4 Reasons to Keep PHP Up-To-Date on WordPress

WordPress

PHP

You down with updating PHP? Yeah, you know me.

Now that we have the geriatric millennials’ attention, let’s get down to business. PHP isn’t just another internet acronym taxing your limited brain space. (IYKYK, amirite?) It’s also a huge part of what makes the internet work! Did you know that 78.8% of all websites use PHP in one way or another? Keep on reading to learn exactly what it is and why it’s important to keep PHP up-to-date on your website! 

What is PHP?

PHP is a general-purpose programming scripting language, which is used to build WordPress. It’s actually been around so long that it’s been renamed! When it was introduced in the 1990s, it stood for Personal Home Page, but it’s evolved over the years, and now stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. Like other programming languages, it’s updated by the developers on a regular basis. Each of those updates is an improvement to the language, and that means each update is an opportunity to improve your website. 

Why should I spend time making sure PHP is up-to-date? 

1. PHP is essential to WordPress

WordPress is built using PHP, so keeping your PHP updated is an important part of your site’s maintenance. Some older versions of PHP aren’t supported, which means avoiding PHP updates could cause issues for your website. That’s right: your site could break. 

In other words, keeping PHP updated is just as important to keeping your site working as updating WordPress, your site’s WordPress theme, and all the plugins you’ve installed!

2. Updating PHP keeps your website secure

Because PHP is extremely popular, it’s also a popular target for hackers. PHP is maintained by its community, and new versions usually include new security features for additional protection. Let’s not be those people who never worry about cyber hooligans until there’s a breach. Practice proactive protection! Give yourself and your site’s visitors an added sense of security by keeping PHP up-to-date.

3. Updating PHP keeps your website running smoothly and may increase its speed

PHP is the language that translates all those 1’s and 0’s into your beautiful website. The more fluent that language becomes, the better it gets at translating. Your site may run even faster with each new version of PHP,  as PHP’s efficiency increases with every update. Having your site run quickly provides you with additional benefits:

Firstly, your website will be favored in SEO, as faster WordPress sites are rewarded by ranking higher in search results. Get those rank gains!

Secondly, a fast-running website retains visitors. We have shorter attention spans than ever; many people are inclined to click away if your site is slow. Keep your PHP updated to combat that bounce rate!

4. Updating PHP is easier than you think!

Even if today is the first time you learned what PHP stands for, if you can read this blog, you can probably update it through WordPress on your own. WordPress makes easy-to-follow outlines for using its tools, which is why we all love it for our DIY websites. 

If you get stuck or are scared you might lose your data, we’re here for you, too! Artsy Geek can guide you through any issue you have with your WordPress website, including keeping PHP up-to-date. We help with everything from content updates to building brand new websites, and anything you can think of in between. Let’s make some magic together!

About the Author:

Becca is an Artsy Geek project manager who likes to wear as many hats as possible. When she's not staring at a calendar or a spreadsheet, you'll find her punching up the content with little jokes and jazzy CTAs.

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