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How Do I Update the PHP Version on my Site?


Suppose you ever encounter problems with the way your server handles PHP packages or find WordPress requesting that you upgrade your PHP version. In that case, it is helpful to know how to view and modify your server's PHP. Updating your site's PHP version is vital for the security of your website. The latest security patches will be implemented whenever a new PHP version is released. This article discusses a few options for upgrading the PHP version in your hosting account.

What You Should Know
  • Starting in March 2022, we are working on upgrading the available PHP versions on our servers to include PHP 8.0.
  • We will remove PHP 7.3 from the MultiPHP Manager options as we upgrade and improve our servers. We highly recommend upgrading all your website installations and applications to be compatible with the newest PHP version available in your account.
  • Please be aware that PHP versions older than 7.4 will no longer be supported as we work on upgrading accounts. If your website must use an older PHP version, this can be done manually. Let us know via phone or chat so we can assist you. Please remember that using an older PHP version potentially exposes your website to unpatched security vulnerabilities.

How do I upgrade my site's PHP version?

If your website needs a different PHP version, you will want to log in to your cPanel to manage the site's version.

Important Note:
For our Optimized WordPress customers, put your mind at ease! HostGator's got your back in ensuring that your account runs the latest up-to-date PHP version.
  • There is no need to downgrade PHP for a WordPress plugin or theme. Instead, it is best to upgrade your plugin or theme to work with the PHP version available in your Optimized WordPress accounts.
  • If you need to change your PHP version, our support team will handle that for you. Just reach out to us via phone or chat.

MultiPHP Manager or PHP Selector

Depending on the version of cPanel you're using, you will use either MultiPHP Manager or PHP Selector to modify your PHP version. PHP Selector is being phased out, so you will most likely use MultiPHP Manager. To determine which one you have, you will need to:

  1. Log in to cPanel.
  2. Navigate to the Software section.

    cPanel Left-Hand Menu - Software

    • If you see MultiPHP Manager available in your cPanel, you should follow the instructions for Option 1 – MultiPHP Manager below.

      HostGator cPanel MultiPHP Manager

    • If you still have the PHP Selector in your cPanel, which many will not, you can follow the directions for Option 2 – PHP Selector below.

      HostGator cPanel PHP Selector

Option 1 - MultiPHP Manager

The video above may look slightly different than our current cPanel layout. However, the functionality described will be similar.

Here are the instructions outlined in the video above.

Curious as to what PHP version your website is using? A phpinfo file is what you need. To find out how to create a phpinfo file, please visit this article, How to create a phpinfo.php file.
  1. Log in to cPanel.
  2. Select MultiPHP Manager in the Software section.

    HostGator cPanel MultiPHP Manager

  3. Select the domain you want to upgrade by checking the box on its left side.

    MultiPHP Manager Select Domain

  4. Choose 7.4 or select the newest PHP version from the dropdown, then click Apply.

    MultiPHP Manager Select PHP Version

  5. There will be a pop-up in the upper right corner notifying you that the change was successful.

    PHP Version Change Successful

If you previously used the PHP Selector to change your PHP version, there may be a handler in your .htaccess file that needs to be removed similar to this one:

Use PHPedge as default
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php-edge .php
<IfModule mod_suphp.c>
    suPHP_ConfigPath /opt/phpedge/lib

For specific instructions on fixing Missing MySQL Extension errors, please refer to our support article How to Fix Error After MultiPHP upgrade.

Option 2 - PHP Selector
This will be sunset, and few will have it available.

The PHP Selector can be seen in some Shared servers. However, it may be time to say goodbye to this feature very soon, as you may no longer see the PHP Selector available in your cPanel. If you still have the PHP Selector, click the expand below for the instructions.

The PHP Selector allows users on Shared and Reseller servers to quickly enable a specific PHP version for a site.

To upgrade the PHP version of a site using the PHP Selector, please watch this video.

The video above may look slightly different than our current cPanel layout. However, the functionality described will be similar.

Here are the instructions outlined in the video above.

Want to know your website's PHP version? Please visit the article How to create a phpinfo.php file.
  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. In the Software section, click the PHP Selector icon.
    cPanel PHP Selector Plugin
  3. Navigate to the directory of the website you wish to upgrade the PHP. The document root for the primary site on your account is the public_html folder.
    cPanel PHP Configuration
  4. Select the version of PHP you want to use from the dropdown menu, then click upgrade.
    cPanel Select PHP Version
    Caution: If your site's scripts rely on PHP's older functions, which are no longer available in the latest stable version used on the server, you may encounter compatibility issues when the PHP is automatically upgraded.

When using PHP Selector, upgrades are applied recursively. Any upgrade you apply to a directory will also apply to all subdirectories unless you apply a different directive to one of those subdirectories. Therefore, to use a different PHP version for an addon domain, you must navigate the document root for the addon domain and select the appropriate PHP version.

Need a bit more help? Contact HostGator support via phone or chat, and we will be happy to assist you!