A Complete Guide: How to Update PHP on WordPress for Enhanced Performance and Security

PHP is a crucial component of the WordPress platform, powering the dynamic functionality and powering the backend of your website. Keeping your PHP version up to date is essential for ensuring optimal performance, security, and compatibility with the latest WordPress features and plugins. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of updating PHP on your WordPress site. By following these instructions, you’ll be able to take advantage of the latest PHP improvements and enjoy a more efficient and secure website.

1. Check Your Current PHP Version:

update php in wordpress

Before proceeding with the PHP update, it’s important to determine your current PHP version. To do this:

a. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
b. Go to “Dashboard” > “Updates”.
c. Scroll down to the “PHP version” section.
d. Take note of the PHP version displayed.

2. Ensure Compatibility:

Before updating PHP, it’s essential to ensure that your WordPress site and plugins are compatible with the latest PHP version. Here’s what you can do:

a. Check Plugin Compatibility: Visit the WordPress Plugin Directory and search for each of your installed plugins. Look for information about PHP compatibility in the plugin’s description or support section. If a plugin hasn’t been updated in a while or doesn’t mention PHP compatibility, consider finding an alternative or contacting the plugin developer for clarification.

b. Confirm Theme Compatibility: If you’re using a custom or third-party theme, visit the theme developer’s website or support forum to check for PHP compatibility information. Ensure that your theme is compatible with the PHP version you plan to update to. If not, consider updating your theme or seeking support from the developer.

3. Backup Your Website:

Before making any updates, it’s crucial to create a backup of your WordPress site. This ensures that you can revert to a working version in case anything goes wrong during the PHP update process. You can create a backup using a WordPress backup plugin or by manually exporting your site’s files and database.

4. Update PHP Version:

update php in wordpress

To update the PHP version on your WordPress site, follow these steps:

a. Contact Your Hosting Provider: Reach out to your hosting provider and inquire about the process of updating PHP. Some hosting providers allow you to update PHP directly from the hosting control panel, while others may require assistance from their support team.

b. Choose the Desired PHP Version: Once you have access to the PHP settings, select the PHP version you want to update to. It’s recommended to choose the latest stable release for optimal performance and security.

c. Apply the PHP Update: Follow the instructions provided by your hosting provider to apply the PHP update. This may involve selecting the PHP version from a dropdown menu or modifying the configuration file. If you are unsure, contact your hosting provider’s support team for guidance.

5. Test Your Website:

After updating PHP, it’s essential to thoroughly test your website to ensure everything is functioning correctly. Here are a few things to check:

a. Frontend Functionality: Browse through your website’s pages, test forms, check navigation, and ensure all the frontend features are working as expected.

b. Backend Functionality: Log in to your WordPress dashboard and test the backend functionality, such as updating posts, installing plugins, and managing settings.

c. Plugin Compatibility: Pay close attention to any plugins that may have compatibility issues with the new PHP version. If you encounter any errors or issues, consider reaching out to the plugin developers for support or exploring alternative plugins.


Updating PHP on your WordPress site is a crucial step in ensuring optimal performance, security, and compatibility. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can safely update PHP on your WordPress site and enjoy the benefits of the latest PHP improvements. Remember to check compatibility, create a backup, and thoroughly test your website after the update. Stay up to date with PHP versions to keep your WordPress site running smoothly and efficiently.

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Check Your Current PHP Version
  3. Ensure Compatibility
  4. Backup Your Website
  5. Update PHP Version
  6. Test Your Website
  7. Conclusion

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