1. Peter Cralen (@PeterCralen)

    Why people pay to hosting companies which use 5.2 or 5.3? Can not imagine what “quality” of service is behind it.
    It will be probably same reason, why so many people use outdated version of WP or why buy/use junky bloated themes on their sites. DARKNESS ;)
    This kind of projects are cool initiative and even if it gives some “light” to few companies/people its great.


    • tw2113

      I think it’s partly when they originally signed up for the account, 5.2/5.3 weren’t outdated, or not as badly as they are now. However, they have never had anyone upgrade them to a newer version that their hosting provider actually provides, and has as default version for NEW signups. Maintenance issue, not necessarily that they signed up with a “bad host” in the first place.


      • Summer

        But what if the host hasn’t updated package options to their clients since 2002? I recently moved one client off his old host because his “premium” package wouldn’t run WordPress at all. He only had 100Mb of space total, and no databases at all.

        Don’t be so certain that the end user hasn’t done the upgrades, when it’s the hosting company that has lack of clue. I’ve run across three smaller hosting companies in the past year whose servers for shared hosting services are still running end-of-life versions of FreeBSD 6, 7 and 8 on AMD boxes with less than 2Gb of RAM. My concerns about their default still being PHP 5.2 paled under those circumstances.

        The client I rescued had no idea any of that mattered, he’d just been happy paying them every month since 1997. The other one stuck to his guns and stayed with his host, but now even he has noticed some performance problems since I upgraded his site for him (issues I’d pointed out to him before we got underway).

        I think Media Temple skipped over PHP 5.4 and went straight to from 5.3 to 5.5; not aware of anyone else who has done that.

        If you have a lot of people with websites who aren’t tech savvy and don’t want to be, and they are stuck on lazy hosting providers who should know better but don’t make the effort because “everything still works, why rock the boat”, but since they aren’t concerned about security (thereby making things rougher on everyone else) maybe more direct ways of bringing their attention to the problem are needed… like updating the minimum requirements out from under them, forcing them to update or play in a different sandbox.

        I don’t know that there is a good solution, but if a hosting provider hasn’t updated their hardware or OS or software in 5 years, how stable and secure is their operation to begin with?


    • wormeyman

      WPengine is still on 5.3 by default however you can request a move to a 5.5 server, i was unable to install the new twitter plugin until i was moved to a 5.5 server.



  2. Mitchell

    Forget WordPress. Look at the big picture.

    There are many old PHP systems, that crash from upgrades.

    I had a 2 month job last year, fixing PHP shopping systems that used register_globals, after an ISP upgraded to PHP 5.4.

    WordPress was fine on these systems.


    • Otto

      WordPress itself will work on any php version greater than the minimum requirements.

      It is indeed those older programs, some of which are no longer maintained, but still used, which holds back the defaults. The truth is that PHP is not very backwards compatible.

      On the whole, getting the existing versions changed has to be an opt in process. But, getting the “defaults” changed for new users is totally feasible. The default should always be the latest version installed on the system, IMHO. And I think more hosts are starting to see that.


  3. Kalen Johnson (@Kalenjohnson)

    Glad to see this article, as I’ve also been of the opinion lately that as developer’s, we need to be trying to push PHP hosting forward as well.

    Aside from writing code for a specific PHP version that still has support, we can also not let clients use hosts that are on old versions of PHP. Sometimes we don’t like to be too pushy about this, but really it’s for the client’s own benefit, and if you do more than casually mention it, they’ll often listen.

    Great looking project on Github, Coen, I’ll definitely be taking a look at using it on my next project.


  4. Rene Hermenau

    I think this project is a hit in the face for every plugin developer who likes to make his plugin available for as many user as possible. I understand the urgency for the need to update to newer php version asap but this lies more in the hands by wordpress.org. It’s so easy: wordpress can make the requirements from one day to another to php 5.4. I think this is the most powerful instrument to force user to switch to new hosting environments. This is the way to go, otherwise user would not get security updates for a lot of their plugins any longer. The little developer will not focus on two different plugin branches to do so. It’s also much more effective than doing this by thousands of independent developers instead the main company behind wp.


  5. Gabriel A. Mays

    It seems the easiest way to improve the problem would be to put the woefully outdated https://wordpress.org/hosting/ page to use. Want to be a WordPress.org recommended host? Use the latest recommended version of PHP. If Matt mentions that in a few talks/interviews hosts will be doing whatever they have to in order to get on that list.


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