As you hopefully know by now, WordPress 5.0 brought some exciting new changes to the WordPress editor. Gutenberg or the new block editor for WordPress introduced us to a new way to create and edit WordPress pages, offering a lot more flexibility in page layouts especially. If you haven’t seen them yet…
WordPress Website Health Check
The latest update to WordPress 5.1 offers some polishing of the new editor features, but also gives you new alerts to help keep your site secure and healthy. WordPress has always been focused on security. In fact, one of the most important things you can do to keep your site secure is to keep your WordPress version up-to-date.
So how can you make sure your website is performing well? One way is to be sure you are running the latest version of PHP. PHP is the programming language that runs WordPress. Updating your PHP can improve your site’s speed dramatically. As well, older versions of PHP that are no longer supported, can become a security risk.
If your site is running on PHP 5.6, we recommend updating immediately as this version is no longer supported.
WordPress 5.1 includes a new ‘Site Health’ feature that will check your site and notify you if you are running an outdated version of PHP. Site Health will also check any new plugins against the PHP version required for that plugin. If the plugin requires a version that won’t work on your site, the WordPress Site Health feature will keep you from installing the plugin.
If you find that you are unable to install a plugin that you’d like to use, first check the version of PHP that your site is currently running and update if needed. Then check the version of PHP that the plugin requires. This information should be listed on the plugin’s website as the ‘system requirements’ or something similar. Or contact the plugin author directly for assistance.
Updating PHP Improves WordPress Site Speed & Performance
How to find your PHP version in WordPress
3 easy ways to figure out what version of PHP that your site is currently running are:
- Using Chamber Dashboard plugins? Visit your Technical Details page.
- Install a WordPress plugin that will display your PHP version on your site’s dashboard.
- Check with your website’s hosting company. Hint: they can help you update your PHP as well.
Ready to Update to 5.1?
Download WordPress 5.1 here or login to your site’s dashboard, then go to Updates to install. Note: If your site or host supports automatic updates, your site may have already updated.
DON’T FORGET TO BACKUP YOUR SITE
Anytime you update your site, theme, plugins, WordPress version, whatever, it’s always a good idea to make a full backup of your site first. We know updates usually go smoothly, but this is not always the case…save yourself the headache of losing all of your hard work…always make a backup before you start.
Steps to Backup a WordPress Website
Need to make a backup of your site? Here’s a quick reminder of the process:
- Install a Backup Plugin
- Be sure to check your settings so that you are backing up both your site content and your database
- Save your backup in an off-server location like, Dropbox, Amazon S3, Google Drive, etc.
Don’t want to have to worry about making backups or updating your site? Chamber Dashboard users sign up for our backup & update service here:
Need a more thorough check of your site? The Health Check plugin, by the WordPress.org Community will perform a variety of checks on your install to detect common configuration errors and known issues.