Upgrade PHP 5.6 to 7


PHP is a programming language that can run with Apache or Microsoft IIS and works with your server to execute the requests that make up your website. 88% of online sites run on, soon to be vulnerable PHP 5.X technology. At the close of this year, scheduled by Dec 31, 2018 security support will end for our dear old friend PHP 5.6, meaning bugs and security fixes will not be tended to and could lead to security vulnerabilities. 
Each PHP version gets supported actively for two years while the third year only get critical security updates. Luckily, the PHP gods had smiled upon us and extended the life for just a year longer than the typical PHP version before giving us the new year deadline. For all of you developers out there wanting to know exactly what is changing, here’s a helpful migration guide from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.X.

While the last of PHP 5 closes out with PHP 5.6, this will inevitably leave websites utilizing PHP 5 vulnerable to attacks as well as poor performance. It has substantially reached its infamous End of Life (EOL) title. Switching to the newer PHP 7 versions is not only good for the security, but updating can ultimately save you money. Reducing the cost of doing business by avoiding software incompatibility and compliance issues. If an emotional headache isn’t enough to persuade developers to switch, the benefits will. Benchmarks show PHP 7.x has been tested to run three times faster than PHP5.6!

Let’s see:

  • Faster performance resulting in less memory usage
  • Three times faster page loads*
  • Better for heavy traffic sites
*Performance increase as benchmarked in a testing environment. Other developer’s website performance changes between PHP 5 and PHP 7 may vary.

If you are in a shared environment that manages the OS and framework, then your hosting provider should be sending out notifications of the upcoming change, their plan of action, and cut off dates. Our managed hosting products, such as Storm VPS, Cloud Sites or Managed WordPress, have support teams that can help you switch from PHP 5.X to PHP 7.X easily. Our Managed WordPress product has a compatibility checker built in & one click button to upgrade, yet another reason to love it!


While using WordPress to power your site you can check some vital aspects by going to the
WordPress plugin page and searching for the plugins that you use. Once you find the plugin or themes that you utilize, their spec pages will usually say what PHP version they employ. Also, check out the review tab for comments from users as this section gives useful information. This review tab is helpful for seeing if others have had issues with the plugin or theme and newer PHP versions. It is good practice to look up reviews and see what people have been saying about said plugin. If you don’t see any responses or it hasn’t rated well, then you will want to stray away from it. If you use custom plugins, check with your developer to see how they operate in new PHP versions. The WordPress Compatibility Plugin check will give you a list of plugins and themes that may not mesh well with PHP 7.X.

If you run a mission-critical site its best to do a compatibility checker because blindly upgrading could result in some parts of your page to not function. Checking PHP compatibility, as you would imagine, is a little more in depth but from research online, there is a compatibility checker for VPS servers that you can utilize by downloading the repo from GitHub.

It is worthwhile to note that some plugins may need a PHP module to be installed for the plugin to work. When upgrading the PHP version, you may also need to re-install the PHP module. Fortunately, our support team can assist with installing any PHP module you may need or give the best course of action if the PHP module is not available for your PHP version.

If you are using a Linux VPS the easiest way to check is to ssh into your server and run the following command via your terminal:

php --versionOutput: PHP 7.0.30 (cli) (built: Jun 26 2018 20:34:16)

cPanel:

Note
It’s important to make a backup of your site before migrating to PHP 7.X

Search php, select Multi PHP Manager, will show this screen to show which php version you are using. While on the PHP Version screen you can update the PHP version here by clicking on the check mark next to the domain and selecting the desired PHP version on the right drop down and click Apply.

Search For PHP and Click MulitPHP Manager Icon

How to Update WP-CLI

WP-CLI is a command line tool for interacting with and managing WordPress sites. In our previous article on How to Install WP-CLI we covered the process of installing WP-CLI onto a server. We did this in a way that the tool would be accessible by any user on the server. This prevents the need for your users to install the tool locally.
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How to: Using killall to Stop Processes with Command Line

Sometimes you may find your server in a state of high load caused by out control of processes. First you’ll want to use a command like htop, top, or ps, to get an idea on the server’s current state. If you aren’t familiar with those utilities we’d suggest checking our our article on htop.

After you have an initial assessment of the server’s current load you will have a better idea on how to proceed. More often than not the load is likely being caused by regular server traffic and usage.

Generally that will mean the load is being caused by a high number of Apache, PHP, or MySQL processes. After all most servers are hosting websites and these are the most commonly required programs to run a website. With that in mind during times of high load it’s often nice to quickly stop all processes of a certain type.
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Restore Your WordPress Database with WP-CLI

This article is a follow up to a previous article on the process of backing up a WordPress database with wp-cli. You may want to read that article before this one.

In this article you will learn how to restore a WordPress database backup using wp-cli tool. Having this skill at your disposal is crucial for situations where you need to restore a backup in a pinch. This skill can be particularly helpful if you are testing major changes and need to revert back.

