WordPress is keeping its core software up to date by upgrading to PHP 8. This does not mean you should jump straight to PHP 8 as this may cause problems on your website. Your WordPress website will likely have multiple plugins and themes downloaded to assist you in the development. That is one of the main benefits of using WordPress. These themes and plugins, however, may not necessarily be compatible with PHP 8 from the start. We are currently finding plugins and themes that have broken and need to be updated with PHP 8’s release. Even WordPress announced “The state of PHP 8 support within the broader ecosystem (plugins, themes, etc.) is impossible to know. For that reason, WordPress 5.6 should be considered ‘beta compatible’ with PHP 8.“
This means that most themes and plugins will be PHP 8 compatible, but potentially not all of them. Major companies such as Yoast Seo have been prepared for PHP 8 for a long time now and are ready for the PHP changes. They have even developed reports highlighting their compatibility with the new PHP version. Smaller companies haven’t had such opportunities. Before updating your PHP version, check that everything is PHP compatible. Potentially even wait a while and let others test the system. PHP 8 has some major differences to PHP 7 as can be seen in our post on the differences.
You do not want your site to break by upgrading to PHP 8.
- PHP has many benefits but may cause issues with your plugins and themes. Be aware of your plugins and themes before upgrading to PHP 8
- Major companies will likely see little problems with the migration
- Plugins and themes developed by smaller companies may see their plugins and themes breaking so double check before upgrading