Just as your car needs oil changes, tire rotations, and other maintenance to keep it running smoothly and safely, your website’s software, plugins, themes and security features need updates to ensure everything functions smoothly, safely and securely.
And one of the things that your site’s upgrade should include is the move to PHP 8.2.
Upgrading to version PHP 8.2
W3Tech data shows that 77.5% of all websites or web applications use PHP as their server-side programming language.
PHP continues to evolve and brings many essential features with each new release. It’s no different with PHP 8.2, released in November 2022. With a ton of cutting-edge features and improvements, this version will help your website operate at peak performance.
It doesn’t stop there, though. You can enhance your web asset’s security and speed (15% faster than PHP 7.4!), ensure optimal syntax and execution, and boost your online visibility.
Unfortunately, if you continue to run on outdated and unsupported versions, you’re opening your site and web applications up to severe security threats. It’s like leaving your car unlocked overnight and hoping no one steals your belongings.
Benefits of upgrading to PHP 8.2
If you still need to figure out why you should update your website’s PHP, here are a few benefits and why it’s a task you should pay attention to.
The security of your business should be a top priority. Often, we hear about companies getting hacked and their personal information being compromised. Trust is lost as a result, and the business is also harmed.
A website or web application that runs PHP 8.2 will be less prone to hundreds of known vulnerabilities, which makes it harder for attackers to exploit your site.
It’s important to know that the authority behind PHP no longer backs older versions like 5.x (includes PHP 5.4, 5.5 and 5.6), meaning there are no more support or security patches. You don’t want to risk having a site or application with open vulnerability.
Most people want quick access to their information when they visit a website. If yours takes too long to load, it will take them only a short time to find another site. You should notice a faster load time and a lower bounce rate after updating PHP 8.2. Additionally, this can improve your ranking on Google.
Adapting to the latest technological developments may require newer PHP versions. PHP is often used with content management systems, themes, and plugins, but it may only be compatible with them if updated.
The PHP development community may not support older PHP versions, so they’ll no longer receive updates and bug fixes. Managing your website and fixing any issues can become difficult because of this.
Neglecting a PHP upgrade could cost you big
Hosting companies are slowly phasing out older PHP versions due to their incompatibility with plugins and web applications and the liability risk they could face directly, even though it’s the client’s or asset owner’s responsibility. It’s already challenging to find a hosting company supporting PHP 5.5 and 5.6. Many hosting companies are forcing the move to PHP 8.0.
Keep in mind that the longer you postpone the transition to a new PHP version, the more expensive it may be for you later on when you need to upgrade quickly. You could encounter higher maintenance costs, decreased website performance, possible cyberattacks, and loss of customer trust. The gap in incompatibility will grow, and you’ll need to address more issues.
And depending on your industry and location, you may be subject to regulatory and legal obligations related to website security and data privacy. You may face legal and financial penalties if you neglect to upgrade your website’s PHP and comply with these requirements.
What to keep in mind when you move to PHP 8.2
If you’re considering upgrading to PHP 8.2, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Communicate with your hosting company or professional web developer if you need clarification during the upgrade process. They’re familiar with PHP and can guide you throughout the process to ensure everything goes well.
- Test your website or web application before and after the upgrade. Testing your site or web application will ensure that the upgrade process doesn’t disrupt anything and that your website and app continue functioning as expected.
Keep your website or web application healthy and secure
It’s essential to prioritize website security and performance by regularly upgrading your website to a newer version. Not doing so can lead to unwanted expenses and downfalls for your business, including security risks, performance issues, maintenance costs, and legal and regulatory compliance issues.
While PHP 8.2 upgrade on the server is relatively easy and can be done by your hosting company, the main challenge is dealing with compatibility issues with a website or web app. Depending on what version your website is running, the process can be complex and time-consuming, as it involves “renovating” the website.
To ensure a smooth and successful upgrade to PHP 8.2 followed up by a code modernization, it’s crucial to work with an experienced web development company like Convergine. Our team will assist with fixing compatibility issues, from conducting a thorough audit to making necessary changes to your codebase. If you need help with upgrading your website to PHP 8.2 and related code adjustments or just want to learn more about this service, contact us today.