PHP is a free scripting language that is usually combined with HTML to create dynamic and interactive websites. PHP can add the following functionality to a website:
- Create and manipulate files on the server
- Save contact form data
- Connect a website to a database
- Encrypt data
This article explains how PHP is configured at DreamHost along with details of an extended support plan available.
PHP requires a server
Where HTML can run on any computer, PHP needs a web server to run. This means you must either purchase a hosting plan and upload your PHP code to the server, or create a local server on your home computer to run it.
PHP is installed on all DreamHost servers by default.
Popular language for site builders
Many popular site builder applications are written in PHP. For example:
PHP versions at DreamHost
The following article lists PHP versions available at DreamHost.
The following articles explain how to view and upgrade your site's PHP version.
PHP is continually being updated by its developers. At any time, there are versions that are officially supported by PHP's development team, and versions that are no longer being maintained.
It's very important to make sure the version your site is using is currently supported by PHP's developers. The benefits of staying updated include:
- New features/functionality
- Security improvements
- Stability and speed improvements
- Bug fixes
Supported / Outdated versions
As newer versions are released, older versions are retired. When an old version of PHP is no longer supported by its developers, it has reached its End of Life (EOL) status. A list of current PHP versions and their EOL schedule can be found at the following link:
DreamHost extended support plan
DreamHost offers a plan to support older PHP versions that have been EOLd by php.net. This gives you extra time to upgrade the version of PHP after it's no longer officially supported. View the following article for further details:
DreamHost PHP configurations
PHP server configuration
DreamHost currently allows the following PHP configuration:
- PHP 8 running as a FastCGI application
Adjusting the default PHP settings
PHP is installed with default settings. You can adjust many of these by creating or editing a file named php.ini. Any settings you add into this file override the server's default PHP settings.
The standard term for this file is php.ini, however, DreamHost uses the term phprc file instead. This acts the same way – only the name is different. View the following article for more information: