Preparing your site for a PHP upgrade

If you find yourself in a situation that requires changes to your site and your developer isn't available to help, DreamHost's skilled support team may be able to assist you for a small fee. You can find more information about supported services and associated costs in the DreamHost Professional Services article.


It is sometimes necessary to update the version of PHP on your website. This is often due to a version no longer being supported by Updating your website's software to be compatible with supported PHP versions is important to ensure your website remains stable and secure.

If you know your site is compatible with a newer version of PHP, you can change the PHP version for your site in your DreamHost panel using the instructions in the following article:

See the following articles for more information on what PHP versions are currently available at DreamHost and how to update the version of your site:

PHP migration guides provides guides for updating each major and minor PHP version. View the page linked below for a list of these guides:

How do I prepare my website for a PHP update?

Keeping your website software up to date is the first step in ensuring ongoing PHP-version compatibility.

PHP 8.x

PHP 8.x is a major update from previous PHP versions. Code deprecated in older versions has been removed, so if your code has not been updated specifically for PHP 8.x, there is a greater chance that your site may not function properly when updated.

View the following links for further information of PHP 8.x changes:


If you are using WordPress, DreamHost recommends updating WordPress Core, themes, and plugins first before attempting to upgrade PHP.

See the following article to learn more about the minimum requirements for your WordPress site:

Other CMS websites

If you are using a different application to run your website, the Third-Party Applications section of DreamHost’s knowledge base lists several popular CMS options and updating instructions. Your application’s official website should list version compatibility information in its system requirements or support section. You can typically find the version you are using within the application’s administrative dashboard on your website.

The following links provide minimum requirements for a few popular CMSes:

Whatever CMS software you are using, DreamHost recommends that you first check to see that it supports the PHP version you wish to upgrade to and then upgrade your CMS software accordingly before updating PHP.

Custom site built by a developer

The most common issue with custom sites is outdated code. For example, your site may be using deprecated functions that the newer version of PHP no longer supports. In this case, the site will continue to work, but you may see PHP warnings.

If the function has been removed from the newer versions of PHP, your site may not work properly. You can search for the function at Each function's page will confirm which versions of PHP still support it.

If you are no longer able to reach your developer, DreamHost's Professional Services may be able to assist you in updating your code.

Can I continue to use an older PHP version?

Yes. If your site fails an automatic PHP upgrade, DreamHost applies PHP Extended Support, which will allow for the use of older versions and provide more time to correct any issues. View the following article for further details:

List of PHP supported versions

See also

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