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PHP 7 FAQ

Updated on December 12th, 2019

Note

As of May 2019, all sites on Flywheel are on PHP 7.2 or higher. If your site is currently hosted elsewhere and is on PHP 5.6, or you have questions about upgrading your Flywheel site to PHP 7.3, please read on for tips to ensure compatibility!

 

Does Flywheel offer PHP 7?

Yes! PHP 7.3 is standard on all new Flywheel sites, and is available as an upgrade for existing sites. Contact our support team for more information.

 

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 PHP?

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 What this means is that out-of-date plugins and themes—or those that used deprecated code and which haven’t been updated to the newer PHP 7+ standards—may cause issues after upgrading to PHP 7.

An out-of-date or poorly coded plugin or theme can cause any number of issues, up to and including bringing a site down entirely.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

 

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

On Legacy bulk plans, PHP version is instance-wide, which means that the bulk plan shares a single PHP version. So if you’d like to upgrade your Legacy bulk plan, we’re happy to help! But the change will need to be rolled out to all sites. Bulk plans on the Flywheel Cloud Platform can be updated on a site-by-site basis. Just reach out to our stellar support team if you have questions!

 

Can I use PHP version 7.0 on Flywheel (instead of version 7.3)?

Sorry, no; PHP 7.0 is not available on Flywheel, but PHP 7.3 is. Version 7.3 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 do I know what version of PHP my site is running?

Easy! Visit your Flywheel Dashboard and click the Filter Sites button on the right hand side, then choose Site Settings. You’ll be able to view your sites based on the current version of PHP!

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