Upgrade your PHP!

We talked about this on the recent Perch podcast however we think it important enough to merit a post. Please, if you are still running PHP5.2 upgrade.

You can find out what version of PHP you are running in your Perch Diagnostic Report. Under Settings in the Perch Admin is a link to the Diagnostic Report. The first section is details of your Perch installation, the second tells you all sorts of things about your hosting – including versions of PHP and MySQL.

If you are on shared hosting then a support request to your host should be enough to upgrade your account. We’d suggest going to the newest version they offer, which should be 5.4 (but 5.3 is better than 5.2). Shared hosts will often have servers running old versions of PHP and only move people if they ask – as older applications might throw errors on newer versions of PHP. If your site is just running Perch, upgrading will cause you no problems.

If you are on a shared host who refuses or cannot upgrade you, that is a very strong reason to move away from that host. Or at the very least ask them how they justify keeping people on servers running a version of PHP that is not getting security patches and therefore vulnerable to attacks.

If you are running your own server or VPS then you should also upgrade, or ask your host to help you do so.

Why is this important?

PHP 5.2 is deprecated and unsupported now by PHP. Therefore you run the risk of security and performance problems if you stay with it. At some point in the future we will also drop support for PHP 5.2 in Perch, as supporting it limits some things we would like to be able to do in the product.

While you are at it, we suggest you check that you are on some version of MySQL 5 for the same reasons. MySQL 4.1 is no longer supported and 5.0 is nearing the end of life, so upgrading to at least 5.1 is advisable.

If you manage sites for clients, on hosting that they have chosen, this is a little service you can provide for them. Check their PHP and MySQL versions and if they are running a PHP version less than 5.3 or a MySQL version less than 5, suggest they upgrade for security and performance reasons.