PHP 4 being phased out

For the last several years, we’ve offered PHP versions 4 and 5 on our servers. This made sense when PHP 5 was new: Even though PHP 5 is faster and more secure than PHP 4, a small handful of scripts were originally incompatible with version 5, and we wanted to give customers a choice.

However, PHP 5 is now more than five years old, and the PHP developers declared version 4 obsolete in 2007. All our new customers have been using PHP 5 by default for more than a year, and we’ve received no complaints about incompatibilities.

No PHP script should require the obsolete PHP version 4 any more. Because of that, we’re beginning the process of removing it from our servers.

This is unlikely to cause any problems for customers, but we’ll do it in several steps during the rest of 2009 to ensure a smooth transition:

  • Now: We no longer mention PHP 4 support on our Web site. Existing customers using PHP 4 are encouraged to switch to PHP 5.
  • July 31: New customers who sign up after this date will never see the PHP 4 option in their control panel.
  • August 1-31: We’ll identify existing customers who are still using PHP 4 and send e-mail notices asking them to upgrade.
  • September 1: Existing customers using PHP 5 will no longer be able to downgrade to PHP 4 without manual assistance from our staff. Also, running “/usr/bin/php” from the command line (for example, from an ssh login or a cron job) will run /usr/bin/php5 instead of /usr/bin/php4.
  • September 1-14: We’ll send PHP 4 customers final notices asking them to upgrade.
  • September 15 – October 31: PHP 4 customers will be automatically upgraded to use PHP 5 and notified of the change (we’ll upgrade a small number of sites each day). Any customers who experience problems can notify us and downgrade to the old version for 30 days while they work to upgrade their scripts.
  • December 1: PHP 4 software will be completely removed from our servers.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.