The weekly Site Health meeting will be held on Monday, May 11, 2020, 16:00UTC in #core-site-health on Slack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.. (a Slack account is required)
During this past weeks dev chat, the item of moving the minimum PHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher compatibility up further this year was brought up as a talking point. This will need a collaborative push to move towards. The desire target this time is PHP 7.1 as the minimum supported version, but to do so we will need to come up with a more effective way of encouraging users to do the upgrade.
At the time of writing, WordPress 5.2 or newer require PHP 5.6 to work. On top of that ~25% of all sites running these versions (WordPress 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4) are using PHP 7.0 or lower, that’s too high a number for us to bump the minimum required PHP version to where we want it.
The ServeHappy dashboard widget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. alerts users with PHP versions lower than 7.0 at this time. An initial step here would be to increase that threshold to 7.2, the currently most popular version. The team is aware that PHP 7.1 is already EOL (End Of Life), and that 7.2 will be the same come January 2021 (See list of supported PHP versions), but this is a marathon so we are taking it in small leaps to not cause unintended disruptions to the userbase.
That said, the dashboard notice likely won’t be enough for a PHP version push this year, that’s why this upcoming meeting will be focused on brainstorming ideas on other approaches that will help this endeavor, as we will have the upcoming WordPress 5.5 release to implement any changes needed to help move towards the goal.