WordPress Hosting Update – November 2021


Upgrading PHP (The Programming Language Behind WordPress)

Newer versions of WordPress are complaining about PHP 7.0.33-0+deb9u11, saying that it’s not secure. It’s not true. Debian 9 is still a secure operating system, providing a secure version of PHP for WordPress to run securely. I complained about the warning and I’m told the “Site Health Team” will review the situation.

In any case, WordPress is working on support for PHP 8 and we don’t want to be left behind. I’m pushing ahead with a strategy to gradually move from Debian to Arch Linux. What does this mean in plain English? With Arch Linux we will have PHP 8. Generally speaking, Arch is easier to upgrade, which means we’ll always have access to the latest software going forward.

New Server Architecture (That Stores & Serves WordPress Data)

Technically speaking, we won’t have to “backport” the latest software, because Arch offers “rolling release” upgrades. The basic concept is, Arch Linux doesn’t reach an “end of life.” Unlike Debian, it just keeps going and going. I eat my own dog food here and I’m using an Arch-based Linux at home (for work and play) for several years now. Upgrading Arch Linux year after year is not as difficult compared to Debian. Debian is a great operating system, but when it comes to major version upgrades, it’s not the best system available.

Arch Linux has critics too. But in my expert opinion, this is the best way forward. As a test, I’m hosting KnowingArt.com on Arch Linux with PHP 8 and so far there are no problems. That particular server is setup in Poland. The next server will be setup closer to the United States, for those of you serving US markets, which is most of you. From a user’s perspective, you probably won’t notice much difference. Then again, we’re going to have newer versions of NginX, MariaDB, and PHP, and newer versions tend to be a little faster.

That’s all for now. I’ll post another update next month!