How to Update PHP Version in WordPress: The Definitive Guide

Are you looking for an easy guide on updating the PHP version in WordPress? You’ve come to the right place! Updating PHP can be a bit daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the process, but don’t worry – we’re here to help! This blog post will walk you through the entire process step-by-step.

PHP and WordPress

PHP and WordPress are two essential elements of a website. PHP is a programming language that WordPress uses to create dynamic content. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that helps you create and manage your website.

While PHP is an essential part of WordPress, it’s important to keep it up-to-date for security and performance reasons. Outdated PHP versions can make your website vulnerable to hacking attempts. Additionally, updating PHP can improve your website’s speed and performance.

Benefits of Updating PHP to the Latest Version

Now that we’ve gone over PHP and WordPress let’s talk about the benefits of updating PHP. As we mentioned earlier, increased security is one of the main benefits. By keeping your PHP version up-to-date, you can help protect your website from potential hacking attempts.

Another benefit of updating PHP is improved speed and performance. PHP is constantly improving, and newer versions are typically faster than older ones. Updating PHP can help your website run more smoothly and efficiently.

Lastly, updating PHP can help you take advantage of the latest WordPress features. WordPress constantly adds new features, and some require PHP version x or higher. By keeping your PHP up-to-date, you can ensure that you’re able to take advantage of all the latest WordPress features.

What You Should Do Before Updating PHP

Now that we’ve gone over the benefits of updating PHP let’s talk about what you should do before you update.

Backup Your Site

The first thing you should do is create a backup of your website, which will help you restore your website if something goes wrong during the PHP update process.

There are a few different ways you can backup your wordpress site. One way is to use a WordPress plugin like BackupBuddy or VaultPress. Another way is to manually backup your WordPress files and database.

We recommend backing up both your WordPress files and database. It will give you a complete backup of your website, and you can restore it if something goes wrong.

Check PHP Compatibility

The second thing you should do is test your website on a staging server. A staging server is a copy of your live website that you can use for testing purposes, and this is a great way to test the PHP update without affecting your live website.

You can test the PHP update on your local WordPress installation if you don’t have a staging server. To do this, you’ll need to install WordPress locally on your computer. Once you install WordPress, you can update the PHP version and test your website to see if everything works as expected.

Once you’ve backed up your website and tested the PHP update, it’s time to update PHP in WordPress.

Update Plugins and Themes

Next, you should update your WordPress theme and plugins to the latest versions, and this is important because some themes and plugins may not be compatible with the new PHP version. By updating them before you update PHP, you can help ensure that everything will continue to work after the PHP update.

To update your theme and plugins, log into your WordPress admin dashboard and go to the Updates page. From there, you should see a list of available updates. Select all the items you want to update and click the Update button.

That’s it! You’ve successfully updated PHP in WordPress.

How to Update the PHP Version of Your Website

Now that you’ve taken care of the crucial preparations, it’s time to update PHP! Updating PHP in wordpress is relatively simple, but we’ll walk you through it step-by-step to be sure.

You can do this in a few different ways, and we’ll walk you through each method below.

Update PHP Via the WordPress Admin Dashboard

The first way you can update PHP is via the WordPress admin dashboard. You’ll need to log in to your WordPress site and go to the Updates page. On this page, you’ll notice that WordPress x.x requires this version of PHP x.x or newer.

Click the Update Now button, and WordPress will update your PHP version to the latest stable release. Once the update is complete, you can test your website to ensure everything is working as expected.

Update PHP Via FTP

If you can’t update PHP via the WordPress admin dashboard, you can edit it via FTP. To do this, you’ll need to connect to your website using an FTP client like FileZilla. Once connected, you’ll need to edit the wp-config.php file and change the PHP version number.

After changing the PHP version number, you can save the file and upload it to your website. Once the upload is complete, you can test your website to ensure everything is working as expected.

Update PHP Via cPanel

If your web host uses cPanel, you can update PHP via the cPanel dashboard. To do this, log in to cPanel and click on the PHP Version Manager icon. On this page, you can select the new PHP version you want to use and click the Update button.

Once the PHP update is complete, you can test your website to ensure everything is working as expected.

Do I need to update my PHP version?

While there’s no need to update PHP if everything is working fine, we recommend keeping your PHP version up to date for security and performance reasons.

What happens if I don’t update PHP?

If you don’t update PHP, your website may become vulnerable to security threats. Additionally, your website may not be able to take advantage of new features and performance improvements with newer PHP versions.

Will updating PHP break my website?

In most cases, no. However, we recommend backing up your website before updating PHP to be safe. Additionally, you should update your wordpress theme and plugins to the latest versions before updating PHP, and this will help ensure compatibility with the new PHP version.

I’m not sure which PHP version to use. What should I do?

If you’re unsure which PHP version to use, we recommend contacting your web host. They should be able to help you choose the PHP version that’s right for your website.

I’m still having trouble updating PHP. What should I do?

If you’re still having trouble updating PHP, we recommend contacting your web host for assistance. They should be able to help you troubleshoot any issues you’re having.


We hope this guide has helped you learn how to update PHP in WordPress. Updating PHP is relatively simple, but it’s crucial to ensure you do it right to avoid breaking your website. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Happy updating! Thanks for reading!

Scroll to Top