My WordPress plugins and PHP support

I recently updated my Plugins List plugin and the minimum PHP level requirement moved from 5.6 to 7. 

Let me explain my reasoning and what my plans are for PHP support.

Here are a few facts to rattle off first…

  1. PHP 5.6 will become EOL (and, by that, I mean will stop receiving security updates) in 5 months time.
  2. The recommended level of PHP for WordPress is “PHP version 7.2 or greater“.
  3. All of my hosting, quite rightly, is on a PHP 7 platform, which means testing back-levels of code is not (easily) possible. Yes, I can test on a local development platform which I have set up for 5.6, but I don’t intend to.

With the exception of this one plugin, all of my plugins are currently compatible with PHP 5.6. However, in future…

  • If I make any changes that make the plugin incompatible with PHP 5.6, I will update it’s minimum requirement. I will NOT look for a way around it and will not attempt to “correct” this. Moving towards PHP 7 is the most appropriate direction of travel.
  • I will not make plugins PHP 7 only just the sake of it (i.e. updating the minimum requirement when, in fact, the plugin will work under 5.6).
  • I’m not Mozilla. Or Linux. Or any other large-scale project that can continue to support back-levels, so once a plugin has moved to a PHP 7 requirement, I will not be pushing out any future security updates to older, 5.6 releases. My plugin becomes EOL as soon as it moves to the next revision, whether your hosting is compatible with it or not.

I hope this will help in clarifying the situation.