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Scheduled Upgrade to PHP 7.4

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With the PHP 7.3 branch reaching the end of support time-frame, we will be upgrading all servers that are still running PHP 7.3 (or older) as native versions to the next supported version, PHP 7.4.

The upgrade to PHP 7.4 as the system default version is scheduled to take place on Friday, the 28th of January 2022.

There are a few incompatibilities and new features that you or your developers should take into consideration. Please forward this announcement to your developer or the person responsible for your website, if necessary.

As a general rule, your website should be compatible with PHP 7.4 if all installed applications/scripts (e.g. WordPress, Joomla, etc.) are up-to-date. Updates should be applied at least once per month. If you haven't updated your applications/scripts since a long time, we strongly advise you to update soonest possible to assure full compatibility and to cover known security vulnerabilities. If you use WordPress, you can check the compatibility of your plugins/themes with the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin.

Why is this PHP upgrade necessary?

As PHP 7.3 has officially reached its end of support, this version no longer receives any official bug fixes or security updates. All security vulnerabilities that will be discovered and exploited after the end of support date will no longer be addressed by the PHP developers, which would be a risk for our server and your website. For this reason, we strongly discourage the use of PHP 7.3 or older, as well as the use of outdated scripts.

What effects could the upgrade have on your website and scripts?

If you have a rather old website and your applications/scripts aren’t up-to-date, this might cause compatibility issues, where PHP errors and warnings would occur. This usually leads to "500 Internal Server Error" or to limited functionality of the website. These errors are normally logged in the "error_log" files under your hosting account, under the folder where the respective incompatible script is located (e.g. inside "public_html").

Please check the "error_log" files under your account before contacting us for support. Kindly note that we cannot assist with issues related to third-party scripts, as it is out of the scope of our support, but in some cases we can try to help on a best-effort basis, as a gesture of goodwill.

How should you prepare for the upgrade?

You should assure that all your scripts are upgraded to the latest available version and are compatible with PHP 7.4. Not only is this required to assure compatibility with the latest PHP standards, but it’s also essential to protect your website from possible security vulnerabilities and attacks.

Many popular scripts (WordPress, Joomla, Magento, etc.) can be easily updated using Softaculous, our free script auto-installer, which you can find inside cPanel under the Software group. To import an existing installation, please follow the import guide and then run the upgrade by following the upgrade guide.

If you're a developer or have a custom website programmed in PHP, there's an official guide for migrating from PHP 7.3 to PHP 7.4.

How you can keep using an older, unsupported PHP version

For all clients who aren't prepared for the upgrade to PHP 7.4 yet, we offer the possibility to enable an older PHP version for your account, with the help of CloudLinux HardenedPHP. If you still require PHP 7.4 (or older) until you upgrade your scripts/website, you can switch back to older PHP versions under cPanel » Select PHP Version.

However, please note that it's highly recommended to use the latest supported PHP version for security and performance reasons. An older PHP version should only be enabled temporary, during the transitional phase until you upgrade your scripts/website.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this upgrade, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Update 28.01.22 12:40 CET: The upgrade to PHP 7.4 as the native version has been completed.

Furthermore, we have installed PHP 8.0 and PHP 8.1 as alternative versions, which you can enable in cPanel under "Select PHP Version" (as part of the CloudLinux PHP Selector) or under "MultiPHP Manager" (as part of cPanel). You can find more information about both of these here.

We have also deleted all "error_log" files in order to track any possible issues related to this upgrade better.

If you notice any issues that may be related to this upgrade, please let us know. However, please also make sure before that your applications / scripts are compatible with PHP 7.4.

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