CodeNewbie Community 🌱


Posted on

PHP 8.3: How to Update the PHP Version of Your WordPress Site

Known for its user-friendly nature, PHP regularly introduces significant changes with each update, and version 8.3 is no exception.

Each new PHP version comes with a specialized feature set aimed to support the users and provide them with a seamless user experience. For example, PHP 7’s speed optimization update helped gain higher rankings on the SERPs, and PHP 8 revolutionized how programmers work.

Continuing its legacy, PHP surprised enthusiasts with the release of PHP 8.2 on November 24, 2022. Now, we have WordPress PHP 8.3, released on November 23, 2023.

PHP 8 lets you write concise code and build more exemplary applications with exciting changes and improvements to the earlier RFCs. Considering the new improvements, it would be a crime not to upgrade your current PHP version to PHP 8.3 on your WordPress site.

This blog focuses on upgrading a WordPress website to PHP 8.3 using the Cloudways platform. Currently, Cloudways offers PHP 8.2, but the platform will soon support the upgrade to PHP 8.3.

Before we jump towards the steps to upgrade your PHP’s latest version on WordPress PHP compatibility, we will give a brief PHP 8.3 overview to help you get acquainted with the update.

PHP 8.3 – An Overview

PHP (an acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor) is a popular open-source scripting language used by coders worldwide for web and application development. This high-level programming language is easy to learn, hence preferred by starters and novice coders. Still, it is also complex enough to cater to the needs of a professional programmer.

PHP 8.3, the most recent PHP update, introduces new features, functions, and methods for PHP developers. It includes explicit typing of class constants, deep cloning of readonly properties, and enhancements to randomness functionality. Alongside these additions, PHP 8.3 brings performance improvements, bug fixes, and general cleanup.

> Looking for the best GoDaddy alternatives? Cloudways gives you cover with the blazing fast hosting and optimal performance.

Previously, PHP had released 8.2 in November 24, 2022, ending the support of PHP 7.3. Currently, PHP supports only 8.0, 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3 versions.

PHP 8 Compatibility With WordPress

With every update come compatibility issues. If you want to have a hassle-free PHP 8 experience, we recommend opting for the latest WordPress version 6.4.

If your website is running on an older WordPress version and you’re concerned about potential errors during an upgrade, there’s no need to worry. Cloudways offers a staging environment where you can test your website, ensuring a smooth transition before upgrading your live website to a newer WordPress version.

If you get any errors in the staging environment, then we’d recommend getting the help of a professional WordPress developer to diagnose and debug the errors before you move ahead with the update.

PHP 8 – Themes & Plugins Compatibility

Every change comes with its challenges, and PHP 8 is no exception. While PHP 8 brings extensive features to enhance user experience, it can lead to compatibility issues with themes and plugins.

It’s important to note that the blame doesn’t lie with PHP; rather, themes and plugins need to be updated to align with the latest software versions. If your favorite plugin or theme is causing problems with PHP 8, consider the following solutions:

Rollback to the previous PHP version (though it may be a less exciting option).
Contact the support team of the theme or plugin to address compatibility issues for a smoother experience with the latest versions.

PHP 8 on WordPress: Installation Prerequisites

Before upgrading to latest PHP version, it’s wise to check the current PHP version that your WordPress site is running.

Using an older version?

You can upgrade the PHP version to enjoy the new features and improvements. But not so fast! Remember, safety always comes first. When we talk about security, we consider the “what ifs.”

What if your site is not compatible with the latest version, and you end up losing or corrupting your data in the process. Nope, you don’t want that.

Don’t lose hope – With Cloudways, you can create a clone of your website to test it on the latest version.

If the clone website works smoothly after upgrading to the latest PHP version, you can move ahead with updating your actual site. This portion will list out the steps to create a clone website to test it under PHP 8.2 (currently the latest version of PHP on Cloudways).

Top comments (1)

tomdanny profile image
Tom Danny

PHP 8.3: How to Update the PHP Version of Your WordPress Site" guides WordPress users through the process of updating their site's PHP version. With PHP 8.3 offering improved performance and security enhancements, pen staying updated is crucial for optimal website functionality. The tutorial walks users through the steps required to check their current PHP version, assess compatibility with PHP 8.3, and safely update their site's PHP version. By following these instructions, WordPress site owners can ensure their websites benefit from the latest PHP features while maintaining compatibility with plugins and themes, ultimately enhancing performance and security.