Hello PHP 7.3

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of PHP 7.3 on all our servers. We are also giving the six-month notice of the phasing out of PHP 7.1.

PHP 7.3 general availability

PHP version 7.3 reached stable status in December, and is now ready for general consumption. According to phpbenchmarks.com, the new version offers an approximately 4% speed increase over PHP 7.2, 10% over PHP 7.1, and a whopping 80% plus speed increase over (the now defunct) PHP 5.6. It does not seem so long ago that PHP 5.6 was the speedy kid on the block!

PHP 7.3 is also the new long-term support version for PHP, with updates scheduled to come for the next 21/2 years until 1 January 2022. 

PHP 7.1 end of life

On the other end of the spectrum, active support for PHP 7.1 (the oldest version we currently support) has already ended in December 2018. Security updates will end in six months on 1 December 2019, which will be the date we stop offering it as an option on our servers.

For more information on PHP supported versions, please see php.net.

Wil your website work with PHP 7.3?

The latest versions of popular content management systems like WordPress and Joomla are compatible with PHP 7.3. Plugins and themes for those systems may or may not be.

To prevent disappointment, please check that your website is compatible with PHP 7.3 and make any necessary adjustments well ahead of the events outlined in the “important dates” table below. We suggest the following steps:

  • Update your web application and all its plugins and themes to the latest versions.
  • For each plugin or theme, check the developer’s website for PHP 7.3 compatibility.
  • If your website us custom PHP code, then definitely check with your web developer.
  • When you think it is safe, switch your website to PHP 7.3 and verify that everything works as it should. If you experience problems, switch back to the previous PHP version and do the necessary troubleshooting.

To switch the PHP version of your website:

  • Log in to your cPanel.
  • Scroll down to the Software section, and open the MultiPHP Manager page.
  • Select the PHP version of your choice for your website. The “inherit” option makes your website inherit the server default version. See the “important dates” table below for details on the default PHP version. 

We recommend using the “inherit” setting wherever possible, so that your website will use the server default PHP version. However, for testing purposes, you would want to override this by selecting a specify PHP version.

Troubleshooting steps if PHP 7.3 does not work well:

  • Enable detailed error message in your application. WordPress has a debugging option, for example.
  • Check the PHP error logs. Errors are written to error_log files in the relevant sub-directory under public_html.

Does your website use PHP?

If you are asking that question, the probably not! And if you are using an Anno Basic hosting plan, then probably not! If you are not sure, contact us and we will confirm.

If your website is not using PHP at all, then there is obviously nothing to be concerned about.

Important dates

Date Change Default version Comment Status
8 May PHP 7.3 available PHP 7.2 To use PHP 7.3, use the MultiPHP Manager function in cPanel; all new websites will use PHP 7.2 by default Completed
21 June Change server default version to PHP 7.3 PHP 7.3 Automatic upgrade for all websites that use the server default to PHP 7.3; all new websites will use PHP 7.3 by default Completed
6 September Remove option to select PHP 7.1 in cPanel PHP 7.3 PHP 7.1 will no longer be available for selection in cPanel; websites set to use PHP 7.1 will continue to do so Completed
4 October Forced switch PHP 7.1 websites to PHP 7.3 PHP 7.3 Switch websites still using PHP 7.1 to PHP 7.3 Completed
1 December PHP 7.1 no longer available PHP 7.3 Remove PHP 7.1 from all servers Completed


Update 1 November

The instructions below for manual setting of PHP 7.1 no longer apply; PHP 7.1 is no longer available on our servers.

Update 4 October 2019

If you are surprised to find your website stopped working when its PHP version changed, then you did not head our multiple warnings. But don’t despair; you can temporarily roll back to PHP 7.1 so that you can upgrade your website.

As of 6 September, the option to select PHP 7.1 for your website is no longer available. Instead, you need to manually edit set your website configuration to use this version of PHP:

  1. Edit the .htaccess file in the public_html directory with a text editor. One way of doing this is with the File Manager in cPanel. You have to enable display of hidden files (on a Linux server, any filename starting with a dot signifies a hidden file).

2. Locate the section of text:

# php -- BEGIN cPanel-generated handler, do not edit
# This domain inherits the “PHP”
# php -- END cPanel-generated handler, do not edit

3. Replace this block of text with the following (ignoring the comment to not edit):

# php -- BEGIN cPanel-generated handler, do not edit
# Set the “ea-php71PHP”
<IfModule mime_module>
AddHandler application/x-httpd-ea-php71___lsphp .php .php7 .phtml
# php -- END cPanel-generated handler, do not edit

4.Save the file.

Finally, upgrade your website to be compatible with PHP 7.3 and set your website to use PHP 7.3 as explained above. D-Day is 1 December. The clock is ticking… ;)