PHP is a programming language used to build popular website CMSs, such as Word Press or Drupal. With the recent developments in PHP, the former versions 5 and 5.6 is about to reach its end-of-life, which suggests it will stop receiving security updates by the end of December 2018. Once these security updates stop, many websites that are still on PHP 5 versions will be vulnerable to numerous threats as anyone can have access to tamper with the data.
With each release of the PHP version, the development team’s policy remains valid for two years from the date of its release. Then it extends its support for an additional year for perilous security issues only. Once the duration of three years elapses from the date of its release, the version of PHP becomes nullified.
PHP 7.0, the very first PHP 7 version released almost three years ago came with extended security support. The newer version overpowered the existing features and does things better than the old versions. PHP 7 has many improvements over PHP version 5. These include performance improvements. PHP 5 has many known bugs related to performance, memory usage and more. PHP 7 is actively supported and developers are therefore able to implement those improvements and make the website run faster, become more stable and use resources more efficiently.
As an added advantage, PHP 7 also allows the use of more modern programming structures, which is a great benefit for software developers.
Security susceptibilities are continuously reported in PHP. Many more will be revealed in PHP versions 5 next year after security support for all versions of PHP 5 have ended. That is why it is imperative that you upgrade to a version of PHP 7 that is supported and is receiving security updates.
If your website remains on PHP 5.6, you may find yourself dealing with compromise issues sometime next year when vulnerability will appear but no fix will be released by the PHP team.
So, before the deadline approaches, upgrade to PHP 7.2 to see the enhanced performance and you can rest assured that you will continue to receive security updates until November 30, 2020.