WordPress 6.4, was released on November 7th and the update included over 100 enhancements aimed at improving website performance, making it a crucial update to install.

Update to PHP 8.1 or 8.2 today

Our strong recommendation is to make sure your website hosting provider us using the latest versions of PHP on their servers. PHP 8.1 or 8.2 are currently the latest versions. The importance of considering PHP compatibility for security and functionality in WordPress is very high. Learn more about it from WordPress.org news.

Recommended PHP version for WordPress 6.4
It’s recommended to use PHP 8.1 or 8.2 with this upcoming release. Please refer to the Hosting page for more detailed information, including a few known issues. Reach out to your hosting company to explore PHP upgrade options.


Why it matters

Keeping your WordPress and your hosting environment compliant matters because staying with the latest WordPress version and compatible PHP ensures optimal site performance, security, and functionality.

Will the updates break my website?

It is quite possible that your website, if it is older than 3 years or if it is using old or non-compliant software, will be impacted by the WordPress and/or PHP updates. What we are seeing most often is that an organization’s website breaks because the theme or the plugins they are using:

1) have not been kept up-to-date
2) are not compatible with the latest version of PHP

In cases where the theme is no longer compatible with the latest technology, we are recommending the installation of a new, modern and durable theme, and that usually requires the rebuild of your website’s pages.

If you are not sure whether or not your existing website is ready for the updates, your best course of action is to contact your website hosting provider and ask them:

1) Is my website hosting account — its servers — are running PHP version 8.1 or greater
2) If the latest version of PHP is not running, will my website break if PHP is updated to its latest version.

In our experience, a quality hosting company will know ahead of time whether or not your website will break if the latest version of PHP is installed on your website’s server. For example, DreamHost sent out this notice about updating their customers’ website hosting accounts to PHP 8.x:


According to our records, the following DreamPress site on your account are still using PHP 7.4:

  • [yourwebsite.com]

We’re emailing to let you know that we’re pausing forced upgrades to PHP 8.1 until after the holidays.

We planned to automatically upgrade all DreamPress sites to PHP 8.1 by the end of this month — October 2023 — to ensure everyone has the best performance and experience going into updates to the new WordPress 6.4 in November. Unfortunately, our data indicates that we still have a number of customers, including yourself, where forcing the PHP upgrade would still result in a broken site at this time.

Because we understand that this festive season can be a very important time of year for many website owners, we felt it would be optimal to resume the upgrades after the holidays. So, we’ve arranged to pause the upgrade process until after the New Year.

To ensure the best site experience for your visitors, you’ll need to be on the latest, most performant version of PHP. To that end, we still recommend that you make the necessary updates to your site(s) to ensure compatibility with the latest versions of PHP. Fortunately, with DreamPress you can simply upgrade and test PHP on staging and push it to the live site via the control panel. We’re Here To Support You!

Whether you choose to upgrade yourself, hire a third party, or hire our Pro Services team to help you upgrade to a supported version, we strongly encourage you to take action as soon as possible.

We continue to provide multiple options to assist you based on your needs:

  • Do It Myself
  • Hire a Professional

Contact Us!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact DreamHost’s Technical Support team!


The Happy DreamHost PHP Upgrade Robots

Your website is at risk
Your website, [yourwebsite.org], is currently running PHP version 7.4.
Updates for this PHP version are no longer issued by the PHP project. In practice this means that any bugs or security vulnerabilities discovered in your PHP installation will not be fixed, and that your website is potentially vulnerable to several known security threats.
On February 28, 2023, we’ll be making an attempt to upgrade your site’s version of PHP to v8.1.
We’re constantly working on making improvements that we hope will reduce or eliminate any upgrade-related complications. We plan to upgrade your site and run a series of automated tests immediately afterward to ensure your website is working as intended.
  • If it passes all of our tests, it will stay on PHP v8.1 but you will want to inspect it yourself right away because our tests can’t catch everything. If this happens you can change PHP back easily from the panel.
  • If it fails, we’ll automatically revert your site back to PHP v7.4 and notify you.
We want to stress the importance of getting PHP upgraded as soon as possible. We’ve made the upgrade procedure a quick and simple process, but we understand that you may also need to update your site’s code for it to be compatible with newer versions of PHP.

Note, specifically, in the above message from DreamHost:

“…you may also need to update your site’s code for it to be compatible with newer versions of PHP.”

Most often, this means themes and/or plugins (a.k.a. your site’s code) that are no longer compatible with the latest version of PHP.

Technology marches on, and your website is required to keep the cadence.

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