PHP Requirements Check-in

Hey everyone!

There’s been some conversation around the PHP extension requirements and recommendations posted by the hosting team following the release of WordPress 5.2 and Site Health Check.

I’m super excited that folks are digging into this documentation to ensure the recommendations are the best they can be for WordPress users!

This post is meant to introduce the background of the list and gain further feedback on the best way forward.

Background

There wasn’t an official set of PHP extension requirements from the WordPress project at all, and the hosting team decided to create documentation so that this would be more clear for both users and hosts. The team hoped this documentation could eventually be used to update the official requirements, since they are not currently complete.

The team did an initial pass with various contributors, including an audit of core to find references to extensions.

This page on the handbook was the result of those folks’ work, and was used as a reference during the addition of Site Health Check in 5.2.

Site Health Check both lists strict requirements and makes recommendations when extensions aren’t strictly required, but WordPress works better with those extensions present.

Feedback

Following the release, there have been tickets about changing the Site Health Check requirements and recommendations, and #47454 is the trac ticket where the most recent conversation has been happening.

Following that ticket, there was some chat in #hosting-community, and @dd32 did a first pass on the requirements based on his knowledge of the code base (thanks!). He also gave the idea of using an automated checker to get more detail on requirements. There’s also been some conversation about them in the two hosting meetings since.

There are varying opinions on what should be in Site Health Check, including whether it should be only what Core requires and uses, or whether it should include some things that are helpful to users, but are not absolutely necessary for WordPress to have all of its functionality.

I’m also interested if the Hosting Team Handbook is the best source-of-truth for these requirements and recommendations to be, since the requirements are defined by core itself.

Do you have any thoughts on the above? Please leave comments on this post!

Interested in feedback in general, but as a bit of recap, here are a few conversation points to start things off:

  1. Should the Hosting Handbook recommend extensions beyond what core requires?
  2. Should Site Health Check recommend extensions beyond what core requires?
  3. Where should requirements and recommendations for core be located?
  4. What changes would you recommend making to the current list?

Thanks everyone — looking forward to the discussion!

+make.wordpress.org/core