Keep Your Website Secure and Fast: The Benefits of PHP 8.x

Design & Development

Understanding PHP: The Backbone of Your WordPress Site

What is PHP? It is the scripting language upon which WordPress, and all its associated plugins, are built. Think of it as the language websites use to talk to each other. It controls how information is displayed, forms work, and plugins function. Since late 2015, the world has been on PHP version 7.x. The language was updated to version 8.0 in 2020, but it has taken several years for theme and plugin developers to upgrade their programs to this new language base.

Imagine your website as a sleek race car. It looks fantastic, runs smoothly, and keeps you ahead of the competition. But what if you never changed the oil or checked the engine? Over time, performance would suffer and breakdowns would become inevitable.

The same goes for your website’s core technology: PHP. It’s the engine that powers WordPress, the platform behind millions of websites. Just like a car, keeping your PHP version up-to-date ensures optimal performance, security, and compatibility.

Why Upgrade to PHP 8.x?

Enhanced Performance

One of the most compelling reasons to upgrade to PHP 8.x is the significant boost in performance. Websites running on PHP 8.x can handle more requests per second compared to those on PHP 7.x, leading to faster load times and a better user experience. This improvement is crucial for maintaining visitor engagement and reducing bounce rates.

Improved Security

Security is a paramount concern for any website owner. As version 7.x is soon to become unsupported, it is critical that your site be upgraded to 8.x. Without updates, older versions of PHP become vulnerable to security breaches and exploits. By upgrading, you ensure that your site remains protected against the latest threats, safeguarding your data and your users’ information.

New Features and Better Code

PHP 8.x introduces a range of new features and improvements that make coding more efficient and reliable. These enhancements help developers write cleaner, more maintainable code, which translates to fewer bugs and a more stable website. This is particularly important for complex sites with multiple plugins and custom functionalities.

Reasons to upgrade NOW

We have waited until now so that most every viable theme and plugin supports this new version, lowering the risk of fallout. If your site is running older plugins that don’t support this new version of PHP, further remediation may be necessary. It’s essential to ensure that all elements of your site are compatible with PHP 8.x to avoid any disruptions or functionality issues.

As of July 31st, version 7.x will become unsupported, making it essential that your site be upgraded to 8.x.

Upgrade Made Easy (At NDIC, we’ve got every step covered for you)

  1. Backup Your Site: Before making any changes, ensure you have a complete backup of your website. This includes the database, themes, plugins, and media files.
  2. Check Compatibility: Use tools or plugins to check the compatibility of your themes and plugins with PHP 8.x. Update any that are out-of-date or find alternatives if necessary. WP Boom is a great tool that will allow you to easily detect any visual changes.
  3. Test on a Staging Site: Implement the upgrade on a staging site first. This allows you to identify and fix any issues without affecting your live site.
  4. Upgrade PHP: Once you’re confident everything is compatible, proceed with the upgrade on your live site. This can typically be done through your hosting provider’s control panel.
  5. Monitor Your Site: After upgrading, closely monitor your site for any unexpected behavior or errors. Address any issues promptly to ensure a smooth transition.

Upgrading to PHP 8.x is not just a recommendation; it’s a necessity. It ensures your site remains secure, performs well, and leverages the latest features and improvements. By keeping your PHP version up-to-date, you’re investing in the long-term health and success of your website.

At NDIC, we offer comprehensive website design, management, and managed WordPress hosting. Keeping your website’s PHP version up-to-date is a critical part of our service. We’ll handle the upgrade process seamlessly, ensuring your website remains secure, fast, and future-proof.

If you still have questions on this update, or would like to talk more about your website, contact our client services team!

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