If your site still runs on PHP 5, we have some bad news: your code is out-of-date and unsupported. If you don’t upgrade, you could get hacked, and believe us when we say that’s pretty hard to beat on the “sucks-ometer”. PHP 5 reached its End Of Life — that’s EOL if you’re an irredeemable nerd like us — on January 1st, 2019.
This means no more support and no more updates. You might wonder why that matters; if everything you have works, why upgrade to PHP 7? Because no more updates mean no more security updates. Any vulnerabilities discovered after a product’s EOL leave you wide open to all manner of bad actors. You’re an albino bunny in a dark wood during a rabbit season that never ends.
You might be okay. Probably not, though.
And of course, there’s another layer of complexity. Problems can arise when updating your version of PHP, as PHP 7 isn’t backwards compatible. If your theme and/or plugins have also not been updated recently, they can “break” or cause some weird errors on your website, if they use a PHP version 5 function that doesn’t exist in PHP version 7. This is what we call depreciation.
Why thigs changed if everything was fine?
This is a normal part of web development. This is a normal part of software development. This is a normal part of every aspect of information technology. I’ve discussed before how security is basically an arms race and that same principle applies here.
PHP supports their releases for 2 years starting at release plus 1 more to address these sorts of security issues as they arise. 3 years after its release, that version of PHP reaches its EOL.
Some people who don’t have perspective on the information technology world may be put off by the fact that PHP doesn’t support their own legacy products, but most tech companies stop security updates on heavily dated software at some point. Microsoft recently announced that Windows 7 will no longer receive security updates after January 14, 2020.
Coming from the other side of it, the uninitiated may also wonder why their developer didn’t put PHP 7 on their site when they first built it. The answer is that it might not have been out yet at the time of your site’s development. So basically if you are not yet updated to latest version 7 you are in risk of losing your website or compromising its database beyond recovery.
PHP 7 is also very fast, which can greatly reduce the loading time of your website. It will help you with your website speed optimisation processes.
If you have not done so already, it is time to do so now. If you cannot, call us on 091 450 817 and we will do that free of charge for you if you move hosting to our high-tech provider.
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