PHP Updates and Removals

PHP Updates and Removals

It's been almost 2 years since I last wrote about major PHP updates to Reclaim Hosting's platforms. At the time the big move was setting our default PHP to 7.0. The transition from PHP 5.6 to 7.0 was perhaps the biggest breaking change of all and at the time 5.6 had already been deprecated for a long time but software (particularly some WordPress themes and plugins) had been slow to make the transition.

One of the great things about running a site on Reclaim when it comes to PHP is that you aren't limited to the version we run on the server (we have been defaulting to PHP 7.2 for the past year or so). With the MultiPHP Manager in cPanel you can adjust your PHP version allowing you to run the absolutely latest or something older for compatibility. But allowing older versions to continue running does pose a security risk for us and we've had to strike a balance between compatibility and security. At the time of the last post I promised we would likely remove support for PHP 5.6 in 1 year's time. We ended up giving it 2 years but that time has now come and we want to provide enough advance notice for users to test their systems.

PHP Updates and Removals

As a recap PHP 5.6 was end of life on January 1st, 2019. It has not received security updates in a year and a half. Meanwhile later versions of PHP not only improve on the security front but also have performance benefits. Even WordPress is recommending PHP 7.4. You can find full information on supported PHP versions from the PHP project on their website. PHP 7.2, our current default, is actually only receiving security fixes and no improvements and will be end of life at the end of this year prompting a need for these updates.

On January 1, 2021, Reclaim Hosting will make PHP 7.4 the default version on all of our servers. Users will have the option to downgrade as low as PHP 7.2 but no lower. We will be removing all support for PHP 5.6, 7.0, and 7.1 which have all been end of life for over a year. If your site is currently set to use one of these versions the site will go down when those versions are removed so we recommend spot checking your account now to ensure you are running later versions. It remains our strong recommendation that users attempt to run test and run their software with the latest possible PHP version. If you wish to follow the server defaults you can set your PHP version to "inherit" to use the server version.

FAQ

Q: I have a really important project hosted with Reclaim that does not support PHP 7.2. Can you make an exception so we can keep the project alive?
A: Unfortunately it is not safe for us to make exceptions to our systems for one-off cases like this. The best way you can ensure the long term sustainability of the project is to update the software to be compatible with more recent versions of PHP.

Q: My website is not really used anymore. If I can't get it updated what options do I have?
A: For archival purposes you may wish to convert your website to static HTML. There are some great recommendations on this approach in this community forum thread.

Q: Does this policy apply to institutional and managed hosting customers with their own servers?
A: Yes, this policy will apply to all servers managed by Reclaim Hosting regardless of customer. To ensure the security of our systems and meet SLA requirements we will not make exceptions.

Q: What about your new Reclaim Cloud offering?
A: This policy was already in place for Reclaim Cloud at launch time so it is not currently possible to run a PHP version lower than 7.2.

Q: Who do I contact if I have more questions?
A: You can reach out to support@reclaimhosting.com with all questions.

More PHP Updates

Traditionally Reclaim Hosting (like many hosts I'm sure) has trailed a bit behind on pushing bleeding edge versions of PHP for our clients. Maybe that's a symptom of how much of the web still has a ways to go in terms of compatibility, but we want to start pushing things a bit further on our end. At the end of last year we moved the default version of PHP on our servers to 7.0 and several years ago we added the ability for users to manage the PHP version for their sites (guide at https://community.reclaimhosting.com/t/changing-your-php-version/1619) and you can even specify this on a per domain/subdomain basis.

In the next 2 weeks we will be working to ensure that all of our servers have PHP versions as high as 7.3 available for users to optionally use with their sites. If you want to run bleeding edge new, you can opt in to that.

On July 30th 2019, we will make PHP 7.2 the default version for all clients who have not selected an alternative version. In your cPanel account you will find there is an option selected by default for a domain to run the "inherit" version which is whatever the server default is, and that is what will change.

