Why You Need to Update to Php 7.2

PHP is a widely used open source general-purpose scripting language that can be embedded in HTML. Conventionally used as a server-side scripting language to write dynamically generated web pages. The scripts are executed at the server and sent to the browser as plain HTML. It is important to update PHP to the latest generation to help make a site faster and protect against any errors. One of the most important benefits of updating to the latest generation of PHP is the support and added security benefits that it will bring. As PHP 5.6 and 7.0 are reaching their end of life, here is a breakdown of PHP 7.2.

Advantages

PHP is compatible with almost all servers and database standards used worldwide. Offering fast performance backed by a large open source network, PHP can be used for a variety of purposes, such as generating dynamic pages and files. It allows you to store and manage information in a site database while also allowing the collection of information from a web form or emails to users. Through its many security features, PHP allows data to be encrypted and restrict unauthorized access to your website.

PHP 7.2

The latest update to version 7 included important security improvements, performance enhancements, and some exciting new features. The latest version PHP 7.2 follows with marked improvements in security and performance. PHP 7.2 brings updates Libsodium and Argon2, two security functions within the latest generation. These functions are used for encryption, decryption, and password hashing. PHP 7.2 keeps up to date with the most recent methods in cryptography, which is vital for security. The improved algorithm in these updates means that is is much harder and more computationally intensive for attackers to obtain users passwords or access.

benchmarks have proved that a site can receive substantial performance benefits from the latest generation. PHP 7.2 runs 20% faster than 7 and 250% faster than PHP 5.6 which over 40% of WordPress users are currently operating on. PHP 7 can also handle twice as many visitors as PHP 5 can, using the same amount of memory. This performance benefit alone makes PHP 7.2 a worthy upgrade for most of our clients, decreasing load time while increasing the number of visitors a site can handle at one time.

Support

Each PHP branch goes through the same life cycle after it’s initial release and receives support for two years with bugs and security issues actively being fixed during this period. After the initial period, there is an additional year when only critical security updates are provided. These critical updates or changes are only released on an as-needed basis and are dependent upon issues being found and reported. Finally, three years after initial release, the branch will no longer be supported in any way. PHP 5.6 will no longer be supported starting January 1, 2019, reaching the end of the three-year cycle with PHP 7 moving into the critical security phase. More reason to make the switch to PHP 7.2 right away to reap the benefits of continued active developments and support.

Upgrade

The simplest way to upgrade to PHP 7.2 is by asking your hosting company to update it for your account. Depending on your hosting company it may even be a simple process and they may even provide a guide that will help you walk through it yourself. It is important to ensure that your website is compatible with PHP 7.2 before asking your hosting company to update it for your account. WP Engine has a PHP compatibility plugin that will scan all active themes and plugins to spot any potential issues. This will help you ensure that your site is compatible with PHP 7.2 and that your existing themes or plugins will not break your site after upgrading to PHP 7.2. After the update is complete, you may have to update your A record as your IP address may have changed.

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