Help articles General Questions

PHP 7 FAQ

 

Does Flywheel offer PHP 7?

Yes! PHP 7.1 is standard on all new Flywheel sites, and is available with an upgrade for existing sites.

All existing Flywheel sites created before this change will be upgraded to PHP 7 beginning in August 2017. But if your site doesn’t have PHP 7 yet, let us know and we’ll be happy to help!

 

What is PHP 7?

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+.

 

What are the benefits of PHP 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…

 

Are there any risks to upgrading?

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 What this means is that out-of-date plugins and themes—or those that used deprecated code and which haven’t been updated to the newer PHP 7+ standards—may cause issues after upgrading to PHP 7.

An out-of-date or poorly coded plugin or theme can cause any number of issues, up to and including bringing a site down entirely.

 

How can I make sure my sites are PHP 7 compatible?

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.

Note

It may not be possible to update premium themes (such as Avada) or plugins (such as LayerSlider and RevSlider) directly through the WordPress admin area; updating premium themes and plugins often requires direct contact with the theme/plugin developer.

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.

 

Can I upgrade only some of the sites on my bulk plan?

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.

 

Can I use PHP version 7.0 on Flywheel (instead of version 7.1)?

Sorry, no; PHP 7.0 is not available on Flywheel, but PHP 7.1 is. Version 7.1 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.

 

How can I make sure my site is running PHP 7?

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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