On November 28, 2022, PHP version 7.4 will reach its end of life (EOL). Let's evaluate what this means for you and what you should do now.

Summary (TL;DR)

On November 28, 2022 PHP 7.4 will be deactivated. You should check all your installations as soon as possible and switch to PHP 8.x. And the best: Besides better security, you'll also get a faster website!

What does end of life mean?

PHP follows an official release cycle. Each version is actively developed for two years while reported bugs and security issues are being fixed. These two years are followed by another 12 months of security updates before the PHP version reaches its end of life (EOL). Thus, after November 28, 2022, no more security updates will be published for PHP 7.4. Since this is the last version of the 7.x series, a major version update to PHP 8.x is required.

What happens if you do nothing?

Increased safety risk

In the short term, nothing will happen in most cases. However, you should be aware that your Contao installations and of course any other PHP-based web application will be exposed to an increased security risk from this point on. As soon as a new security vulnerability appears, and believe me, there will be one, it can be used to take over your website, manipulate it or steal sensitive data.

Shutdown on the part of the hosting provider

Sooner or later, all hosting providers will shut down their outdated PHP versions. You should therefore act promptly and switch to a newer PHP version if possible. In the worst case, the provider will simply automatically switch from PHP 7.4 to 8.1 on the cut-off date and the website will no longer be accessible.

If PHP 8.x is not yet available with your hosting plan, it might also be necessary to switch to a newer package. It is best to clarify this directly with the provider.

Can I switch from PHP 7.4 to PHP 8.x without any problems?

There is no general answer to this question. Depending on the Contao version and the extensions used, a change will require more or less effort. Basically, it can be said that you will have less problems with a current Contao 4.13 and the most popular extensions. The older the extension and the older your Conto version is, the more likely it will be that you will have to update before you can switch to PHP 8.x.

How does trakked help you with this?

With trakked you never miss an installation using a PHP version that is about to expire. I.e. you can filter by different PHP versions and also easily see if there is a problem by our colored traffic light indicator.

Installations with PHP 7.4

For all your installations still using PHP 7.4 you can already see today that our traffic light system on the bottom right is "yellow". If you inspect an installation in detail, you will also find the yellow notice text saying "Support expring!" next to the PHP version.

If you have activated the weekly summaries, you will also receive a warning and a list of the affected installations. This way you can quickly see where you should take action.

What are the advantages of PHP 8.1?

I don't want to go into the new possibilities for developers here. I would rather like to point out the general advantage from the customer's point of view. On the one hand, there are again regular updates for bug fixes and security issues. But another nice side effect is the significant performance improvement compared to PHP 7.4. For the customer a faster page load and a few extra points in PageSpeed Insights might be a good argument ;-)

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