In December 2018, PHP 5.6 and PHP 7.0 will reach their end of life. WP Engine has been hard at work ensuring the upgrade to PHP 7.2 is as smooth as possible for all of our customers.
Below is a list of commonly asked questions regarding PHP 7.2 and WP Engine’s plan to upgrade our customers:
- When will PHP 7.2 be available on WP Engine?
- Why should I switch to PHP 7.2?
- How can I ensure PHP 7.2 compatibility?
- How do I upgrade to PHP 7.2?
- Can I stay on PHP 5.6/7.0?
- Where can I learn more about PHP 7.2?
When will PHP 7.2 be available on WP Engine?
It already is! For our new accounts and customers, PHP 7.2 servers are provided at sign up. For our existing customers, the upgrade to PHP 7.2 is available without either a migration or DNS update required!
Why should I switch to PHP 7.2?
The end of life process is a standard part of the release cycles of PHP (the open source programming language which powers WordPress). Once a version has reached end of life, PHP will cease to provide security support for it. The upgrade to version 7.2 comes with both active and security support from PHP, which will cease to be provided for previous versions.
PHP 7.2 offers potential performance benefits as well. Some customers on our platform have experienced up to 40% faster page speed, as well as greater memory efficiency, upon upgrade. Additionally, PHP 7.2 provides enhanced security via the inclusion of the Argon 2 password hashing function and the introduction of the Libsodium cryptography library.
How can I ensure PHP 7.2 compatibility?
While WP Engine is running platform-wide testing to gauge compatibility of our customers’ active themes and plugins, we still recommend running your own tests too. This is to ensure compatibility across all features of your website.
You can utilize the WP Engine PHP Test Driver tool from your User Portal to demo your website on PHP 7.2 before upgrading. You can also take advantage of our developer workflow for recommended best practices. A separate option is available for those not yet on the Sites Experience.
If you find that advanced development assistance is needed, work with your existing development agency or consider reaching out to one of the consultants or agencies in our Partners directory.
Can I test PHP 7.2 on Legacy Staging?
For our customers using Legacy Staging Environments, we’ve developed a specific development workflow, as PHP Test Drive is not available within this interface.
What does “deprecated” mean?
You may see some “Deprecation” notices in your Apache error logs after running our PHP Test Drive tool or after upgrading your Environment to version 7.2. In this sense, “deprecated” refers to PHP features that are being replaced by different, updated features.
With every new PHP version, there are some deprecated functions and elements. These aspects of your website will work for now, but will be removed in later versions of PHP, giving developers time to update their code. You can find a list of the deprecated features in PHP 7.2, as well as their recommended modern solutions, on the PHP website.
How do I upgrade to PHP 7.2?
After confirming compatibility, you can self-serve your upgrade through the WP Engine PHP Selector, available to you through your User Portal. This tool not only allows you to upgrade each Environment individually, but also without a migration. No migration means no DNS update is required!
This self-serve upgrade will be available to you until the WP Engine automated upgrade window (communicated via email to the Owners and Technical Contacts on your account) arrives.
If your plan type includes a Customer Success team, we recommend reaching out to your Customer Success Manager in order to develop an upgrade plan for your account.
Will I have to update my DNS after upgrading?
No DNS updates are necessary! Your websites will remain on the same server, with the same IP address and CNAME. Only the PHP version will change.
What if the upgrade to PHP 7.2 breaks my website? Can I go back?
Can I upgrade just one Environment at a time?
Can I upgrade my entire account at once?
Yes! Please reach out to our 24/7 Technical Support team for assistance.
What if I don’t want to self-serve my upgrade?
You don’t have to! However, we do recommend testing for compatibility on all of your live sites regardless.
WP Engine will automatically upgrade all of your Environments to PHP 7.2 according to the timeline emailed to your Account Owners and Technical Contacts. Please ensure your Environments are 7.2-compatible prior to your scheduled upgrade window.
What is WP Engine’s automated upgrade plan?
We will begin upgrading the Environments deemed 7.2-compatible in phases, beginning December 2018. This upgrade is in-place, meaning no migration necessary and, therefore, no DNS update required.
WP Engine has conducted a PHP 7.2 compatibility scan across all of our customers’ active themes and plugins. Environments expected to experience errors on PHP 7.2 will be placed in a later upgrade window, but all sites must be upgraded by March 2019.
We will send reminders and pre-upgrade notices to ensure your Account Owners and Technical Contacts are well-informed of the upgrade timeline for your account. We will also re-validate compatibility prior to each Environment’s upgrade and postpone if needed (up to the March 2019 deadline).
Please check your email or reach out to your Account Owners or Technical Contacts for more information about your account’s custom upgrade timeline. Make sure the contacts on your account are up to date.
Can I stay on PHP 5.6/7.0?
For the sake of your websites’ security, we cannot continue to provide PHP 5.6 or 7.0 on our platform past March 2019.
Where can I learn more about PHP 7.2?
You can use the following resources to learn more about PHP 7.2: