WordPress 5.6 is Coming: PHP 8 is Already Here

Enhanced performance and better security are the benefits of the recent release of PHP 8. Developers will find the improvements useful and might find it challenging as well. The new version includes some house cleaning by removing disapproved functions that were being allowed with work-arounds in the previous versions. Of course, the benefit is a more secure and stable programming language – but, as with all upgrades, some bugs may occur.

How does this release affect my WordPress website?

We recommend not updating to PHP 8 just yet to allow WordPress core and plugin developers to update their code and release new PHP 8 compatible versions.

What are some of the changes I will see?

From a functional/user standpoint, there won’t be any obvious changes. The PHP language is further maturing and requiring more strict development standards, which will improve security for the long term. 

What is the timing of the changes?

Upgrading the PHP version on your website hosting service is a manual step and not automated as incompatibilities and errors are common with this change. Byte Technology recommends testing your site on the new version first on a staging environment and identifying and applying fixes there before going to production. Please contact us when you’re ready for this upgrade.  

It’s also important to ensure your website is running on a currently supported version of PHP https://www.php.net/supported-versions.php . It should be on PHP version 7.3 or higher at this point. Contact us if you’re curious about your site’s status and we’d be happy to take a look.

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