Yes! PHP 7.2 is standard on all new Flywheel sites, and is available with an upgrade for existing sites.
PHP 7 is the successor to PHP 5.6. (There was no PHP 6, confusingly enough; that version number was skipped.) All WordPress sites require at least PHP 5.2.4 to run, but WordPress.org recommends version 7+.
PHP 7 features a number of improvements over the older PHP 5.6, so many users will see a boost in performance with the upgrade.
However, note that this will vary depending on the site, and that performance is influenced by a wide variety of factors. So while upgrading is generally a good idea, it may not always bring a significant or immediately noticeable change. There are other things to know about the upgrade as well; read on!
At a development level, PHP 7 adds some exciting new capabilities to the programming language, while eliminating some older, deprecated and/or obsolete code—which ties nicely into the next question…
Yes, simply because it’s difficult to know whether all plugins and themes in use on a site are fully compatible with PHP 7.
As mentioned above, PHP 7 eliminates older, deprecated functions and code present in previous PHP versions. What this means is that out-of-date plugins and themes—or those that used deprecated code and which haven’t been updated to the newer PHP 7+ standards—may cause issues after upgrading to PHP 7.
An out-of-date or poorly coded plugin or theme can cause any number of issues, up to and including bringing a site down entirely.
The best way to ensure compatibility with PHP 7 is to fully update all themes and plugins on the site. Additionally, it’s a good idea to be sure that plugins and themes in use on the site have been updated by their developers recently. If a plugin or theme hasn’t been updated in a year or two (or more), it may be a good idea to remove or replace it.
It’s extremely important to update premium themes and plugins, as they are often overlooked sources of out-of-date code that can cause potentially fatal errors after an upgrade.
Generally, as long as your site is using high-quality plugins and themes which are up-to-date, you won’t have anything to worry about. But if you want to be absolutely sure, you can always download a backup of your site and import it to Local by Flywheel on a local environment with PHP 7+ for testing. Alternatively, there are plugins available to check your site’s compatibility with PHP 7.
PHP version is instance-wide, which means that a bulk plan shares a single PHP version. So if you’d like to upgrade your bulk plan, we’re happy to help! But the change will need to be rolled out to all sites.
Sorry, no; PHP 7.0 is not available on Flywheel, but PHP 7.2 is. Version 7.2 is more up-to-date and has a number of improvements over version 7.0, so it’s generally recommended over version 7.0 anyway.
Though 7.3 has been released to the general public, the Core WordPress team is still ironing out some compatibility issues. They will be addressing them with future WordPress updates in the coming weeks. As those updates roll out, our internal hosting operations team will be testing out PHP 7.3 on Flywheel and making sure everything is working smoothly before we make it an optional version and ultimately the default version for new WordPress sites. We’ll be updating this page and our product updates page as we know more.
Easy! Just reach out to our stellar support team if you’re not sure whether your site is running PHP 7, or if you’re ready to upgrade. We’ll be more than happy to help.
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