PHP is one of the languages WordPress uses to build and maintain WordPress. Newer versions of PHP are both faster and more secure, so updating will have a positive effect on your site’s performance.
Before you do any updates/ upgrades on the Dashboard of your website make sure you have a decent backup plugin: a backup that will automatically backup your entire website on a daily basis and a backup that allows you to restore your entire website at a click of a button.
Ensure you have a good backup and that your website has been recently backed-up. I use VaultPress for back and restore.
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Ensure your WordPress, Plugins and Themes are Up-to-Date
- You have the latest version of WordPress installed
- the plugins are all up-to-date
- your themes are also up-to-date.
How to do this?
In your site’s Admin Area go to Dashboard > Updates (and update whatever needs updating).
What follows is a bit technical. The best option will be for you to contact the company hosting your website and ask them to have PHP 7.3 (or higher if available at the time of your call) installed in your server.
As mentioned above, ensure that prior to updating your PHP, you have the latest version of WordPress, you have updated the plugins and themes and that you have a proper backup should anything go wrong and you need to restore your website.
My website is hosted with BlueHost , a US-based company. To check my PHP I have to sign in to WHM and on the drop-down menu I can choose the version of PHP I need:
With BlueHost I can easily verify the PHP version my website is using:
When speaking to your hosting company, ask them if PHP is automatically updated on your site. Should this be the case you won’t have to worry about manually updating PHP.