WP-CLI PHP Requirements Strategy

Up until now, WordPress Core was keeping a very low PHP minimum requirement, to support as many legacy server platforms as possible. As a result, WP-CLI tried to stay as low as possible with its own PHP minimum requirement, within reason. It made sense to not randomly break support for people stuck on lower PHP versions if we could easily avoid it.

WordPress Core is now planning to switch to a different approach for dealing with minimum PHP requirements, as recently announced on the Make/core blog: “Updating the Minimum PHP Version”.

As soon as WordPress Core has moved past WP-CLI in terms of minimum PHP version, we will try to adapt WP-CLI, but with a 1-year delay at the least. This delay is meant to allow site owners to still use WP-CLI to migrate their old sites over to newer servers. One year of additional support should be ample time to work on migrating your server over from an unsupported PHP platform.

After this year, we might raise the minimum as well, or wait for a more strategic moment to do so.

So this will be the guarantee that WP-CLI provides moving forward: Whenever WordPress Core raises the PHP minimum version requirement past WP-CLI, WP-CLI will stay at the old minimum requirement for at least 1 full year.

Given the current plans put forth in the above announcement, and considering the fact that there’s no real benefit to be had for WP-CLI to bump the requirement twice, the preliminary plan is to schedule WP-CLI v3 with PHP 7+ as a minimum requirement for December 2020.

The final announcement for a WP-CLI v3 release date will be done at a later date, probably closer to the end of this year.

#v3-0-0