WordPress on PHP 7.1 – Now available

Gijs Hovens, December 5, 2016

The first minor version of PHP 7 is released. On December 1, the PHP development team announced the immediate availability of PHP 7.1  for production environments. We have made PHP 7.1 available for your WordPress sites on December 2. Update as soon as possible, especially if you are still running on PHP 5.6. What has changed in this version, and what should you pay attention to when upgrading?

What has changed?

This version is an improvement of PHP 7.0. That means there is almost full backwards compatibility to 7.0. Several new functionalities have been added and some minor tweaks have been made. No functionalities have been removed, only some internal PHP mechanisms are improved.

This release is once again focussed on improving speed. In addition, some very interesting improvements in the syntax have been made. Type hinting is much easier due to the introduction of ‘nullables’, ‘void’ type methodes and catching multiple exception types in a try-catch statement.

The full list of changes is available on the official PHP site. Recommended reading for any developer!

How can I upgrade to PHP 7.1?

It is very easy to change the PHP version for a website. Go to our control panel and click on ‘Manage’ for the website you want to change the PHP version for. Then, in the drop-down menu, pick PHP 7.1. A pop-up screen will give some extra details, please read them carefully. If you agree to all, press the ‘Confirm’ button.

Menu showing where to pick PHP7.1


If you are upgrading from version 5.6, we recommend you to read this blogpost about upgrading to PHP 7.0 first. In case you are upgrading from PHP 7.0 we do not expect any compatibility problems. We do however recommend that you always test your website after changing a PHP version!

When your site is updated to the new PHP version, you can get to work again: Log in to your WP-Admin, flush the Savvii cache and test all the important functionalities of your website. Think about publishing content, contact forms, order process and the like. Test everything that is important to your business.

If you are running a staging website, we recommend changing the PHP version there first. After testing, you can update your production website.

Is there more I should know?

In the last month we have migrated all websites from PHP 5.4 to at least 5.6. We currently support 5.6 and the newer PHP 7.0 and 7.1. All the newly provisioned websites are running on 7.0 by default, though you can downgrade your site to 5.6.

The 5.6 version of PHP will be supported until the end of 2018. In our experience upgrading to 7.x goes very smoothly and offers great performance improvements for your website! Because of this we recommend you to update to PHP 7.0 or 7.1 as soon as possible. When upgrading from 5.6, please read this post first. For everyone on PHP 7.0 , PHP 7.1 is available now! So update your site today, and don’t forget to test your website when the update is done.

Any questions?

Let us know! We love to answer any questions you might have.

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