PHP 5.3 and 5.4 are no longer supported, so they won’t get fixes for security vulnerabilities and bugs. Unfortunately, most PHP projects still use these versions. From ServerGrove, we highly recommend you all to upgrade to supported versions of PHP, especially 5.6 and 7.0.

PHP 5.5 is not actively supported but it will receive fixes for security vulnerabilities until July, 2016. PHP 5.6 will be supported until August, 2016 (security fixes until August, 2017), while the shiny PHP 7.0 will get two more years of support and three for security issues.

Changing the version of PHP

We are working on providing PHP 7.0 in all our plans, but if you are using an unsupported version, please change to PHP 5.6 as soon as possible. Changing the version of PHP in our shared hosting plans is fast and easy. For newer versions of Plesk go to Subscriptions > your_subscription > Hosting Settings, and select the PHP version under “Web scripting and statistics”:

Changing the PHP version from Plesk

For older versions of Plesk, the version of PHP can be changed by adding the following line to your .htaccess file:

AddHandler application/x-httpd-php56 php

Change “php56” by “php55” or “php54” for PHP 5.5 and 5.4 respectively.

Migration guides

While PHP tries really hard to keep backwards compatibility, you may have to perform some changes to adapt your project to a newer version. To make the work easier, there are migration guides to adapt your codebase:

Checking if your code is compatible with PHP 5.6

Not sure if your code is compatible with PHP 5.6? You can use PHP_CodeSniffer + PHPCompatibility to get a report of incompatibilities for different versions of PHP.

Photo by philipsharp. CC BY-SA 2.0.