Quick Tips

The importance of regular PHP updates

PHP in all its glory!

So often we have to address this topic in conversation with partners that we thought a quick summary was in order. Furthermore, with PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) affecting site performance, security and speed, the advantages of updating are substantial.

PHP is probably the most popular server-side language being used today. Around 82% of all viewable websites are built using PHP. These include Facebook, Wikipedia, and WordPress. It’s quite likely that your website probably wouldn’t even exist without PHP. Unfortunately, too many website owners overlook PHP updates, which can cause problems with security and performance issues down the line.

Firstly, a question – Are you not sure if you need to update your PHP? Well, the short answer is: if both or either performance and security are vital to you and your business, the answer is a resounding YES!


PHP is constantly evolving and improving. Each new version grants enhanced security and fixes, which can have significant impact on the stability of your setup. For those who do not update to the latest PHP, you could be putting your site in a highly vulnerable position, as older PHP versions are often entry points for hackers with malicious intent.

Performance & Functionality

PHP is the core of your website’s performance and functionality. Updates help keep your website scalable, increase page load time, and even go so far as to protect your site with built-in security. Sites that still use outdated PHP often experience performance issues, including slow load times, which is a vital metric for conversion and also SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Here, it’s worth bearing in mind that 40% of users serveyed indicated that they would abandon a website if a page took longer than 3 seconds to display fully. PHP 7 gives significant improvement in speed in contrast to its previous iteration.


Are you a WordPress user? Yes? Then you should definitely ensure that you upgrade. WordPress has increased the minimum PHP requirements, which means that if you are use an older version, you may find that your plugins or themes are now incompatible! Nothing is as unpleasant as getting your online presence tarnished by something so simple.

Current update statistics

WordPress actually recommends that website owners use PHP version 7.4 or later. According to WordPress, around 20% of WordPress users are still on PHP 5.6 or lower, which inevitably puts these users in a risky position.

Often this happens simply because business owners aren’t supported enough to ensure they understand the advantages of updating. Many often do not know what PHP version their website is using.

Also, updating can require significant amounts of time, effort, and resources to update to code that supports new versions of PHP (including various plugins and themes, among other things).

The result of all this is that too many sites are still running on outdated versions, which can and does lead to security issues and poor performance. The good news is that the team at NxTcoms can help. We always recommend you run the highest available PHP version, but even better news – we’ll keep track of that and update it all for you!

How to check my PHP version?

Your website’s PHP version is set by your web hosting provider, which you can check by:

Uploading the following PHP file to your server: <?php phpversion(); ?>
Running the php -v command prompt in your server command line;
Simply asking your hosting provider or WordPress agency

You can also even compare your version with the latest on the PHP website.

In Summary

You should keep your PHP updated with NxTcoms for the following reasons:

Security: The most up-to-date PHP versions are regularly patched against vulnerabilities. Outdated PHP and your WordPress website mean that you are more likely to be hacked.

Performance: Only the latest versions include bug fixes, which reduce site errors and improve user experience.

Speed: Updating WordPress sites to the latest version grants significant speed increases (4x) in many cases! This better for users and also improves your search engine rankings.

Features: Updated and brand new features are added to updated PHP versions, which give your website increased functionality. These features often make things much simpler for developers and save you time and money when your code needs updating.

As always, we’re here to help at NxTcoms. Reach out to us if you want NxT generation hosting for your business from a team that is committed to helping local businesses flourish.

Liam McGrath
Co-founder, Head of Operations

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