Navigation indicator

WordPress Begins Warning of Future PHP 7 Requirement

August 26, 2019

Last week WordPress began displaying a PHP Update Required warning in the administrative dashboards of all websites running WordPress v5.1+ that have their hosting accounts configured to use PHP 5.6 or lower.

WordPress plans to increase the minimum version of PHP required to run upcoming versions of the software to PHP 7 in the near future. At this time no date or specific version of WordPress has been announced for when this requirement change will occur.

WordPress have noted that nearly half of all WordPress websites in the world have not upgraded to PHP 7 yet, so they are treating this warning as advanced notice to encourage users to upgrade their PHP version before they make it a requirement. Early developer discussions have noted that this requirement change could occur as early as December 2019, but ultimately the success of this warning campaign will dictate when they implement this requirement change.

How Does This Affect Me?

All customer websites will continue to function on their current WordPress versions.

This requirement change will only affect one’s ability to upgrade to future versions of WordPress if your hosting account is configured to use PHP 5.6 or lower.

While we have offered the ability for our customers to change their PHP version at any time through their cPanel control panel for many years, the vast majority of customers are currently using PHP 5.6.

If you wish to upgrade to new versions of WordPress in the future, manually changing your PHP version from your cPanel control panel will be required to meet WordPress’ future requirements. PHP 7.3 is the latest version of PHP and the version that WordPress recommends users upgrade to.

If you wish to keep your website on your current WordPress version or only install minor version upgrades and security fixes, changing your PHP version is not required. While PHP 5.6 is discontinued and no longer supported by its developers, we offer special, hardened versions of PHP that continue to receive security fixes by our operating system vendor.

Of course, relying on outdated software is never advised, so keeping up to date with your WordPress and PHP versions is highly recommended.

Considerations Before Changing PHP Versions

PHP 7 is a major improvement over PHP 5 that offers dramatic performance gains, however code written for PHP 5 is not always compatible with PHP 7 and code updates are often required to meet PHP 7 compatibility.

The good news is that PHP 7 has been available for over 3 years so most web applications, plugins, and themes have been updated to be compatible with the latest PHP versions.

However if you have not updated your website in many years, you may need to update WordPress and your themes and plugins prior to changing your PHP version to ensure they have been updated for PHP 7 compatibility.

When changing your PHP version through your cPanel control panel, it will change the PHP version used across your entire account, so if you host multiple websites or applications from your hosting account, all will need to be compatible with PHP 7 or you could encounter issues.

Don’t fret though, if you encounter any problems after changing to PHP 7, you can simply change back to PHP 5.6 to get things working again.

How To Change Your PHP Version

Changing your PHP version is easy! Simply log into your cPanel control panel and click on the “Select PHP Version” icon located under the Software heading.

On the next page click on the dropdown list and select 7.3 or your desired PHP version. Then click on “Set as current” to change your PHP version.

Lastly we recommend clicking on the “Result to default” button after changing your PHP version to select all of our default and recommended PHP modules.

If you previously adjusted any PHP options for your last PHP version, you can apply them again by clicking on the “Switch to PHP options” button and making any changes you require. This step is only required if you previously made changes through this interface.

Now that you have changed your PHP version in cPanel, any PHP processes previously running within your account must exit before your version change will be applied. Please allow up to 15 minutes for your PHP version change to take affect.

Need Help?

Did we lose you at PHP? Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

Simply contact our Support department and we’ll be happy to change your PHP version for you.

WordPress 5.2 is Now Available

May 8, 2019

WordPress 5.2 has just been released and includes a new recovery mode that can help users repair malfunctioning websites.

Ever update a plugin only for it to break your site, leaving only a blank white page?

Should this ever occur, WordPress 5.2 now includes a recovery mode that identifies and pauses problematic themes and plugins, allowing users to repair their websites without having to call in their website developer or our support staff for assistance.

WordPress 5.2 also introduces plugin compatibility checks to ensure that your PHP version meets the minimum version required by the plugin before it can be activated.

Speaking of PHP versions, WordPress 5.2 increases the minimum PHP version required to use the software to PHP 5.6. Fortunately, all of our servers use PHP 5.6 at a minimum, so unless you manually changed your account to use an older PHP version, you will be ready for this upgrade!

