PHP 5.6 and 7.0 have reached their end of life and security which means it will no longer be patched and supported on our Cloud Sites hosting after December of 2018. Because of the inherent vulnerabilities of unsupported software, we must remove these versions from our platform. To learn more about the supported versions of PHP, see PHP Supported Versions.
Keeping your websites current as technology changes is a big challenge. One we are glad to help guide you with. Due to the end of life of PHP 5.6 and 7.0, any websites in your account using this technology need to be transitioned to PHP 7.2 before February 2019. Your website technology can be found on the Website Details tab of the Control Panel. To help you transition, we are providing you with PHP 7.2 test links. This article will note the most significant changes between the versions.
With the upcoming move from PHP 5.6 / 7.0 to PHP 7.2, we want to prepare you by spreading awareness of deprecated code or code changes to help you prepare for making changes on your websites. Cloud Sites will not support/process PHP 5.6 and 7.0 starting February 2019.
Below is a list of major changes between PHP versions moving from PHP 5.6 or 7.0 to PHP 7.2 that we commonly see used for Cloud Sites:
Features that have been deprecated or removed:
- mcrypt: The mcrypt module was deprecated and removed in 7.2. See mcrypt. The mcrypt library supported a wide variety of block algorithms such as DES, TripleDES, Blowfish (default), and other cipher modes. Since the mcrypt library has not seen any updates since 2007, it was marked as deprecated in PHP 7.1, then removed from PHP 7.2. The alternative solutions for block algorithms are openssl and sodium modules, which are provided in our PHP 7.2 installation. For more information on these alternatives, see OpenSSL and Sodium.
- memcache: This feature was deprecated and removed in 7.2. For sites using memcache for caching or session handling, Cloud Sites has begun using the current feature memcached (with a "D") extension instead of the memcache (without a "D") extension beginning with PHP 7.0. For more information, see memcached.
- xmlrpc: The xmlrpc extension is not enabled by default in PHP. However, it was included in the Cloud Sites PHP installations up until PHP 5.6. While we're removing support for it in PHP 7.0 and beyond, there are several other modules and extensions that offer support for XML. The xmlrpc php interface in WordPress is still valid.
- ZendGuard Loader: The developers have not added Zend Guard to PHP 7 (see Zend Guard and PHP 7). All PHP installations on Cloud Sites still provide the ionCube Loader for customers who would like to have PHP encoding available.
Features that will have changes:
- imagick: The imagick version will be moving from 3.2.0RC1 to 3.4.3. There were bug fixes that were implemented. For a full list of changes, please refer to the changelog.
- MySQL: For those sites connecting to MySQL databases, PHP 5.6 also marks the end of the MySQL functions. These functions were deprecated in PHP 5.5 and removed completely in PHP 7.0. It is recommended to use either the mysqli or PDO_MySQL extensions, both of which are provided in our PHP 7.2 installation. These replacements also exist in our existing PHP 5.6 installation, which means that you can test replacements without upgrading technology versions.
If you have any other questions or concerns about the change , you may also want to review PHP's documentation on backward incompatible changes when changing between the following versions:
PHP 7.2 Compatibility with Major CMS(s):
Many customers use Content Management Software (CMS) to maintain their sites. Below is the list of our most Common CMS’s in Cloud Sites and their compatibility with PHP 7.2.
- WordPress - Compatibility of PHP 7.2 was officially added to WordPress with 4.9.3, which was released February 5th, 2018. Third party plugins and extensions will have their own release cycles, so you will need to check the developer's documentation.
- Joomla - Compatibility of PHP 7.2 has technically been available since 3.8.0, but they're still working on PHP 7.2 compatibility fixes as of 3.8.6, and the Joomla developers themselves still recommend updating to PHP 7.1 instead of PHP 7.2.
- Drupal - Compatibility of PHP 7.2 was officially added as of Drupal 8.5.0, which was released March 7th, 2018, and is the recommended version from that release forward. Third party plugins and extensions will have their own release cycles, so you will need to check the developer's documentation.
Testing your Sites on PHP 7.2:
You and your developers can use the test links to check your websites for issues. These new test links are useful since they can preview how a site operates under PHP 7.2 without yet committing to the technology change.
In your browser, manually alter the 'php56' or 'php70' segment of your present test link to be 'php72'.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What happens if my site doesn't work under this new test link?
It is often effective to troubleshoot warnings/errors that appear in the php_errors.log file, to update CMS and plugin versions, or seek alternatives to older applications that have been abandoned by their developers.
- Can I test cron tasks in a similar way?
We don't have a way to test existing cron tasks in your PHP 5.6/7.0 sites. If suspected of not being ready for php7.2, a cron task could be recreated under a site with a newer PHP version and run from there.
Updating your Technology
Once you are satisfied with your testing, sites can be updated with the 'Change Technology' option in the Cloud Sites control panel.
Please be aware that sites cannot be switched back to the older versions once you move off of PHP 5.6 or 7.0. So only move once you are sure you have fully tested your site.