PHP Update Required warning in WordPress

If your WordPress site was built a long time ago, when PHP 5 was in use (or PHP 7.1), you may now be seeing this warning when you login to your WordPress dashboard. It says, “PHP Update Required,” and goes on to tell you that your site is running on an insecure version of PHP.

Image of a PHP update warning displayed by WordPress

It’s important that you don’t ignore this warning. The insecure versions of PHP won’t be receiving any patches or updates.  They are vulnerable to exploits.

Why doesn’t my hosting company just update my PHP? A lot of hosting companies held off on updates until now because many sites will simply break when updated. Some WordPress themes, especially custom-coded themes, were created some years ago, while PHP 5 was still current.  Some PHP syntax has changed since then, which means old code won’t function.

How will I know if my theme will break when I update PHP?  You won’t know until you try it, unfortunately.

If your site was constructed more than 6 years ago, please get in touch with us to work with you to update your PHP and your theme, of needed.