Over the years WordPress has grown and grown in popularity to the point now where over on third of the top 10 million websites now use it as their online platform.
This notice has coincided with the latest release of version 5.1.1, the biggest change is that WordPress now requires a minimum php version of 5.2, about 2 years ago PHP 7 was released which heralded faster execution times plus enhanced security features.
PHP is a programming language, it is the code that makes WordPress work, it handles the processes and procedures required to allow you to manage your content plus render your content in to the templates on your theme.
The main reason for WordPress to not force people to use PHP 7 “yet” is due to the amount of plugins and themes that are yet to upgrade their code to be PHP 7 compatible, at AME WebTech we only release WordPress websites on to servers using PHP 7 as it means websites are faster, more secure and future proof. We always check that any third party plugins that are being installed are 100% PHP 7 compatible.
This release includes 25 critical security enhancements and 150 code fixes including but nor limited to the below…
Thumbnail and image scaling time has been reduced by 90%, this means first time someone visits a new product page the time it takes to generate the thumbnails is 1 tenth what it was previously.
Indexing is now 80% faster, this is a process that magento goes through to pull complex data from the database which takes time to load and stores it in an index, this index is faster to access when people view the front end of your website, speeding up the indexing operation means that your website is less likely to lock or slow down reducing this time can improve customer experience when visiting your store when indexing is ongoing.
A bug where if the shopping cart page is constantly refreshed caused magento to empty the cart has now been fixed.
A bug where if a customer refreshed the checkout page the shipping address disappears has now been fixed.
Mass deletion bug suffered by organisations with unstable internet connections has now been resolved.
Well updating your website is a reasonably simple process, in WordPress this is a simple click of a button however getting php 7 installed will require a call to your hosting provider, and update to a dash board or and update to your servers software which requires technical knowledge and know how.
More pressingly it is vital to plan for the worst i.e. what if something goes wrong…
Before performing any kind of upgrade it is essential that a backup is taken and copped off the server or downloade, whilst most issues can be resolved with out restoring from a backup it is folly to not do this as in the worst case scenario you may loose your entire website.
At AME WebTech we follow a change management process where we don’t just plan on what should happen but also what can go wrong and will have a restore waiting to be pushed back on to a server to minimise down time should the worst happen.
This is all part of our support agreement and we aim to keep all our WordPress websites up to date and secure.