Preparing Your WordPress Site for PHP 8+: A Guide for Improved Compatibility and Performance

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WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in the world, powering over 40% of all websites on the internet. With the recent release of PHP 8, it is important to ensure that your WordPress site is compatible with the latest version of PHP. In this blog post, we discuss how to prepare your WordPress site for PHP 8+ ensuring optimum compatibility and performance.

Step 1: Check your WordPress site’s compatibility with PHP 8+

Before upgrading to PHP 8+, it is important to check if your WordPress site’s themes, plugins, and custom code are compatible with the latest version of PHP. You can use the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin to scan your site for compatibility issues. This plugin will generate a report highlighting any issues found.

Step 2: Clone your WordPress site using Installatron

Before making any changes to your live WordPress site, it is recommended to create a backup. Installatron is a popular tool that allows you to create a clone of your WordPress site with just a few clicks, you can then use this as a development version. Once you have installed Installatron on your web server, follow these steps to create a clone of your site:

  1. Log in to your WordPress hosting control panel e.g. cPanel
  2. Navigate to the Installatron section and click on “Applications Browser”
  3. Find your WordPress site and click on “Clone”
  4. Follow the prompts to create a clone of your site

Step 3: Change the PHP version in the directory

After creating a clone of your site, it is time to change the PHP version in the directory. You can do this by modifying the .htaccess file in your site’s root directory. Add the following lines to the top of your .htaccess file:

<FilesMatch ".(php4|php5|php3|php2|php|phtml)$">
SetHandler application/x-httpd-alt-php81___lsphp

These lines tell Apache to use PHP 8+ for all PHP files on your site. Make sure to replace “lsphp” with your server’s PHP handler.

Step 4: Test your site

Once you have made the necessary changes, it is important to test your site to ensure that everything is working correctly. Check your site’s functionality, including any plugins or custom code that you may have installed.

Step 5: Update your live site

After testing your cloned site, it is time to update your live site. You can do this by following the same steps as above. Make sure to create a backup of your live site before making any changes.

In conclusion, upgrading your WordPress site to use PHP 8+ is essential for maintaining the security and performance of your site. By using Installatron to clone your site to a development version and modifying the .htaccess file, you can easily prepare your site for the latest version of PHP. Remember to test your site before updating your live site to avoid any potential issues.