Ticking time bomb – PHP 5 support ending

PHP is one of the most popular coding languages on the web. Even though it’s widely popular it has gotten some critic for its different versions are not compatible with each other and this is exactly why Php version 5 is on the line.

All support on different PHP 5 versions are going to stop at years end. It was planned to stop earlier this year, but because of its wild popularity, it got a few extra months of support, but even this borrowed time is now ending.

Why is this such a huge deal?

Almost 80% of the websites running today are built on PHP and about 60% of those websites are running PHP 5. Big website and CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal have been told to change their supported versions as well and asked to force users to upgrade to PHP 7, but unfortunately only Drupal is taking the step forward, for now, to force users to upgrade their code to be compatible with the latest PHP version.

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What does it mean when the support for PHP 5 ends?

In short, it’s a ticking time bomb that will make dozens of websites, applications and pretty much anything that relies on PHP 5 explode sooner or later. To explain it further, when PHP 5 support ends it means that if anyone finds a leak, hack or an exploit in the PHP 5 code it won’t be fixed. This could potentially affect even very sensitive information that people don’t want crackers to get their hands into. This could even take down forums and other platforms people use to communicate with each other.

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What can I do to prevent this?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much a normal user can do to protect themselves from this or to fix it. It all depends on the website, application and server administrators. The only thing users can do is to ask website runners, application makers and server administrators to update their PHP versions to PHP 7 or newer.

If you happen to be a PHP coder then there is something you can do. Update your skill set and move from the old PHP 5 versions to the newer PHP 7.

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