Nightmares Updating PHP in WordPress

Nightmares Updating PHP in WordPress

Have you ever had nightmares, such as the abject kind brought on by nightmares updating PHP in WordPress?

Ladies and Gents, I have to be honest this has been a day full of big headaches and massive technical nightmares.


And they should all be unnecessary.

All of this stems from the fact that my hosting patform is currently running an antiquated version of PHP. PHP stands for hypertext preprocessor, a general-purpose programming language originally designed for web development created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994

That’s now a big problem, especially if you are running WordPress plugins that only will accommodate the most updated PHP versions.The current WordPress up-to-date version is PHP 7.3, my hosting platform in many cases is running on an old PHP 5.6.

They have been working on an upgraded web platform for PHP 7.2 to be handled by a new class of servers that is currently in BETA, but it is far from ready. They will invite anyone who hosts with them to try the new BETA version.

updating PHP in WordPress is stressful

But when switching over to the new BETA version, beware your plugins will disappear!

That is what happened to me today and it was only but one of the headaches I had to endure with Site Support today.

There are affiliate links within this post. What this means is that if you decide to purchase anything through one of my links, I'll be rewarded with a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. This small commission helps me run and maintain my website.

updating PHP in WordPress gives us headaches

A Day of Headaches

My headaches began earlier this afternoon when I tried to install my normally very reliable Child Theme Configurator plugin so I could install a child theme on my new website.

For the first time ever, when I attempted to install it, this is what I got:

Not updating PHP in WordPress caused the Child Configurator theme not to work

Upon further investigation I was instructed by to run a check with a PHP Compatibility Checker (another plugin!), which ran unresolved for 10 hours!

PHP Compatibility Checker

That's when I opened a Site Support ticket.

Upon their recommendation I approved them switching my website over to one of their New Servers that is accomodating PHP 7.2 in BETA and I was hopeful all would be resolved.

Not a chance.

After they switched me to the New server that was PHP 7.2 compatible, when I tried to upload the Child Theme Configuator again, it received the same result even with my website on the NEW server.

Add Plugins in WordPress dashboard

Site Support then proceeded to install the .zip file of the Child Theme Configurator on my Dashboard, which worked and was installed my dashboard.

It was apparently the ONLY way.

I then successfully installed 4 new plugins, ALL highly reliable and up-to-date plugins I use everyday, and they were ALL installed and activated on my Dashboard. Or so I thought.

I though to myself "Great this is all finally resolved."

That's when we went out to dinner.

updating PHP in WordPress can make your plugins disappear

My Plugins All Disappeared After Updating PHP in WordPress

When I returned 5 hours later, all my plugins that were previously installed (the 4 plugins I had installed AND the Chid Theme Configurator) all had DISAPPEARED!

Site Support explained the reason for this:

After I installed these 4 plugins (after Site Support moved my website to the new server), unbeknownst to Site Support the domain was still resolving to the old server; due to this all 4 plugins that my dashboard showed successfully installed actually had been installed on the old server - but my website was now on the NEW server.

Not only this, I later noticed my Child Theme was GONE too!

When I returned from dinner, I reported this to Site Support, and told them I would re-install ALL of the plugins AGAIN.

 They also told me to run the PHP Compatibility Checker again
updating PHP in WordPress caused a new problem

A New Problem Arises After Updating PHP in WordPress

Okay, so I had to re-install ALL of the plugins that were GONE.

Easy. No problem.


I even had to re-install my child theme using the Child Theme Configurator!

Mind you, previously before re-installing the plugins I cleared my cache - even turning off Site Speed one time before running the compatibility checker, then turning it on again.

Even with my new website as a virtual "clean slate" in the NEW PHP 7.2 environment on the new server, in the end the PHP Compatibility Checker showed that

Now with ALL of my highly reliable plugins installed on the NEW server accomodating PHP 7.2, I was told to run the compatibility checker for a 3rd time.

This MUST be fine now, right?


there were a total of 41 warnings and 2 errors on 2 of 7 plugins:
41 warnings

Something is wrong with the new upgrade; these 4 Plugins are always Stellar, always WORK without ANY problems, and are completely up-to-date.

This situation is currently unresolved and ongoing, and it appears to be a problem with the new BETA PHP 7.2 WA is currently testing.

If you'd like to read more details from my question post earlier, head over to here:

Why Isn't WA Site Support Keeping PHP versions up to date?

Hopefully my hosting platform will resolve these issues. I'm really exhausted and am done for the evening. Going to bed, I suppose I will try to give you an update tomorrow.

updating PHP in WordPress will make you pick up the pieces

Nothing that can't be resolved in the end though.

Even if the pieces are strewn all over the place!

Every problem has a solution.

Just a hiccup and all part of being in tech when you are updating PHP in WordPress.

Hope your day went better than mine.

Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Still receiving errors

****1st UPDATE ****

Unfortunately as you can see here folks, today I am still receiving the same PHP Compatibility Errors and Warnings from these plugins despite being on the BETA (PHP 7.2)

I hope Site Support will find a solution, so far No Mas:(

Compatibility error warnings


Contacting the Theme Developer

**** 2nd UPDATE ****

Regarding the above PHP compatibility errors, upon Site Support request I contacted the Theme and plugin developer, and here is exactly what they said:

Hello Kaju,

Thank you for contacting us regarding this matter.
Most likely this is a false positive error since our products work fine on PHP 7.X versions.

We are not aware how the HP Compatibility Checker is designed to work also but rest assure that our products are compatible with the latest PHP versions.

Let us know if there’s anything else we can help you with.

(end of response)

As I expected, the problem does not lie within the Theme as they update their themes and plugins regularly. The problem lies in updating PHP in WordPress.

About the Author

KAJU is the band leader and founding member of OFF THE HOOK, one of the premiere dance party bands in the New York Tri-State Area. After contracting a mysterious hand disorder, Kaju now writes to help other musicians and artists deal with disabilities. Currently he is a Full-time Affiliate Marketer and 1-on-1 mentor at Wealthy Affiliate, a community that can help anyone start an online business without prior experience. This is where he teaches others how to make a great passive income. Read more about his story here!

  • Mitch Crim says:

    I’ve seen this non-compatible error also. And, also, I have no idea how to resolve it. I’ve seen other posts on the topic and it appears the matter is still unresolved. Thanks for letting us know what you’ve experienced. How does it feel to be a PHP guinea pig? ;-)))

    • Kaju says:

      Ha! Being a PHP guinea pig is certainly not the best feeling in the world, but I have to say now that I am in Beta things are working much more swiftly and efficiently!

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