November’s Big Update
Don’t say I did not warn you, but PHP 8 is upon us! The new version of PHP is coming this winter for full release. For one, I do not think popular web server companies will be ready for the full rollout this winter and they will be doing a lot of updating before they will give customers the ability to update to this new version. From what I am seeing, there is so much more promise coming with this version. But the preparations are going to be coming up. All customers of mine will be ready for a full rollout coming this November 26th of this year. I am excited for the rollout because there is so much more improvements in terms of performance.
Lets get started of the importance of updating your version of PHP. Some people are on 5.6, and they need to upgrade to PHP 7.2 at the oldest in order to be compliant and secure, for now. Some functions from PHP 5.6 are even going to be deprecated and so for even 7.0 and 7.2 which came out 6-7 years ago now. 5.6 has been considered unsupportive and unsecure since 2018 in the winter. 7.0 and 7.1 is now no longer supported. 7.2 has not been on active support since last year and will run out of security support this November.
What could happen if you do not at least go to version 7.4? Well with 7.3 losing Active support this year, it is obvious that 7.4 is your best bet. If you do not upgrade, your site could go down or have massive security issues that could destroy your business online. Upgrading to a supported version is extremely recommended by developers and hosting providers. If your theme on WordPress or PHP build is not compatible with the new features and demands in PHP 8 or even 7.4, your site will break. So make sure you upgrade accordingly based on compatibility and make any fixes before hand. Having a staging environment would be a great way to test this as well.
My recommendation is to move to PHP 7.4 to play it safe as you will have active support until one year after PHP 8’s release. As a freelance developer and designer, it is my responsibility to have secure, safe and up to date code on all cylinders for my customers. If you need help upgrading to PHP 7.4 or PHP 8, feel free to contact me at anytime.
On the programming side, I am a very big fan on how they have added a more efficient way to use constructors. Basically, it is only syntactic sugar to create value objects or transfer objects. Instead of making class properties and a constructor for them, 8 can now combine them in one. I also like the new static return type and throw expressions as now error handling has become much easier in PHP. Another thing to note is Inheritance with Private Methods written in your class. There are also different functions and interfaces added with this version making PHP development easier. It seems the PHP team have been watching and they are now integrating the many requests that PHP Programmers have been wanting for years. I for one am excited for PHP 8, how do you feel?