You don't need to do anything. DreamHost always lets you know ahead of time (via email) when your version of PHP will be automatically updated.
- It's likely that you won't even notice the switch and your website(s) will perform as they usually do. But, in certain cases, there is a possibility that some sites may break, such as those that run older or custom-built software.
- DreamHost doesn’t anticipate any issues for most customers, but make sure to test your site, or have a developer do this for you. Instructions for testing are provided below.
However, DreamHost recommends that you always backup your account before making any major changes.
Backing up your account
You can visit the (Panel > 'Billing & Account' > 'Backup Your Account') page to generate a complete backup of your account:
- Click Back me up! to begin the backup.
- You can also check out the backup article for further information on various backup techniques and other resources.
Setting up your account to automatically upgrade PHP
You can use the panel to enable auto-upgrade to the current PHP version that DreamHost recommends. This helps to prevent outdated and insecure versions of PHP from running.
- Navigate to the (Panel > 'Domains' > 'Manage Domains') page.
- Click the Edit button at the bottom of the 'Web Hosting' column.
- Scroll down to the 'Web Options' section.
- Check the 'Automatically upgrade PHP:' check box.
If your site breaks after a PHP upgrade
- Ensure that the latest version of your script is compatible with PHP 5.6 and update to that version.
- Consult with the author/developer to request a newer version of your script.
- NOT RECOMMENDED: As a final option for advanced users only, you may opt to switch to an admin user (Dedicated servers only) so you can run an older version of PHP. Using old or outdated versions of software is unsupported and puts your site at risk of being hacked.
Any change you make to the PHP version for your domain may take up to 30 minutes to take effect. Make sure to check your website after this time period has elapsed to make sure everything is functioning properly.