Varial Hosting customers who have automatic upgrades enabled through Installatron will be automatically upgraded to this new version. All other users may manually upgrade using Installatron or from their WordPress administrative areas.

WordPress Cache Plugin Updated to v2.0

March 9, 2018

LiteSpeed Cache, the caching plugin allowing Varial Hosting customers to achieve lightning fast Wordpress performance has just been updated to version 2.0. This new version includes big improvements to image optimization, bug fixes and more.

Customers can update this plugin through their WordPress admins or install it by following this guide: https://varialhosting.com/support/faq/wordpress/#caching

Changelog:

v2.0

  • [NEW FEATURE] Image Optimization Added level up guidance.
  • [REFACTOR] Image Optimization Refactored Image Optimization class.
  • [IAPI] Image Optimization New European Image Optimization server (EU2).
  • [IMPROVEMENT] Image Optimization Manual pull action continues pulling until complete.
  • [IMPROVEMENT] CDN Multiple CDNs can now be randomized for a single resource.
  • [IMPROVEMENT] Image Optimization Improved compatibility of long src images.
  • [IMPROVEMENT] Image Optimization Reduced runtime load.
  • [IMPROVEMENT] Image Optimization Avoid potential loss/reset of notified images status when pulling.
  • [IMPROVEMENT] Image Optimization Avoid duplicated optimization for multiple records in Media that have the same image source.
  • [IMPROVEMENT] Image Optimization Fixed issue where phantom images continued to show in not-yet-requested queue.
  • [BUGFIX] Core Improved compatibility when upgrading outside of WP Admin. (@jikatal @TylorB)
  • [BUGFIX] Crawler Improved HTTP/2 compatibility to avoid erroneous blacklisting.
  • [BUGFIX] Crawler Changing Delay setting will use server variable for min value validation if set.
  • [UPDATE] Crawler Added HTTP/2 protocol switch in the Crawler settings.
  • [UPDATE] Removed unnecessary translation strings.
  • [GUI] Display translated role group name string instead of English values. (@Richard Hordern)
  • [GUI] Added Join LiteSpeed Slack link.
  • [GUI] Import / Export Cosmetic changes to Import Settings file field.
  • [INTEGRATION] Improved compatibility with WPML Media for Image Optimization. (@szmigieldesign)

WordPress 4.9 is Now Available

November 16, 2017

WordPress 4.9 has just been released and brings with it major customizer improvements, code error checking, and more!

Varial Hosting customers who have automatic upgrades enabled through Installatron will be automatically upgraded to this version within the next 24 hours. All other users may manually upgrade using Installatron or from their WordPress admins.

WordPress Cache Plugin Updated with Support for Edge Side Includes

September 1, 2017

LiteSpeed Cache, the caching plugin allowing Varial Hosting customers to achieve lightning fast Wordpress performance has just been updated to version 1.2.0.1. This new version includes a major new feature, support for edge side includes (ESI)!

What are Edge Side Includes?

ESI allows you to serve both public and privately cached content together on one page. In other words, ESI allows you to designate parts of your page as separate fragments that are treated differently from the rest of the page.

For example, if you use WordPress’ Recent Posts widget, normally all pages would be purged and recached whenever a new post is published in order for that widget to display the most up to date information. With ESI enabled, all pages remain cached with and only the widget fragment needing to be purged and recached.

If you use WooCommerce, you can now cache your entire website but leave your shopping cart widget uncached so it always stays up to date for each individual visitor.

Varial Hosting customers can update their LiteSpeed Cache plugin through their WordPress admins or install it by following this guide:
https://varialhosting.com/support/faq/wordpress/#caching

How to make your WordPress website faster

August 1, 2017

Are you getting the most out of your WordPress website?

WordPress is one of the most popular web applications in the world and powers nearly 80% of all websites hosted on our servers.

We love WordPress and its explosive growth has changed how we think about hosting and made us strive to create a platform that greatly improves both its performance and security.

Last year we launched our next generation platform and optimized WordPress hosting plans, where we pre-install WordPress for new customers and configure it for peak performance and security, but did you know that all Varial Hosting customers can benefit from our powerful new features?

