Website Care

Time to Upgrade from php5.6 to php 7.2

By | Website Care

Whats the process for upgrading your WordPress site from php5.6 to php7.2?

Why upgrade?

  • WordPress no longer supporting any security issues with 5.6
  • php7.2 and 7.3 are faster at handling requests
  • better security

How to minimise the risks

You need a way to safely see what errors your site will produce when you set your sites hosting settings to run on php 7.2.
The safest way to do this is to run a “local” copy of your website on php 7.2. You can setup a local copy of your site using Flywheel Local

  • Copy site to local flywheel local
  • set local site to php7.2
  • view error log
  • fix errors
  • upload fixes to live site
  • Set live site to run php7.2 through your cpanel (yoursiteurl.com/cpanel)

This video explains the process of running your site on php7.2 and outputting the errors

This video explains how to export / import a database using flywheel local tools (ssh, wpcli and adminer)

This video explains how to output errors to debug log file using your wp-config.php file

Streamlining WordPress Maintenance

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WordPress is a great platform for all business types, However it needs a little care.

Why does WordPress need care?

Security, is the main reason, plus plugins and WordPress core itself are constantly

  • Improving functionality,
  • Implementing bug fixes,
  • Adding new features and sadly
  • sometimes fixing security vulnerabilities.

Should I be concerned about security?

Yes, everyone should be at least a little concerned, if you have a lot of plugins (more then 12) I think you should be mildly concerned. If you have more then 20 plugins you should be very concerned. If you have more then 50 plugins its absolutely critical that you update those plugins regularly.

Don’t worry mate, it’s easy to update all the things

You can update all plugins and WPcore for your site with one click using the ManageWp system:

  1. Set up a free account at https://managewp.com/ and login
  2. Once your logged in, add your site to ManageWp https://orion.managewp.com/dashboard/add-website
  3. Add this plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/worker/ to your site.
  4. Your site should now appear in the list of sites https://orion.managewp.com/dashboard/websites
  5. Now, if you go to https://orion.managewp.com/dashboard/overview you can see all the plugins, themes and WPcores that need updates.
  6. You can flick over to themes and choose to update those too. Same with wpcore.
  7. Select all the checkboxes and click update.
  8. Once it’s finished you are almost done.

At this point, it’s best practice to check your site in a browser that’s not going to have your website stored in memory. Ie if you use Chrome all the time, check your site in Firefox. (clear its cache if you need)

The beauty of ManageWp it works across multiple sites and its absolutely free.

What if the updates don’t work?

If there are any errors during the update, ManageWp usually stops updating whatever is causing the error. This is great feature as this “halting of updates” prevents your site from going down. If the updates appear to succeed in the ManageWp interface then its more than likely that everything is fine.

If something does go wrong and the “halt” does not kick in, then you have 2 options.

  1. Reinstate a backup.
  2. Find the error and manually fix it.

I’ve had 100% success rate so far with updating sites through ManageWp. I’ve had plugins that refused to update, and required manual updates, but no major issues. As we perform WordPress Maintenance for our clients regularly, we always have backups standing by that we can quickly re-instate, Error logs enabled on the server so we are informed of any errors that happen (we don’t host our clients websites, so we have to configure backups and error reporting individually per client).

Other free features of MangageWp are

  • Spam removal
  • Post revision removal
  • Database Overhead optimisation.

Optimising this stuff will keep your database and website load speed times more efficient.

If you’re maintaining multiple wordpress sites and want to perform more streamlined maintenance, checkout ManageWp.
If you want Maintenance done for you and a bit more, checkout our website maintenance packages