Pre-flight Check:

  • These instructions were created with a cPanel-based server in mind.
  • Command line access via SSH will be necessary to follow along.
  • The server must have WP-CLI installed, for installation directions see this tutorial.

Continue reading “Restore Your WordPress Database with WP-CLI”

Find the IP of a Linux Server in Command Line

Knowing your server’s IP address(s) can be a useful bit of information to have for various reasons. After all, other than your domain, the server’s IP is the main address used to reach the server. Knowing a server’s IPs may be necessary when making changes to: DNS, networking, and security. A server may have a single IP, or multiple IPs, sometimes you need a quick way double check since it’s easy to forget.

This tutorial will teach you how to check the IPs of any modern Linux server. To follow along will simply need access to the server via SSH or TTY.

Pre-flight Check:

  • This tutorial requires basic knowledge of SSH and command line.
    See our KB article on command line access via SSH.
  • You must have SSH access to the server.

Check IPs with Command Line

  1. Begin the process by logging into your server via SSH:
    ssh liquidweb.example
  2. Now logged in via SSH, run the following command to check the servers IP:
    ip route

    This command is using the `ip` tool and is calling the `route` object, this command prints the current routing table.

Reading the Results

Once you execute that command you’ll see output similar to the following text. This is showing the servers IP routing table, essentially this is a set of rules used to determine where data will be directed.

When using this technique to find a server’s IPs you’ll keep an eye out for lines containing `src` followed by an IP. On these lines, the IP address following `src` are an IP configured on the server.

default via 203.0.113.1 dev eth0
203.0.113.0/24 dev eth0 proto kernel scope link src 203.0.113.86
198.51.0.0/16 dev eth0 scope link metric 1002
Any device using IP addresses will have a routing table used to determine the devices networking behavior.

In the example results, shown above, you see a severs routing table showing that the server has an IP address of: `203.0.113.86`.

While it may not look like much to new users these lines are dense with information. Each line of the routing table is there to describe a different behavior or condition. More information on these can be found in the ip commands manual pages, these can be found in the command line using `man ip route`. You can also read the man page online here.

Featured Freeware: htop

Featured Freeware highlights some of the Liquid Web staff’s favorite free software. This can range from useful command line tools, open-source packges useful in web-development, or even multi-platform applications. This week we are covering a treasured favorite, htop.

Note: This post assumes you have a working knowledge of top. You can read our article on using top, if you are not familiar with the tool.

htop, or Hisham’s top, is an interactive process viewer for Unix systems. With htop you are provided the same functionality as top, however it provides some needed improvements. Most are in areas where top shows some of it’s age; for example, in htop you can scroll the list of processes vertically and horizontally to see all the process info.

Another benefit is that htop seems to start significantly faster, generally when using top there is a bit of a delay while the program loads up some initial data. So now that you know the basics of how htop differs from top, lets get to using it. First you’ll need to ensure it’s installed on the server and if not we’ll try to get it installed.
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Backup Your WordPress Database with WP-CLI

In this article you will learn how to backup your WordPress database using the wp-cli tool. Knowing how to backup your database is a critical skill to have when running a WordPress site. All your posts, pages, and more live in your database; keeping backups is critical.

You should always take a backup before any major changes to your site, just in case. It’s much quicker to take a backup now and do a restore if you need to, than to find a useful backup when you need it. Continue reading “Backup Your WordPress Database with WP-CLI”

How to Install Git on Ubuntu 15.04

Introduction

Git is an open source, distributed version control system (VCS). It’s commonly used for source code management (SCM), with sites like GitHub offering a social coding experience, and popular projects such as Perl, Ruby on Rails, and the Linux kernel using it.

Pre-Flight Check

  • These instructions are intended for installing Git on Ubuntu 15.04.
  • I’ll be working from a Liquid Web Core Managed Ubuntu 15.04 server, and I’ll be logged in as root.

Continue reading “How to Install Git on Ubuntu 15.04”

How to Install and Configure Git on Fedora 22

Introduction

Git is a widely adopted, distributed version control system (VCS) and open source. It’s commonly used for source code management (SCM), with sites like GitHub offering a social coding experience, and popular projects such as Perl, Ruby on Rails, and the Linux kernel using it.

Pre-Flight Check

  • These instructions are intended for installing Git on Fedora 22.
  • I’ll be working from a Liquid Web Self Managed Fedora 22 server, and I’ll be logged in as root.

Continue reading “How to Install and Configure Git on Fedora 22”

How to Check the Version of cPanel / WHM

Pre-Flight Check

  • These instructions are intended specifically for checking your version of cPanel or WHM via the command line or the WHM dashboard.
  • I’ll be working from a Liquid Web Managed CentOS 7 server, and I’ll be logged in as root.

Method #1: Checking the Version of cPanel / WHM by the ‘cpanel’ Command

Using the cPanel command:

/usr/local/cpanel/cpanel -V

11.50.0 (build 27)

Continue reading “How to Check the Version of cPanel / WHM”