Blessings To The People Actually Making It Happen – The WordPress PHP7+ Upgrade Quest

I knew I couldn’t be the only one who thought of it. I knew there had to be someone out there with real solutions for real people, but just weren’t getting enough search love. Sure enough, there are some devs who maybe have old parents (around my age) who didn’t want to lose their blogs or small business sites. I’m doing my little bit to try to get them some more attention here.

So WPEngine made a compatibility checker plugin that checks your WordPress and plugins to see if they will survive an upgrade. Click here to check it out or download it manually.  You can also find it in your Add New thingy in your Plugins menu. It’s awesome. 🙂

I scanned this site and where it was really helpful to have the information, I found out that some plugins I really like might not be compatible. The reason they popped up though, might be that they are keeping backwards compatibility even though they’ll run just fine with PHP7. The thing is, they are really good ones that until they are whitelisted, nobody is going to take the chance of doing without, like WP Clone and Short URL. There are likely similar plugins causing the same errors and warnings in the compatibility checker.  Were it not for having to do without important plugins and the possible threat of causing an unforeseen error that I wouldn’t be able to fix, I would just shut them all off and do the upgrade.

If you can handle running a working local version of your site on your computer, then using Updraft Plus and Local by Flywheel, you can use these instructions at ThemeIsle to test what will happen in an upgrade to PHP7. I’m not doing this, but the instructions look like they’ll work.

It was good news emotionally, to find out that not everyone is a jerk to those less adept or not at all into coding. Still, the problem remains that the timing is not that great. Most people are still on 5.2-5.6. To add to our issues, now there’s PHP7.1 already. How can anybody keep up with all the upgrades?

What has me nervous is that when I looked into the details of some of the errors, there was stuff like “mysql” is depreciated and needs to be changed to “mysqli”? Yikes.

The programming language for websites and applications that is stable and secure and stays that way, from which things can be made user friendly to dummies like me, is an impossible dream I know, but it would be nice to have something that didn’t mean everything has to be changed every year or it will break. I am not a total dummy, but I am a bit outdated. Still, if I’m having this much trouble, others are definitely having troubles.

So I’ll be checking my sites and upgrading as soon as it’s safe to, and preparing until then. I’m also building old school backups though. The dirty truth is that as far as design goes, that’s mostly done with good old HTML5 and CSS. You can learn that at W3 Schools. Make sure you have an editor that can handle it like Kompozer.

Seriously, thank you all who are making the upgrade process less painful. Please don’t abandon us.


My pronouns are whatever you're comfortable with as long as you speak to me with respect. I'm an Afruikan and Iswa refugee living in Canaan. That's African American expat in Israel in Normalian. I build websites, make art, and assist people in exercising their spirituality. I'm also the king of an ile, Baalat Teva, a group of African spirituality adherents here. Feel free to contact me if you are in need of my services or just want to chat.

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