What is PHP 7.2 and why do you need it?

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The widely used PHP 5.6 and 7.0 are no longer the standard when it comes to coding a website. While the Innov8 team has been diligent migrating sites into this change, we know that there are still a lot of questions out there about what and why PHP 7.2 is so important to your website.

 

What is PHP?

When learning something new, it’s always best to start with the basics. PHP, short for “PHP: Hypertext Processor”, is an open source code that is used for web development. PHP has grown to be one of the most popular ways to code websites. If your website was developed through WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla, it contains PHP.

As with all things in the world of tech, improvements, tweaks, and updates are made often. PHP has just seen its most recent update 7.2 and web hosting companies are making this a new standard for the websites they are hosting.

So what does this mean for sites that are still running older versions of this programming language?

 

Why Your Website Needs PHP 7.2

Things are about to get scary for just a moment. But, it’s important to know the negative impact that having an older version of PHP will do to your website. Each version has what is called a cycle of life. Upon launch, each version receives two years of active support for bugs and security. Then, one year of critical support until finally no longer receiving any support.

So, in short, outdated versions of PHP no longer receive updates and aren’t as secure as the most recent. This causes a buggy website, broken plugins, and complete loss of security. Users will take notice of these issues along with search engines, causing SEO to tank (read more on SEO tactics here). So, be sure to update to the latest version to keep users and ensure compatibility with plugins and support.

 

What’s New About PHP 7.2

Sorry about all of the bad news but, now it’s time to be excited about the new upgrades that are coming! If your website was running off 7.0 or 5.6 there are going to be major security improvements when you make the change to 7.2. Not only will your website and Content Management System (CMS) be supported by web hosts again but this update comes with stronger password hashing. This makes it harder for user passwords to be hacked into. There are also stricter development standards for 7.2. With higher standards to the code, there are fewer chances for holes in the overall security and performance of your website.

Another thing you’ll notice will be an increase in overall speed. Websites with the latest version run about 250% faster than those still on PHP 5.7. Loading speed is something every user notices when going to a website so this perk will be a big one to your users both returning and new.

If you have any more questions about upgrading to PHP 7.2, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll be happy to answer them.

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