If you’ve previously installed an older version of WordPress, you should update it from within your WordPress Dashboard.
One great new feature of WordPress 5.5 is that it adds automatic updates of plugins and themes. We strongly recommend enabling this feature to improve the security of your site. To do that, just click “Enable auto-updates” for all your plugins and themes:
That’s all it takes to prevent most “hacker” attacks on your site.
The MariaDB/MySQL database software is what stores pages for WordPress and other sites that are run by scripts. Customers should not notice any difference after this change; we’re upgrading it to a more recent version simply to make sure it’s as fast, reliable and secure as possible. We’ve been using the new version on internal and test servers for some time.
At the moment the software is updated on a server, WordPress and other database-backed sites on that server will have 30-60 seconds of unavoidable “downtime”. To minimize the impact of that, we do these upgrades only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights between 9 PM and midnight Pacific time (midnight-3 AM Eastern time). This process will be complete on all servers by June 28.
Beyond that one-time brief interruption in service, customers should not notice any difference to how their site works, as we said. But as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any trouble or questions.
The PHP developers recently released versions 7.2.30, 7.3.17 and 7.4.5 that fix several bugs. We’ve upgraded the PHP 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 series on our servers as a result.
The PHP 7.4 series has also been out long enough that all modern script software should be compatible with it, and the authors of popular scripts like WordPress recommend using it. Because of that, we’re making PHP 7.4 the default for new customers (although they can choose an older version if necessary).
We haven’t changed the version for any existing accounts, but we recommend that all customers use PHP 7.4 if possible. PHP 7.4 is slightly faster than PHP 7.3 and more than twice as fast as PHP 5. If you care about your site’s speed (and you should), always use the newest version of PHP that’s compatible with your scripts. Our Why Update PHP? page explains more about PHP version updates.