When you buy a new computer or upgrade your operating system, older software applications may fail to run properly, leading to erratic behavior. In a way, that’s about to happen to websites running WordPress.
You see, WordPress has a few dependencies. And one of them is a programming language called PHP. Without PHP, your WordPress website would not run.
Version 5 of PHP was introduced in July of 2004. Since that time, there have been many updates. But support for this version of PHP will officially end entirely on December 31, 2018. When it does, you’ll be strongly encouraged, and ultimately forced, to upgrade to PHP 7 (which, by the way, was introduced in December 2015).
The problem is, many WordPress Themes and Plugins were designed and tested for PHP 5.x. While many commercial (i.e., premium) themes and plugins have been tested and will work well under PHP 7, some won’t. And the only way to really find out, is to try it.
This is the time to begin testing your website to make sure it will run properly under PHP 7. In some cases, it may be time to begin planning for a new website.
That said, there are actually many advantages of moving up to PHP 7 — including speed (generally 2x faster), less memory consumption, better security, and future support.
If you need help with your website, please request a consultation to get started.