When I wrote about core WordPress doing well with PHP 8, I also mentioned that it's no longer as colourful when it comes to plugins and themes. That still holds true, but there are fewer and fewer situations like this.

I've been using PHP 8 on JZS for some time now, mainly to catch problems whether digging into logs or simply using the front and backend of the site. What have I noticed? The kit I'm using no longer has problems with the latest version of the PHP interpreter, and I think that's good news for anyone who really wants to implement PHP 8 at home, but is still afraid to try it.

What set of extensions do I currently have on JZS? If you know me, you know that the tools I use change frequently due to the constant testing I do, primarily to be able to share with you and my Trainees on MeetWP experiences. Without constant search, there is no development 🙂 .

Currently on board How to Make a Website hosted by the following.

Tested environment

Extensions (plugins in alphabetical order)

  • Admin 2020 Pro - I wrote about this plugin not so long ago. It mainly changes the look of the WordPress dashboard AND adds some handy gadgets to it - I like a change from time to time 🙂 I'm a bit of a fan 🙂 I'm a bit of a fan.
  • Akismet anti-spam - a plugin that by default is in the list of extensions right after installing WordPress, and its job is to filter spam sent through forms on the site. In my case, it's mainly blog comments.
  • Elementor i Elementor PRO - builder, which I probably don't have to introduce, but if you're not familiar with it, be sure to take a look at its features.
  • Essential Addons for Elementor PRO - an extension for Elementor. All in all, I sometimes wonder if I actually need it on this site 🙂 I use the widgets of this plugin in a few places, but I feel it's going to be a blast. Regardless of my decision, the extension is very good.
  • Fathom Analytics - This plugin allows me to access my site stats from within the WordPress dashboard. I am not using Google Analytics here.
  • Fluent SMTP - Sending emails from WordPress (notifications etc...) on SMTP protocol.
  • Kadence Blocks for Gutenberg PRO - I'm using Gutenberg more and more, and the blocks from Kadence are just great!
  • Kadence Simple Share - this is also a plugin from Kadence, using it to display the social media share buttons that currently appear on the JZS blog article pages. Quite poor, but do I need anything else?
  • Loco Translate - if I want to translate any element visible on the front end I use this extension. For me it is very convenient.
  • LoginID DirectWeb - The ability to log into WordPress using biometrics. I'm testing this new feature all the more eagerly as it has just been topped up by Visa to the tune of $6 million, this is last minute information 🙂 I'm going to be testing it.
  • Meta Box PRO - Plugin for creating custom content types, custom fields etc. In combination with Elementor PRO's smoky tags it gives cool possibilities. The following section has been launched without this plugin lifetime offers.
  • NitroPack - Plugin that integrates the site with NitroPack to optimise and cache site data. It does this superbly. Be sure to check out this tool.
  • Perfmatters - is also an optimization plugin. Using it I mainly cut scripts and CSS sheets of extensions from places where they are not needed for anything. Thanks to this the code is lighter.
  • Rank Math PRO - SEO optimization. I feel like switching JZS to Squirrly SEO to see what happens, but I prefer to approach such changes calmly 🙂 .
  • Redis Object Cache - a plugin that integrates WordPress with the Redis server, or object cache. Gives noticeable results for larger sites, but most importantly reduces the load on the database server.
  • SearchIQ - Plugin changing the functionality of the default content search engine on the site.
  • WPvivid Plugins Pro - A plug-in for creating incremental backups, which I upload as an additional security measure for the site to Microsoft's OneDrive or pCloud.

The list presented above is the complete set of plugins + theme as currently used on this site. I have written about many of the plugins before, if they interest you just click on the name to go to the relevant blog text.

This whole ecosystem is doing very well and I haven't noticed any problems with PHP 8, at least so far. However, testing has been going on for a while so I don't think anything will suddenly surprise me.

Test how the latest version of PHP will behave in your case, but I suggest you do it first on a clone of your website, blog or shop so that you don't overdo it like I did with experiments on a living organism. I do it consciously, though, and also before I started production testing I checked if anything bad was happening on the clone of my site.

How to change PHP version

This mainly depends on your hosting provider. Most allow you to change it yourself, but there are still some to which you have to write and they do it on the administrative side. It's not very convenient, because if it turns out that something doesn't work going back to the previous version may mean waiting time, and in the meantime the website will be down. In such a situation tests on a clone are almost mandatory 🙂 .

On DiDHost hosting both in the case of classic hosting as well as WordPress hosting In the service management panel, seeing information about the PHP version, click on it:

PHP settings in the DiDHost panel

In the next step, choose 8.x from the list of available PHP versions and save the changes. This is basically all you need to do to change the interpreter version instantly.

Select PHP 8 from the list of available versions

If you find problems, you can go back to 7.4 at any time. I don't suggest using 7.3 unless it's justified by the compatibility of your plugins or theme. Think of it as if version 7.3 didn't exist, and anyway, its support will end soon.

I'm very curious to see if your set of add-ons can handle the new PHP environment. Please let me know in the comments or post on our HelloWP community. Tell us which plugins or themes you have problems with.


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