What to do about PHP update

Update PHP

If you own a website there is a good chance it may be running PHP.

PHP is a common language for building websites. PHP releases regular updates that include changes, and security fixes. A PHP update is required to make sure the site is running smoothly. Critical web applications may not work as expected or may stop functioning altogether if the server and code are not compatible. After a PHP update website issues don’t mean is anything wrong with the site or the server; the code is just out of date and no longer compatible.

I recommend updating PHP with each security fix release. Both the changes in PHP need to be reviewed and the site code checked for compatibility. A PHP update is especially important if the site has E-commerce or user account features. The latest security fixes are required for PCI compliance.

UPDATE:
PHP 5.6 will End of Life in December 2018.
PHP 7.0 will End of Life on December 1st, 2018

How often should I update PHP?

If the site is using shared hosting, you’re at the mercy of the server administrator. A shared hosting PHP update is not done for every version. Mission critical applications or sites requiring PCI or HIPAA should not be hosted on a shared hosting environment, more on that later.

If the site is hosted on the cloud or dedicated servers, then updates are controllable. Monitor the server and make sure PHP is updated for security fixes. If you’re on a VPS you may be somewhere in the middle (locked into a specific version, but on your schedule).

Managed PHP update

If you don’t want to worry about PHP updates and you have a VPS, Cloud or Dedicated Server, contact us and we can manage and take care of this for you. Not only will we update the server and PHP patches, but we can test the code and make sure it doesn’t break between PHP releases.

I have shared hosting. How can you help?

If you have a shared hosting plan with Digital Canvas, we will notify you of updates to the shared hosting environment and we do make special offers to our shared hosting customers for a PHP website check-up.

PHP 5.6

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