The organization responsible for maintaining PHP (the open source programming and scripting language used by all websites built with WordPress) has announced the end of life (EOL) for versions 5.6 and 7.0 by the end of December 2018. At that time, they will cease to offer critical security support for these PHP versions. All websites built with WordPress, globally, will need to upgrade to PHP 7.2.
Why should I upgrade?
Eventually, all WordPress providers will be unable to offer hosting for sites using outdated versions of PHP. But aside from that, there are performance and significant security improvements included in PHP 7. Some customers that have upgraded have experienced up to 40% faster page speed and better memory efficiency. PHP 7.2 comes with security enhancements including Argon 2 password hashing and Libsodium cryptography (high-speed elliptic cryptography).
How can Acumium help?
With your approval, we will complete the upgrade to the new PHP version, performing quality assurance (QA) testing along the way (at the orange diamond points in the image below). The QA required for this PHP version change is more than what is required for the more minor WordPress core updates and plugin updates we routinely perform. This upgrade from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.2 is considered a "breaking change" (i.e. not necessarily backward compatible).
If at any of these checkpoints we find a problem, we will reach out to you with recommendations on how to address them. We will also provide updates along the way including possible content freeze windows as environments are updated.
Please note that additional development work needed to resolve issues found during QA is not included in the initial upgrade SOW. We will provide estimates to you in a separate SOW if needed.