4.9.9 release if 5.0 is pushed to January.
That being said, it’s highly recommended that you test new PHP versions on staging copies of your site because even if the core of your web app supports it, some plugins, themes, etc. may still cause issues. Don’t be a cowboy coder -- always test in a staging environment to prevent downtime for your site.
How to Enable PHP 7.3?
Enabling PHP 7.3 is as easy as using any other PHP version at SiteGround. Simply add this line to your .htaccess file and the site residing in that folder and all sub-folders will start using this version:
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php73 .php .php5 .php4 .php3
Alternatively, you can use the PHP Version Manager tool in your cPanel to enable it.