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PHP 8.1 Upgrades and End of Life for PHP 7.3 and Below

1st December 2022

With the official release of PHP 8.1 being in 2021, we now consider it stable enough to develop new websites on. Whilst we’ll continue to use 7.4 or 8.0 by default we’re happy to offer this option for our Business Hosting customers. PHP 8.1 brings new features, performance improvements, better syntax, and more.

PHP versions status on the Spotlight Studios platform

At the moment, we provide the options of PHP 7.4, 8.0, and 8.1, with PHP 7.4 being the default version. Several older PHP versions have been recently deprecated on our platform, meaning we won’t select those when we are creating a new server for our Business Hosting customers. Nothing to worry about, existing servers and applications on deprecated versions remain functional until their End of Life (EOL) date. See more details on dates in the table below.

PHP versionsDeprecation Date*End Of Life (EOL)**
5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.315th Aug 202228 Feb 2023

Deprecation Date*: The date a PHP version became unavailable for new servers on our platform. For servers already using a deprecated PHP version, it will remain functional and supported until its End Of Life date.

End Of Life (EOL)**: The PHP version is retired and removed entirely from our platform. The remaining applications on the retired PHP will be automatically migrated to the latest stable version. This may cause instability for applications that haven’t been tested.

Why should I update to the latest supported PHP?

Security is the most obvious benefit of updating to a stable, supported PHP version. PHP versions do not receive security updates after their EOL date, creating high-risk vulnerabilities for attackers to exploit. In the case of WordPress, you will also see a noticeable improvement in speed with newer versions (7.4 and on), bringing faster execution times and less memory usage.

What happens if I don’t upgrade before the EOL date?

If the PHP version reaches End of Life before you have the chance to update your applications, then we will automatically update the server to the latest stable version. To avoid unexpected errors with your websites and applications, we advise you to test and upgrade them well before the EOL date.

Does this affect Me?

Before the end of 2022, Spotlight Studios will be reaching out to all affected clients providing ample time to take action.

  1. If we designed your website AND you’re a webmaster client then then you do not have to worry, we take care of everything.
  2. If we designed your website AND you’re NOT a webmaster client, then there will be fee to update your site in order to prepare for this change.
  3. If we didn’t design your website and we just provide hosting, then we can provision you a staging environment free of charge for your developers to review and test your application on PHP 7.4 (or higher on request).

What if I can’t update and wish to continue running an unsupported version of PHP?

We do not allow this on our Professional or Business Hosting solutions. Professional Hosting is shared so we need to ensure the security of all clients on that server. Whilst Business Hosting is a dedicated solution, it’s also our responsibility to manage the security and we cannot do this on an EOL service. You can upgrade to a Bespoke plan where we can tailor a legacy solution for a period of time, however this is not a recommended long-term solution, and we would advise you make plans to upgrade or re-develop your legacy website/application in the near future.

If you require any help during this process, do not hesitate to contact our technical support via Live Chat or Support Ticket.

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1st December 2022
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