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PHP on Flywheel

Updated on July 11th, 2023

PHP is the open-source scripting language that WordPress is built on. Keeping your site’s PHP version up-to-date allows your site to utilize all of PHP’s latest features and improvements, resulting in optimized security and speed.



PHP versions available on Flywheel

Flywheel currently supports the following PHP versions, which are fully compatible with WordPress and receive periodic updates from the PHP group:

PHP 8.2
PHP 8.1
PHP 7.4

Note

All new sites created on Flywheel are spun up with PHP 8.2 by default.

How to check a site’s PHP version

  1. Click Sites in the main menu to view all your sites.
  2. Click on the desired site name.
  3. Go to the Advanced tab, the site’s PHP version is on the right sidebar. This will under the Staging Tab for a staging site. PHP version on Flywheel advanced tab.

How to filter your sites by PHP version

  1. Click Sites in the main menu to view all your sites.
  2. Click Filter Sites.
  3. Under Site Settings, select a PHP version and only the sites on that version will display.

Upgrade/downgrade PHP

Under the Advanced tab on your site in the Flywheel dashboard there will be an option to upgrade or downgrade the PHP version on the right bottom side like the screenshot below. You can also upgrade or downgrade the PHP version on your staging site under the Staging Tab.

If you’d like to downgrade your site from 8.2 to 8.1 please reach out to our Happiness Engineers!

PHP version on Flywheel advanced tab.

 


Installed PHP modules

Flywheel offers a specific set of platform-wide server modules which cannot be modified, removed, or added. The list below includes all modules installed on our cloud platform.

bcmath
calendar
cgi-fcgi
Core
ctype
curl
date
dom
exif
fcptools
FFI
fileinfo
filter
ftp
gd
gettext
hash
iconv
imagick
imap
json
ldap
libxml
mbstring
memcache
mysqli
mysqlnd
newrelic
openssl
pcre
PDO
pdo_mysql
Phar
posix
readline
Reflection
session
shmop
SimpleXML
soap
sockets
sodium
SPL
standard
sysvmsg
sysvsem
sysvshm
tokenizer
xml
xmlreader
xmlwriter
xsl
Zend OPcache
zip
zlib

Unsupported PHP modules

ionCube

Flywheel does not support ionCube on PHP 7.4 and above. The ionCube Loader module is not available on Flywheel due to the significant performance issues it causes.


Disabled PHP functions

Like many hosting providers, Flywheel disables a handful of PHP functions to help ensure secure and performant servers for all of our clients. Because we take security very seriously, our settings are somewhat more locked down than most.

pcntl_alarm
pcntl_fork
pcntl_waitpidpcntl_wait
pcntl_wifexited
pcntl_wifstopped
pcntl_wifsignaled
pcntl_wifcontinued
pcntl_wexitstatus
pcntl_wtermsig
pcntl_wstopsig
pcntl_signal
pcntl_signal_dispatch
pcntl_get_last_error
pcntl_strerror
pcntl_sigprocmask
pcntl_sigwaitinfo
pcntl_sigtimedwait
pcntl_exec
pcntl_getpriority
pcntl_setpriority
php_uname
getmyuid
getmypid
passthru
socket_listen
diskfreespace
disk_free_space
link
ignore_user_abort
shell_exec
dl
exec
system
highlight_file
source
show_source
fpassthru
virtual
posix_ctermid
posix_getcwd
posix_getegid
posix_geteuid
posix_getgid
posix_getgrgid
posix_getgrnam
posix_getgroups
posix_getlogin
posix_getpgid
posix_getpgrp
posix_getpid
posix_getppid
posix_getpwnam
posix_getpwuid
posix_getrlimit
posix_getsid
posix_getuid
posix_isatty
posix_kill
posix_mkfifo
posix_setegid
posix_seteuid
posix_setgid
posix_setpgid
posix_setsid
posix_setuid
posix_times
posix_ttyname
posix_uname
proc_open
proc_close
proc_get_status
proc_nice
proc_terminate
opcache_get_configuration
opcache_invalidate
opcache_is_script_cached
opcache_compile_file
phpinfo
open

phpMyAdmin

Flywheel does not have phpMyAdmin installed, but does provide web-based access to the MySQL databases of each site via our own custom (and beautiful) database manager.

browser_db

The Flywheel Database Manager provides all of the access that you would normally find with phpMyAdmin including running queries, updating values, importing SQL files, and exporting your entire database.

Note

For more information about accessing MySQL with the Flywheel Database Manager, see the help article: Database Access

File locking or flock

When a plugin uses the PHP function “flock”, it sends a request to the file system to “lock” a specific file and restricts other processes from changing that specific file. This causes a wait time while the plugin completes the operation.

When there are multiple file locks, the amount of latency begins to increase.

Our file system uses a multi-threading mechanism in order to deliver efficient input/output processing. Using the flock function is not compatible with many file systems and can result in site errors with the file system and possible downtime.

As a result, modern plugins have started to move away from using flock. For example, ShortPixel Image Optimizer versions 4.14.3 and lower utilize flock() (which results in latency) while newer versions no longer use flock.

The plugin Wordfence uses flock for their Advanced Firewall Feature, however they have the option to switch to MySQLi Storage Engine. Please contact our support team to help with this switch.

Due to the high likelihood of file system issues and latency caused by flock, we would highly recommend not using this PHP function on your site.


FAQ

Can I use PHP 7.0-7.3 on Flywheel?

No. These versions have been (or will soon be) deprecated and are no longer supported or maintained by the PHP Group, so they are not available on Flywheel.

Does Flywheel support ionCube?

No, Flywheel does not support ionCube on PHP 7.4 and above. The ionCube Loader module is not available on Flywheel due to the significant performance issues it causes.


Need help?

If you have any questions our Happiness Engineers are here to help!

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