Updating the Minimum PHP Version

For the millions of sites already running WordPress 5.0, 85% are using PHP 5.6 or above. We’ve also recently observed that showing notifications to encourage users to upgrade their PHP version has been very effective. Yoast SEO experimented with this last year, and found that site owners upgraded their PHP version at twice the rate than before they were showed the notification.

In light of that, I’d like to propose that in April 2019, we bump the minimum PHP version requirement to be 5.6. Sites that choose to remain on 5.5 or below will still receive security updates and possibly bug fixes, but would not be able to upgrade to the latest major WordPress version until they upgraded to a supported version of PHP.

Similarly, I’d like to propose that in April 2019, we bump the minimum MySQL version requirement to be 5.5. 98.5% of WordPress 5.0 sites are using MySQL 5.5 and above.

Depending upon feedback and effectiveness, we can follow up by bumping the required PHP version to 7 as early as December 2019.