How to make your WordPress website faster:

Regardless of what hosting plan you are subscribed to, all Varial Hosting customers can greatly improve the speed of their WordPress websites by installing this simple plugin, which will enable our server side cache.

When a visitor accesses your website, normally WordPress will use PHP and MySQL to build your site on each and every page they visit. This uses a lot of server resources and will often take a second or two to display depending on the complexity of your website.

When caching is enabled, WordPress will only use PHP and MySQL to build your website the first time a page is requested. Afterwards our server will save and deliver a prebuilt version of that page, which takes only fractions of a second to load. By enabling server side caching you can make your WordPress website load hundreds, if not thousands of times faster!

As our caching feature is built directly into our web server, it will also outperform other popular WordPress caching plugins like WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache which still rely on PHP to function.

Want to speed up your website but not sure where to begin? Simply contact our Support department and we’ll install this plugin for you free of charge!

WordPress Cache Plugin Updated to v1.1.0

June 6, 2017

LiteSpeed Cache, the caching plugin allowing Varial Hosting customers to achieve lightning fast Wordpress performance has just been updated to version 1.1.0. This new version includes bug fixes and several new features.

Customers can update this plugin through their WordPress admins or install it by following this guide: https://varialhosting.com/support/faq/wordpress/#caching

Changelog:

v1.1.0

  • [NEW] Added a crawler – this includes configuration options and a dedicated admin page. Uses wp-cron
  • [NEW] Added integration for WPLister
  • [NEW] Added integration for Avada
  • [UPDATE] General structure of the plugin revamped
  • [UPDATE] Improved look of admin pages
  • [BUGFIX] Fix any/all wp-content path retrieval issues
  • [BUGFIX] Use realpath to clear symbolic link when determining .htaccess paths
  • [BUGFIX] Fixed a bug where upgrading multiple plugins did not trigger a purge all
  • [BUGFIX] Fixed a bug where cli import_options did not actually update the options
  • [REFACTOR] Most of the files in the code were split into more, smaller files

WordPress Cache Plugin Updated to v1.0.15

April 20, 2017

LiteSpeed Cache, the caching plugin allowing Varial Hosting customers on our next generation hosting platform to achieve lightning fast Wordpress performance has just been updated to version 1.0.15. This new version includes bug fixes and several new features.

Customers can update this plugin through their WordPress admins or install it by following this guide: https://varialhosting.com/support/faq/wordpress/#caching

Changelog:

v1.0.15

  • [NEW] Added Purge Pages and Purge Recent Posts Widget pages options.
  • [NEW] Added wp-cli command for setting and getting options.
  • [NEW] Added an import/export options cli command.
  • [NEW] Added wpForo integration.
  • [NEW] Added Theme My Login integration.
  • [UPDATE] Purge adjacent posts when publish a new post.
  • [UPDATE] Change environment report file to .php and increase security.
  • [UPDATE] Added new purgeby option to wp-cli.
  • [UPDATE] Remove nag for multiple sites.
  • [UPDATE] Only inject LiteSpeed javascripts in LiteSpeed pages.
  • [REFACTOR] Properly check for zero in ttl settings.
  • [BUGFIX] Fixed the 404 issue that can be caused by some certain plugins when save the settings.
  • [BUGFIX] Fixed mu-plugin compatibility.
  • [BUGFIX] Fixed problem with creating zip backup.
  • [BUGFIX] Fixed conflict with jetpack.

WordPress 4.7 and Twenty Seventeen Theme Now Available

December 6, 2016


WordPress 4.7 has just been released and brings with it a new default theme called Twenty Seventeen!

Varial Hosting customers who have automatic upgrades enabled through Installatron will be automatically upgraded to this version within the next 24 hours. All other users may manually upgrade using Installatron or from their WordPress admins.

WordPress 4.5 is Now Available

April 13, 2016


WordPress 4.5 has just been released and brings with it inline editing improvements and a handy responsive preview mode!

Varial Hosting customers who have automatic upgrades enabled through Installatron will be automatically upgraded to this version within the next 24 hours. All other users may manually upgrade using Installatron or from their WordPress admins.