PHP 5.2.6 being phased out

This post was updated November 30, 2012 to reflect the additional availability of PHP 5.2.17.

We currently offer PHP versions 5.2.6, 5.2.17, and the 5.3 series. You can choose which version your account uses in the “PHP Settings” section of our “My Account” control panel.

PHP 5.2 has been obsolete for many years. Because of that, we’re beginning the process of removing PHP 5.2.6 from our servers and encouraging customers to switch to PHP 5.3. (PHP 5.2.17 is still available for now, but discouraged.)

This is unlikely to cause any problems for customers, but we’ll do it in several steps to ensure a smooth transition:

  • Now: The default for new accounts, and for accounts that don’t currently use PHP scripts, has already been switched to version 5.3.
  • Now through September 14: Existing customers using PHP 5.2.6 are strongly encouraged to switch to PHP 5.3.
  • September 5: Running “/usr/bin/php” or “/usr/bin/php5” from the command line (for example, from an ssh login or a cron job) will run PHP version 5.3 instead of 5.2. This change will not affect most customers, because it is unrelated to which version of PHP runs in response to Web requests.
  • September 15 – October 14: We’ll identify existing customers who are still using PHP 5.2.6 and send e-mail notices asking them to upgrade.
  • October 15 – December 30: PHP 5.2.6 customers who haven’t upgraded will be automatically switched to PHP 5.2.17 and notified of the change (we’ll upgrade a small percentage of sites each business day). Any customers who experience problems can temporarily downgrade to the old version while they work to fix their scripts.
  • December 31: Nobody should be using PHP 5.2.6 any more. In January, we’ll contact any customers who downgraded and make sure they’re aware that they need to fix things right away.
  • January 31, 2013: PHP 5.2.6 will be completely removed from our servers. Any customers still using it will be upgraded to 5.2.17.
  • Early 2013: We’ll also begin supporting the PHP 5.4 series.

If you’re still using PHP 5.2.6, you should take a moment to upgrade as soon as possible. While it’s unlikely that it will cause any problems, it’s wise to review your site after any change. If you use the control panel to upgrade PHP yourself, you can make sure it happens when you have time to look things over, instead of on a random day before December 30.