Do you want to update the PHP version of your WordPress site?
Using the latest PHP version for your WordPress website improves performance and website speed. However, sometimes, your web hosting company may use an older PHP version.
In this article, we will show you how to easily update the PHP version of your WordPress website.
Here is an overview of the topics we will cover in this article:
- Why Update the PHP Version of Your WordPress Site?
- How to Check the PHP Version in WordPress
- Updating the PHP Version on Your WordPress Site
- Changing PHP Version in Bluehost
- Changing the PHP Version in Hostinger
- Changing PHP Version in SiteGround
- Changing PHP Version in HostGator
- Changing PHP Version in WP Engine
- Changing PHP Version in Other WordPress Hosting Environments
- Frequently Asked Questions About Changing PHP Version
Why Update the PHP Version of Your WordPress Site?
Updating the PHP version can significantly improve the performance of your WordPress website.
Each PHP version improves performance by more efficiently running processes and reducing memory usage. This impacts your WordPress site speed by making it faster and reducing the load on your server.
WordPress is developed using an open-source programming language called PHP. At the time of writing this article, it requires at least PHP version 7.4 or greater. The current stable version available for PHP is 8.2.10.
Most WordPress hosting companies use PHP versions 7.4 or higher to meet the minimum WordPress requirements.
Normally, WordPress hosts automatically update the PHP version in the background. These updates do not affect most websites; you may not notice any change.
Occasionally, a plugin on your WordPress website may misbehave due to incompatibility with a newer PHP version. In that case, some website owners might want to switch back to the older PHP version until a plugin update fixes that issue.
How to Check the PHP Version in WordPress
WordPress makes it easy to check the PHP version used by your host.
Go to the Tools » Site Health page in the WordPress admin area and switch to the ‘Info’ tab.
Next, you need to scroll down a little and click to expand the ‘Server’ tab.
This section shows server information, including the PHP version used by your server.
As you can see in the screenshot above, our demo website uses PHP version 7.4.21.
Updating the PHP Version on Your WordPress Site
All top WordPress hosting companies allow you to easily change the PHP version used by your website.
We will show you a few examples from top hosting providers.
Changing PHP Version in Bluehost
First, you need to log in to your Bluehost hosting account dashboard and click on the ‘Advanced’ tab in the left column.
This will open the advanced cPanel dashboard.
From here, you need to scroll down to the software section and click on the ‘MultiPHP Manager’ icon.
On the next page, you need to select your website,
Then, pick the PHP version that you want to use.
Click on the ‘Apply’ button to save your changes.
Bluehost will now start using the PHP version you selected for your website.
Changing the PHP Version in Hostinger
First, log in to your Hostinger account dashboard and switch to the ‘Websites’ tab.
From here, you need to click the ‘Manage’ button next to the website where you want to change the PHP version.
This will take you to that particular website’s hosting setup.
Next, navigate to the Advanced » PHP Configuration menu from the left sidebar.
Hostinger will now show you available and supported PHP versions to choose from.
Select the PHP version you want to use and click the ‘Update’ button to save your settings.
Changing PHP Version in SiteGround
If you are using SiteGround hosting, then here is how you will update the PHP version of your WordPress website.
First, you need to log in to your SiteGround account dashboard.
After that, switch to the ‘Websites’ page and click on the ‘Site Tools’ button next to your website.
Next, you need to go to DEVS » PHP Manager from the left column.
From here, you can choose to use SiteGround’s Ultrafast PHP or Standard PHP. You can also change the PHP version number by clicking on the ‘Edit’ icon.
This will bring up a popup.
You first need to select ‘Change PHP version manually’ under the ‘Set PHP Version’ option.
After that, you will be able to select your PHP version from a dropdown menu.
Don’t forget to click on the ‘Confirm’ button to apply your changes.
Changing PHP Version in HostGator
First, you need to log in to your HostGator hosting account dashboard and then click on the ‘Hosting’ section.
You then need to click on the ‘cPanel’ link under your website.
This will launch the cPanel dashboard, where you can manage advanced settings for your hosting account.
You need to scroll down to the Software section and click on the ‘MultiPHP Manager’ icon.
Next, you need to select your domain name and then choose the PHP version. Don’t forget to click on the ‘Apply’ button to save your settings.
Changing PHP Version in WP Engine
WP Engine is a managed WordPress hosting company, which means they automatically upgrade the PHP version for you. However, you can also manually upgrade and downgrade the PHP version for your websites.
Simply log in to your WP Engine dashboard and click on the PHP version next to your website.
This will bring up a popup where you can choose to downgrade or upgrade the PHP version of your WordPress website.
Choose an option and click on the ‘Change PHP version’ button.
Changing PHP Version in Other WordPress Hosting Environments
Most WordPress hosting companies use similar hosting dashboards with some customizations. Usually, you will find the MultiPHP Manager icon in the cPanel dashboard.
If you cannot find it, then you can contact your WordPress hosting provider and ask them to change the PHP version of your website.
Frequently Asked Questions About Changing PHP Version
Following are some of the commonly asked questions from our users about updating the PHP version of their WordPress websites.
1. What should you do after updating the PHP version?
After updating the PHP version for your WordPress website, you may want to ensure that everything is working as expected.
We recommend visiting your website to see if there are any immediately noticeable issues.
After that, you can log in to the WordPress admin area of your website.
Ensure your website uses the latest version of WordPress and all your plugins and themes are updated. See our beginner’s guide on how to safely update WordPress.
Lastly, it is always recommended to make a complete backup of your WordPress website.
2. What do I do if a PHP update breaks my WordPress website?
It is unlikely that a PHP update will break a WordPress site. However, with the abundance of free and paid plugins, there is still a chance that a single line of poor code can result in any of the common WordPress errors.
First, you must ensure it is not a plugin or theme causing this error.
To do that, you need to deactivate all your WordPress plugins and switch to a default WordPress theme.
If this does not solve your issue, then contact your web host’s support team. There is a good chance that the issue you are facing will already be on their radar, and they will be able to assist you.
If your web host is unable to help you out, then you can downgrade your PHP version using the methods described above.
We hope this article helped you learn how to update the PHP version of your WordPress site. You may also want to see our guide on how to create an email newsletter or our comparison of the best live chat software for your website.