As we saw last week, the WordPress push towards upgrading to PHP 7 is gaining steam. While this effort as a whole is very good, it’s leaving site owners on older, legacy hosting platforms in a bit of a bind.
Why the move to PHP 7 is good
Version 7 is the first major release of PHP in over a decade. There are a lot of new features that won’t mean much to most website owners, but the one that will: SPEED. This new version focuses on performance and reduced memory consumption. Benchmarks show that PHP 7 is twice as fast as PHP 5.6.
Problems for shared hosting customers
While updating to PHP 7 is a great idea, there are lots of website owners who are on shared hosting accounts with hosts like GoDaddy, Host Gator, 1&1, etc. While many of these hosts have plans on updating their older hardware, it’s not an easy task and they have to consider the consequences… How many sites may break if they update server software. And if they offer upgraded packages that include PHP 7, the incentive to update older hardware is even less.
How to get your shared hosting company to upgrade
The simple fact is, you may not be able to. If you’re on a $1.99 / month plan there just might not be enough incentive for a host to go to the bother. But… you might be able to wield a little power by threatening to leave. A recent client of ours was in a similar situation. She needed her site to run PHP 5.6 at a minimum, and her host wouldn’t upgrade. She decided to shop around and found a similar package with another host that had PHP 7 included. Her current host was suddenly able to help migrate her to new hardware at no additional cost. Badda-bing!
What if the threat of Taking Your Talents to South Beach aren’t persuasive? Then it’s time to take matters in your own hands:
- Find a new host. There are hosts who offer shared hosting packages that include updated versions of PHP. Chat with us if you need help finding one.
- Upgrade your current package. Most hosting company offer a variety of hosting options that included modern, upgraded software.
Thankfully,finding a new web host is a fairly trivial task these days. There are lots of options and availability. Migrating a site is fairly easy as well if you know the ropes. If you don’t, chat us up and we’d be glad to help. Migrations are included in our Essential Support and we’d be happy to support your transition.