WordPress Hosting and PHP 8.0 – what you need to know
We’ve been fielding PHP 8 queries throughout much of 2022 and 2021, but with the recent EOL for PHP 7.4 we’re now starting to see increasing queries over our plans for version 8.0.
To confirm, WordPress itself has had “beta support” for PHP 8.0 since the 5.6 release of the software. Whilst WordPress.org has the nitty gritty details of what this means, the short story is that WordPress core is mostly compatible; albeit with the potential for possible undiscovered issues remaining.
WordPress is not used in isolation though, and the state of theme and plugin compatibility is entirely up to a complex web of developers. Because of this, a platform-wide switch to PHP 8.0 is not currently an option. Instead we’re currently offering individual users the option to switch to PHP 8.0 on a site-by-site basis at their discretion.
To facilitate this a “PHP Version” option has now been added to the customer control panel for WordPress hosting plans. This allows customers to switch their sites between PHP 7.4 and PHP 8.0 to test compatibility.
There are a number of caveats to this:
- PHP 8.0 is only available on our newer nspawn based platform. This was released this summer and all accounts have been created here since then.
- Older OpenVZ containers will only show the 7.4 option and will need to be migrated to the new platform in order to use 8.0. If you don’t see the option in your control panel, contact our support team and we can migrate you to the newer platform.
- PHP 8.0 has been chosen as it has fewer breaking changes than either 8.1 or the newest 8.2 release, thereby offering a better chance of maintaining compatibility.
- The process is reversible from the control panel so you can easily move back to 7.4, but there will be a few minutes of downtime while the switch happens.
- The PHP version is changed for the entire container. It will take effect for all sites within the container.
Any questions at all, drop us a line to email@example.com so we can advise.
The newest version I see is 7.3. Can my site be migrated over to PHP 8.0?
Drop a note to our support team Mark – firstname.lastname@example.org – we can see what you’re account needs.