If your website was created using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, it was written with a language called PHP.
Most CMS based websites use PHP version 5.6 or older. These websites will need to be updated to the most recent version of PHP to prevent vulnerabilities that will emerge without security updates.
All software eventually becomes too old for the manufacturer to continue maintaining and supporting it. This is often referred to as ‘End of Life’ or ‘EOL’ in software development. This means that if a security hole opens in the software, users will not be able to rely on the developer to fix it.
PHP version 5 will become EOL on January 1st, 2019. That is approximately two months from the time of writing this. According to the developers of the PHP framework, each version of the software will be supported fully for two years from the date of release, and then only for critical errors for one year after that.
Currently, the most recent version of PHP is 7.2 released on 30 November 2017. To prevent your website running into costly errors, or even increased chances of hacking, you should speak to your web host or designer immediately to make the change.
While it is important to change your PHP version as soon as you can, you also need to make sure that any themes and plugins your website uses are compatible with PHP 7 to prevent any conflicts.
The following table shows the important dates for PHP 5 and 7.
|Version||Initial Release||Active Support Until||Security Support Until|
|5.6||28 Aug 2014||19 Jan 2017||31 Dec 2018|
|7||3 Dec 2015||3 Dec 2017||3 Dec 2018|
|7.1||1 Dec 2016||1 Dec 2018||1 Dec 2019|
|7.2||30 Nov 2017||30 Nov 2019||30 Nov 2020|
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