Summary

WordPress has grown in complexity along with the themes and plugins it relies on. For this reason it’s important to have the latest updates including recent updates to PHP. This week WordPress 5.1 was released with several performance upgrades. Keeping all aspects of WordPress updated will help make your site faster and more secure.

Note: If you’re running a WordPress site hosted with WordPress.com you’re already getting the best speed and security available.

PHP Upgrade

Many WordPress websites are still running on older versions of PHP such as version 5.3. The latest version is 7.3. This is something you’ll need to contact your hosting company about. Some hosting control panels offer easy access to PHP upgrades. With other hosting companies you may need to request an upgrade. Here is the WordPress announcement about this issue: WordPress.org/support/update-php/

WordPress 5.1

This week WordPress announced version 5.1 of their popular web development platform. Here’s an excerpt from that announcement:

SITE HEALTH: “With security and speed in mind, this release introduces WordPress’s first Site Health features. WordPress will start showing notices to administrators of sites that run long-outdated versions of PHP, which is the programming language that powers WordPress. When you install new plugins, WordPress’s Site Health features will check them against the version of PHP you’re running. If the plugin requires a version that won’t work with your site, WordPress will keep you from installing that plugin.”

EDITOR PERFORMANCE: “Introduced in WordPress 5.0, the new block editor continues to improve. Most significantly, WordPress 5.1 includes solid performance improvements within the editor. The editor should feel a little quicker to start, and typing should feel smoother. Expect more performance improvements in the next couple of releases.”