Preparing Sites for PHP 7

As of December 31, 2018, the PHP group ends security support for PHP version 5.6. This means that no further security updates will be made.

MODX Cloud will be removing support for PHP 5.6 on July 1, 2018, in advance of the December 31, 2018 official end of life.  After it's removal, PHP 7.1 will be available in MODX Cloud. PHP 7 was released in 2015 and application support for it has expanded since that time. All current PHP software should now run in PHP 7.

PHP is the software language in which MODX is written and the versions mentioned above relate to the software that makes it run on the web server.

Check your PHP Version

Whether your site is on a MODX Cloud instance or a Flex Cloud instance, to determine which version of PHP your sites are running you can follow these steps: 

  1. Login to the MODX Cloud Dashboard
  2. Click on the name of the Cloud you'd like to check
  3. Click to go to to the Web Server Tab
  4. At the top there is a toggle which will display the PHP Version as shown in the images below:

Cloud__MODX_Cloud_2018-03-23_16-10-06.pngCloud__MODX_Cloud_2018-03-23_16-10-31.png

If you're running PHP 7.1 and your site is working as expected, there's nothing further for you to do to prepare for the change.

MODX Revolution

MODX Revolution versions 2.5.1 and above, will run on PHP 7.1 however, there are some Extras that may not be compatible.

Since late 2017, all new Clouds in MODX have been created on PHP 7.1, so many customers are already running PHP 7 without issue.

There have been a small handful of customers that have had to downgrade to 5.6. These downgrades would only be required for the following reasons: 

  • Outdated MODX Revolution Software
  • MODX Extras not updated or unsupported
  • Custom code that requires updating

If your MODX site is not already running PHP 7To test your MODX Revolution Site to ensure it will run on PHP 7.1:

  1. Follow the instructions for Safe Upgrades of MODX Revolution.
  2. Switch the PHP version to PHP 7.1
  3. Test the front- and back-end for errors.

We strongly recommend keeping your MODX website abreast of the latest releases of MODX. One of the reasons we created MODX Cloud was to allow you to upgrade in a single click, with no server skills required.

MODX Evolution/Evolution CMS

Evolution CMS (formerly MODX Evolution) 1.4 and above will run on PHP 7.1 however, there are some Extras that may not be compatible. The best case is to upgrade your MODX Evolution or Evolution CMS site to the latest release.

WordPress

WordPress 4.3.1 and above will run on PHP 7.1 however, there are some Plugins that may not be compatible. You can use the PHP 7 Compatibility Checker Plugin to determine if your site will run on PHP 7. You should always be running the most recent version of WordPress and corresponding Plugins. As the most popular Blog software in the world, it is a frequent target by automated attackers.

Other Software

Most reputable open source software projects will have added support for PHP 7 since it was first released, three years ago. If you're not sure if your application will work in PHP 7.1 and above, you will want to check with your developer, vendor or open source project for more information.

Testing Flex Cloud Sites

To safely test your Evolution, WordPress or other Flex Cloud site, you can follow these instructions to clone your Flex Cloud and then switch to PHP 7.1 for testing.

  1. Take a Backup of the site you wish to test
  2. Create a new, empty Flex Cloud for your new test site and note the name you used
  3. Once the new Cloud has been created, restore the backup from step one, above, into the new Cloud.
  4. Test the site and make any fixes necessary
  5. You can then either repeate the fixes on the live site or, if no changes have been made since you started this process, you could take a backup of the test site, restore it to your live Cloud instance and then switch to PHP 7.1.

 

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