The developers of PHP (The PHP Group) will end the support for the deprecated versions of PHP 5.6 and 7.0 at the end of 2018. The newer versions (PHP 7.1 and 7.2) will be further developed and supported. Therefore both of the older versions will not be supported and/or updated with security-updates in 2019 (Version History on php.net).
Official support at hostclick until end of march 2019
Past experiences show that older versions of PHP will still be carried and developed further by the PHP-Community for a while, depending on their popularity. That is why we will enable PHP 5.6 (and 7.0) past the eol-date on our systems until the end of march 2019. This way you will be able to choose from all 4 current versions in the Control Panel until then. Should this timeframe not match your needs, please let our supportteam know.
The benefits of PHP 7.2
We do explicitly reccommend the use of PHP 7.2. This version is the most recent and will be supported and developed by the developers of PHP for a long time from now (eol is expected to be the end of 2020). Alternatively you could switch to PHP 7.1, but this version will most likely only be supported until the end of 2019. Besides all the security benefits, PHP 7.2 is also the better choice in terms of performance. Especially with Content Management Systems like Wordpress, which gains a noticeable increase in performance.
The change to PHP7.2
The current PHP-version is visible (and changeable) in the Web-Settings of your website. If you use one of the older versions (5.6 oder 7.0), you should make sure that your applications and websites work with the current version (7.2) as soon as possible.
Generally speaking, all current CMS and webapplications should be compatible with PHP 7.2. In most cases, incompatibility is due to outdated versions of plugins or components and can be resolved easily by updating those to the newest version. Should a problem occur when using PHP 7.2, you will be able to switch between all available versions until march 2019, so your applications will work reliably.
If you have created applications manually, the official migration guides from PHP might be helpful:
Should you run into technical or time-restrictive issues which prevent you from updating until March 2019, please contact our supportteam. We will gladly assist you.
Important: Regular updates avoid stress and protect the nerves
Keeping up with the technolgy helps. If you update your applications and websites regularly you will not only have the upper hand in terms of security, but it also reduces the general risk of updates greatly because the distances between the versions are not too long. The changes between concurrent versions (i.e. from 2.5 to 2.6 or from 4.8.2 to 4.8.3) are well monitored and tested and should work without problems. Also most themes and plugins should be able to handle small version-changes without any issues.
The risk increases greatly if you fall behind and the pending updates accumulate. Once small and fixable issues can suddenly stack up to become a challenging maze of errors. In such a case, things like PHP-version changes can put you in a tight spot and may cause a lot of unneccessary stress. That is why we recomend to regularly update your applications in small increments to avoid the bigger jumps in versions and the potential problems that might come with it.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
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