If you have a WordPress site then you’ve probably heard about PHP many times. It is a server side programming language that WordPress is written in. It is not mandatory to learn it in order to run or manage a WordPress site unless you want to develop a custom feature or make changes to your site.
On the other hand, as a WordPress site owner, you should know what version of PHP is used on your site so you can make sure your site is secure, running efficiently, and compatible with plugins and themes you’re planning to to use.
Upgrading to PHP 7 – Is It Worth It?
According to WordPress statistics, most users are still running their WordPress sites on PHP 5, meaning that WordPress works fine with this version of PHP. So why should you do an upgrade when everything seems to be working fine?
Well, there are several reasons to move to PHP 7 environment. First of all, think about the security of your site. For example, let’s take PHP 5.4. Did you know that PHP 5.4 has not been patched since 2015. You can learn more about these updates here. By using an outdated version of PHP, you make your site more vulnerable to security attacks.
Secondly, the biggest advantage of using PHP 7 is performance improvements. Did you know this version of php is nearly twice as fast as PHP 5.6. Now answer this question: do you want to have a fast loading website?
Thirdly, PHP 7 is required by WordPress. Please check WordPress requirements on the official website.
And lastly, you want to avoid any future critical issues with your plugins and themes because of the incompatibility with the PHP version you’re using.
When You Should Not to Switch to PHP 7
The main problem is that PHP 7 is not backwards compatible so if something will go wrong then reverting to PHP 5.6 will not work for you. Before updating your PHP version you need to keep in mind that not all your plugins, themes and other code are necessarily compatible with the version of PHP you want to use.
In short, outdated plugins, themes and other code can break your site. To ensure a seamless transition to a newer version, your plugins, themes and other code have to be updated and checked for compatibility before upgrading.
For example, you can use a tool like WP Engine’s Compatibility Checker to detect what parts of your site are compatible with PHP 7 and what parts can cause issues. Also, you can ask plugin or theme developer if their products are compatible with PHP.
If you want to boost your site performance and have a stable and secure version of PHP then I highly recommend updating to PHP 7. Of course, first you need to make sure that your site is compatible with PHP 7.
If you find that the plugin or the theme or any other code you are using on your site is not compatible with this version of PHP then you should contact a developer to help you resolve this incompatibility issue. Also you should check with your hosting provider if PHP 7 is available on your environment.
By the way, the Goedemorgen theme is compatible with PHP 7 so you can freely use it on your site.