What is PHP?
PHP is an acronym for “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”. It is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.
Popular open-source scripts such as WordPress, Joomla, OpenCart and others are developed using PHP script.
Each PHP version has lifespan, which is actively supported within certain period after its release.
Each release is actively supported for two years from its initial stable release. Within this period, bugs and security issues will be fixed and released on regular basis.
After that, it will still be supported for another year for critical security issues only. Security fixes will be released on as-needed basis.
A PHP version is announced as end-of-life (EOL) and no longer supported once the three-year support is completed.
Active supported version can be checked out via URL below.
Importance of Using Updated PHP
For each PHP version, some functions from older PHP may become obsolete or deprecated and no longer compatible with newer PHP, which may become one of the reasons why the adoption of new PHP is slow.
It is important to keep the PHP versions up to date, mainly due to the following reasons.
1. New PHP versions are fully supported and security fixes are released regularly to patch security vulnerabilities known in past PHP versions. With older PHP versions, websites may be prone to vulnerabilities such as DDOS, code execution, data leakage and more.
2. The latest PHP release comes with huge performance difference, which reflects in website performance.
3. Most website developers nowadays focus more on new PHP versions, as there are many new features introduced in new PHP.
Summary / Conclusion
PHP plays a partial role in ensuring that user’s websites are protected at best on server level. Besides PHP, it is also important to keep the script up to date by applying the latest patch on the website.