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How keeping PHP updated provides an extra barrier against hack attacks

A webmaster's worst nightmare

Having your website hacked, even if you have a bullet proof backup and redundancy strategy is surely the worst nightmare of anyone running a website, especially any site promoting a business or online shopping.

Just how long was it defaced for or offline? How many potential customers and contacts will you have lost as a result of this down time or simply due to the impression that this has given customers? After all, if a site is hacked when visited, why would you trust this person or brand if they can't even look after their own website? Naturally, everything possible should be done to avoid a hack before it ever happens.

What a visitor might see if Google has blacklisted your site for a known malware problem, likely the result of a hack.

There are various misconceptions about hacking that we should run over because these are a core reason why many sites end up getting hacked unnecessarily.

The importance of keeping PHP updated

For the reasons mentioned above it's vital that you periodically check the version of PHP that your website is running. If you are running unmanaged hosting then it's absolutely vital, but even for managed hosting it's important, you mustn't just assume that your ISP is keeping on top of this.

Put simply, keeping your version of PHP on the very latest subversion of that branch of PHP will assist you in giving one less option to hackers that may otherwise be able to exploit known security weaknesses in earlier versions of PHP.

How do I ensure that my web server is not vunerable due to an old version of PHP?

If you are not sure what version of PHP your web server is currently running read our guide on checking your PHP version. If you know your PHP version but are not sure about how to upgrade it, read our PHP upgrade guide.

Article last updated: 8th January, 2021