Anyone who still operates their website with PHP 5.6 or PHP 7.0 should update now.
Since the beginning of 2019, security support for PHP 5.6 & 7.0 has also been discontinued. This means that security gaps are no longer closed and websites running with an outdated PHP version are vulnerable.
PHP version overview
The hosting providers react differently to the outdated PHP versions of their customers. With many providers, there was or is a transition period during which customers can continue to use the outdated PHP versions. As soon as this transition period ends, the service either becomes chargeable or the hosting provider automatically switches to a current PHP version.
- Paid security support from the hoster
Some of the large hosters (e.g. 1und1 or IONOS, Strato) offer their customers their own paid service in which newly discovered security gaps are fixed. If you have not updated your PHP version to the latest version yourself, you are automatically included in the hoster's extended support and pay additional fees for the service.
- Changing the PHP version
Other providers set a deadline for their customers to change their PHP version. If this has not been done by the end of the deadline, the PHP version is automatically changed by the hoster to the next PHP version still offered.
What does this mean for me?
In the worst case, your website is no longer accessible and your visitors see a blank page or error messages. Therefore, you should act now and check your PHP version.
Check PHP version
Log in to your hoster and check the PHP version of your domains. Where exactly you can find this varies depending on your hosting provider.
Simply convert an outdated PHP version?
Attention! If you change your website to PHP 7.1 or PHP 7.3, you may get a nasty surprise. If the website is very old or the content management system with which the site is operated is not up to date, your visitors may only see an empty page. Check beforehand whether your website runs with the current PHP versions and change your system if necessary.