As you may know, PHP versions (from the initial stable release) are often upstream-supported for two years.
After two (2) years, the version gets only critical security issues for an additional one (1) year.
3 years in, the version reaches its end of life and is no longer supported.
PHP 7.4 was released on 28 Nov 2019.
The active support ended 9 months ago on 28 Nov 2021.
Since then, it has been receiving security support ONLY.
This security support will end on 28 Nov 2022 (2 months from now).
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU
If your application is still running PHP 7.4, please consider upgrading within the next 7 weeks.
If you don't, your PHP-powered website or application may be exposed to unpatched security vulnerabilities.
The easiest (but not the best or recommended approach) way to move to PHP 8.0 is to use MultiPHP Manager in the Software section.
cPanel's MultiPHP Manager interface allows you to set the PHP version a domain will run.
To change a domain's PHP version, select the checkbox for the domain that you wish to change.
Select the desired version of PHP 8.0 (or 8.1 if your application supports it) from the PHP Version menu and then click "Apply".
But this may result in your website going down if the application or extensions/plugins, theme/template are not ready for that version.
The best (recommended) way to do this is to create a staging environment.
A staging environment is a cloned copy of your production website with the same data and files.
However, it is hosted on a different subdomain and not accessible to the public.
Changes made to a staging site will not reflect on the production site until you explicitly push the staging to production.
Example: WordPress Toolkit Staging Environment
If you have installed your WordPress with Toolkit, you can easily create a WordPress staging site using the clone and staging features.
To start the process,
Log in to your cPanel.
Select WordPress Toolkit from the Domain section or from the upper left of your cPanel.
Expand the detailed view of the site for which you want to create the staging environment.
Click the Clone tool in the dashboard view.
Select the staging site's subdomain and path.
This can be a pre-existing subdomain that you created earlier.
Or you can allow Toolkit to create a new one (e.g. staging.$example.com) for you.
All you need to do is to click the "Start" button to create the staging site and subdomain.
Once done, you can access the new site in the main WordPress Toolkit interface just like other sites you have.
It is recommended that you use the "Add Label " option to differentiate your WordPress installations.
The label can be based on environment (prod, dev, testing, staging).
For developers or agencies that build or manage WordPress for customers, the label can be the name of the customers who own each WordPress installation.
After testing and you are ready to push the changes to the production site, click the Copy Data tool in the staging site's WPT dashboard.
Select the production site from the Target drop-down menu and click "Start".
If anything goes awry, simply roll back the push from the restore point created by WordPress Toolkit before the action.
Example: Softaculous Staging Environment:
If you have installed your WordPress installation with Softaculous, this is what you can do to create a staging environment:
Go to your cPanel with your credentials.
Scroll down to Software and click on the Softaculous icon or WordPress Manager.
Once the page loads, locate the Installations page.
Select the WordPress installation for which you want to create the staging environment.
Click on the Create Staging icon.
Fill in the Staging Installation details and click on the Create Staging button.
Once the staging environment is ready, test things out.
If everything in the staging environment is as you want it to be, back up the production installation.
Once you have ascertained that the backup is ready, click on the Push To Live icon (next to the corresponding Staging installation) to push the changes to your live website (again with just one click).
If anything goes wrong, simply restore the website using the backup.
Retaining PHP 7.4 Option
If your application must use PHP 7.4, you can use our HardenedPHP packages which support PHP 5.6 to PHP 8.1.
To do that, log in to your Web Hosting Magic account.
Select the service (or hosting account).
Once the page loads, select the Upgrade/Downgrade option from the left-hand side.
Look for a corresponding package with the "HardenedPHP" name.
|EAPHP Package (URL: https://dashboard.webhostingmagic.com/store/web-hosting-packages)
HardenedPHP Package (URL: https://dashboard.webhostingmagic.com/store/secure-php-hosting)
Since the HardenedPHP packages are considered "upgrades" when using normal web hosting packages, there will be a slight change in your pricing.
Complete the upgrade process by taking care of the auto-generated invoice and start running PHP 7.4 even for the next 6 - 7 years.
PHP 7.4 EOS (End of Support) on Web Hosting Magic Platform
For customers with regular web hosting packages, please note that PHP 7.4 will not be available from the 25th of November, 2022.
If you are still using PHP 7.4 by then and haven't upgraded before the 25th of November, 2022, the account team will upgrade your account to use the corresponding Hardened package.