For users who expect incompatibility issues, you have the option of keeping a domain on an older version of PHP, as far back as 5.6. We have to strongly recommend that you not do this due to PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 being end of life and no longer receiving security updates. Newer versions of PHP not only have greater security, there are performance benefits with improved caching and procedural functions to be gained as well. In many cases ensuring you are running the most recent version of whatever software or content management system you use as well as plugins and themes is enough to ensure compatibility, and in fact in some cases like Grav and Moodle, newer version require PHP 7.1+ to work.

We will not be removing PHP 5.6 in the short term, but users should be aware that it is end of life and in the not too distant future will be seen as a very high security risk so there is no better time than now to ensure that your sites are compatible with newer versions of PHP.

As always we are available to answer any questions so please do submit a support ticket if you have any!

More PHP Updates

Traditionally Reclaim Hosting (like many hosts I'm sure) has trailed a bit behind on pushing bleeding edge versions of PHP for our clients. Maybe that's a symptom of how much of the web still has a ways to go in terms of compatibility, but we want to start pushing things a bit further on our end. At the end of last year we moved the default version of PHP on our servers to 7.0 and several years ago we added the ability for users to manage the PHP version for their sites (guide at https://community.reclaimhosting.com/t/changing-your-php-version/1619) and you can even specify this on a per domain/subdomain basis.

In the next 2 weeks we will be working to ensure that all of our servers have PHP versions as high as 7.3 available for users to optionally use with their sites. If you want to run bleeding edge new, you can opt in to that.

On July 30th 2019, we will make PHP 7.2 the default version for all clients who have not selected an alternative version. In your cPanel account you will find there is an option selected by default for a domain to run the "inherit" version which is whatever the server default is, and that is what will change.

For users who expect incompatibility issues, you have the option of keeping a domain on an older version of PHP, as far back as 5.6. We have to strongly recommend that you not do this due to PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 being end of life and no longer receiving security updates. Newer versions of PHP not only have greater security, there are performance benefits with improved caching and procedural functions to be gained as well. In many cases ensuring you are running the most recent version of whatever software or content management system you use as well as plugins and themes is enough to ensure compatibility, and in fact in some cases like Grav and Moodle, newer version require PHP 7.1+ to work.

We will not be removing PHP 5.6 in the short term, but users should be aware that it is end of life and in the not too distant future will be seen as a very high security risk so there is no better time than now to ensure that your sites are compatible with newer versions of PHP.

As always we are available to answer any questions so please do submit a support ticket if you have any!

More PHP Updates

Traditionally Reclaim Hosting (like many hosts I'm sure) has trailed a bit behind on pushing bleeding edge versions of PHP for our clients. Maybe that's a symptom of how much of the web still has a ways to go in terms of compatibility, but we want to start pushing things a bit further on our end. At the end of last year we moved the default version of PHP on our servers to 7.0 and several years ago we added the ability for users to manage the PHP version for their sites (guide at https://community.reclaimhosting.com/t/changing-your-php-version/1619) and you can even specify this on a per domain/subdomain basis.

In the next 2 weeks we will be working to ensure that all of our servers have PHP versions as high as 7.3 available for users to optionally use with their sites. If you want to run bleeding edge new, you can opt in to that.

On July 30th 2019, we will make PHP 7.2 the default version for all clients who have not selected an alternative version. In your cPanel account you will find there is an option selected by default for a domain to run the "inherit" version which is whatever the server default is, and that is what will change.

For users who expect incompatibility issues, you have the option of keeping a domain on an older version of PHP, as far back as 5.6. We have to strongly recommend that you not do this due to PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 being end of life and no longer receiving security updates. Newer versions of PHP not only have greater security, there are performance benefits with improved caching and procedural functions to be gained as well. In many cases ensuring you are running the most recent version of whatever software or content management system you use as well as plugins and themes is enough to ensure compatibility, and in fact in some cases like Grav and Moodle, newer version require PHP 7.1+ to work.

We will not be removing PHP 5.6 in the short term, but users should be aware that it is end of life and in the not too distant future will be seen as a very high security risk so there is no better time than now to ensure that your sites are compatible with newer versions of PHP.

As always we are available to answer any questions so please do submit a support ticket if you have any!