February 15, 2024

WordPress PHP Upgrades: What you need to know

Navigating the Transition to PHP 8+ for Your WordPress Site

Web Design + Development

At Social Driver, we're committed to keeping you informed about the latest advancements that shape the digital landscape, including changes to platforms and tools we use with our clients. Recently, there has been an update in the world of WordPress: the transition to PHP 8+.

WordPress, a cornerstone of the web with its powerful content management system, relies heavily on PHP, the underlying programming language that powers its core functionalities. Just like any software, PHP undergoes updates and enhancements to bolster security, performance, and functionality. However, these updates can sometimes introduce compatibility challenges with existing codebases, necessitating careful planning and execution.

While your hosting provider, WPEngine, may continue to support your current PHP version for a bit longer, delaying the transition to PHP 8+ poses potential risks. The longer you postpone this upgrade, the greater the likelihood of encountering conflicts and security vulnerabilities on your site.

Understanding the importance of proactive maintenance, Social Driver is here to work with you every step of the way to ensure a seamless transition to PHP 8+. Here’s what we’re recommending to our clients:

  1. Initial Assessment and Coordination: Conduct a thorough assessment of your site(s) in order to identify custom code or dependencies. Determine the optimal time to initiate the upgrade.
  2. Staging Site Deployment: Prior to making any changes to a live site, create a staging environment to replicate your website. This allows for the PHP upgrade in a controlled setting, minimizing any potential disruptions to your visitors.
  3. Quality Assurance: Meticulously test the upgraded site to identify and resolve any conflicts or issues that may arise. The goal is to ensure a smooth transition and maintain uninterrupted functionality throughout the process.
  4. Deployment to Live Site: Once any conflicts have been addressed and compatibility verified, deploy the PHP upgrade to your live site. The priority is to minimize downtime and ensure that your website continues to operate seamlessly.

Following the upgrade, Social Driver is providing clients with ongoing support and monitoring to address any unforeseen challenges and optimize performance for long-term success.

In addition to the PHP upgrade, this is a great opportunity to highlight potential opportunities for enhancing your website's performance. Our development team can identify areas where image assets and page speed can be optimized, leading to improved user experience and search engine visibility.

We understand that each client's needs are unique, which is why we offer flexibility in our approach. Whether you choose to tackle both tasks simultaneously or prioritize the PHP upgrade first, we're here to accommodate your preferences and timelines.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the PHP upgrade or any other aspect of your website's maintenance and optimization, please don't hesitate to reach out. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the guidance and support needed to navigate these changes seamlessly.

If you’re not yet working with Social Driver, but are interested in how we can support your PHP transition or any other web design or development needs, reach out to new@socialdriver.com