When Is the Right Time to Update to a New PHP Version – 5 minutes – Lately in PHP Podcast Episode 92 Part 2

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In this article you can learn:

When Is the Right Moment to Upgrade to a New PHP Version

1. Previous Article: Why You Need to Choose the Right Moment to Upgrade to a New PHP Version

2. This Article: When Is the Right Time to Update to a New PHP Version

3. Next Article: What Should You Do Update Successfully to a New PHP Version

Contents

2. When Is the Right Time to Upgrade

The right time to upgrade is not too late or too soon.

2.1. When Upgrading Is Too Early

Suppose you upgrade to a newer PHP version too early. In that case, you increase the chances of your applications’ issues of instability due to unexpected changes that make your application code stop working.

2.2. When Upgrading is Too Late

If you upgrade to a newer PHP version too late, you increase the chances of your applications having security issues because the PHP version that you use is vulnerable to security issues that were discovered after that PHP version was released.

2.3. Upgrade to a Recent Version that is Not Too Recent

Please avoid using the last PHP version immediately released because it is very likely to have bugs that PHP core developers did not yet detect.

Still, if you need to use the last PHP version released because it is crucial for your project, I always advise that you wait at least one month after that release date. The core developers may use this period of 1 month to fix the most critical issues that have escaped their tests.

For instance, PHP 8.1.4 release was on March 17, 2022. If you were using an earlier version of PHP 8.1 or even an older PHP version, I advise that you wait until April 17, 2022, and only upgrade after that date.

If you don’t need the latest PHP version, I suggest you delay any PHP version upgrade effort until much later.

2.4. Upgrade to an Older Version that is Not Too Old

If you do not have an urgency to upgrade PHP in your server, you can consider upgrading to an older version that is not too old.

That version that is not too old is the latest release that includes PHP core developers still maintain that.

For instance, the latest stable version when I am writing this article is PHP 7.4.29.  So you wait one month after the release date of PHP 7.4.29, which was April 14, 2022, and add one month. That gives May 14, 2022.

2.5. What You Can Do If the PHP Version that You Use is Controlled by the Hosting Company or the Operating System Distribution Company

In this case, you should follow the recommendations of the hosting company or the operating system distribution company.

You can check if they follow the recommendations that I gave before. If they follow, you are fine. If they do not mind, you may want to consider moving to another hosting company or using another operating system distribution.

Suppose you can decide which operating system you can use in your server environment. In that case, you should also follow the recommendations that I presented before about the right time to upgrade the operating system to a newer version.

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