In order to keep our classic hosting servers safe we are doing a necessary upgrade on the PHP version for all sites from version 5.4 to 5.6. WordPress no longer supports PHP versions lower than 5.6. This means any updates that are crucial to security will be blocked, putting your site and our servers in a dangerous position. PHP version 5.6 will allow you to make all necessary updates to your WordPress installation, themes and plugins.
If you would like to upgrade to another PHP version, please contact our customer service center.
Why did this update break my site?
If you have an outdated theme or plugin this update may prevent your site from loading properly. This can happen if the themes or plugins are not compatible with the new PHP version. The steps below will help identify a possible cause and walk you through potential strategies for getting your site back up. Should these steps not work please contact our customer service center for further assistance.
How can I fix this?
Step 1 - Diagnose
To start the diagnosis, turn on the "Debug" mode in WordPress to find the Plugin or Theme that is causing the problem. Here are the steps on how to activate this function:
- Login to the Hosting Control panel found in the Hosting Manager.
- You will need to determine your website's ‘root folder’. This is the folder that contains all of your site information. The root folder is found under the Web tab by clicking on "Information," and is seen below as the Document root folder for the domain:
- Click on the Tools tab, then select the File Manager to see a list of your website folders and files, including the root folder.
- Click on your website's root folder and find the "wp-config.php" file. Click on the white pen and paper icon to the right of the file name to open that file.
- Scroll down through the config file until you see the section referencing debugging, located near the bottom of the file. Replace the word ‘false’ with 'true' and click the Save as button.
- Lastly, load your site and you will get a list of WordPress errors - any one that says FATAL means the plugin or theme listed has taken down your site.
Step 2 - Fix
Now that you know the plugin(s) or theme(s) that caused the problem, here are some steps to address the issue.
If your theme is to blame you will need to change to a default theme. To do this you will need to log in to your PHP My Admin to change the theme manually.
- Login to your Hosting Control Panel, select the Tools tab, and then go to the File Manager.
- Select your site's root folder to access the wp-config.php file, then click on the white pen and paper icon to open the file.
- Scroll down to the MySQL settings, where you will see the DB_USER and DB_Password.
- Minimize the folder and go back to the Hosting Control panel. Click on the and tab and select the PHPmyAdmin link, a new tab will open with a login screen - input your DB User and DB password, then click Go to log in.
- Along the left you will see all the tables associated with your website. Click the one with wp_options, and then select Browse to access the table options.
- Next you will need to locate the Template and Stylesheet. Click to edit the Template row, and change the value in the option_value field to the theme name that you want to use. You should have one or more of the annual WordPress default themes available, for example, the theme twentynineteen. Click Go to save the change.
- Next, repeat the same process under the Stylesheet row and this will change which theme your site uses.
If a WordPress Plugin is causing a fatal error, you can rename the plugin folder, which stops the plugin from loading and in turn allows your site to load. Often you just need to update the plugin so that it is compatible with the PHP version, but you may need to delete and replace the plugin if WordPress no longer supports it.
- From within your Hosting Control Panel, please go to the Tools tab and access the File Manager.
- Access your website's Root Folder, and locate the wp-content folder.
- Click on the Plugins folder to access the the plugin files for your site. Locate the plugin causing the fatal error and click on the paper stack icon to the right.
- A pop-up box will ask you to enter a new name for the plugin. We suggest adding '-off' to the plugin, as seen below. Select okay to save the change.
- You should now be able to load your site and login to the WordPress admin panel.
Step 3 - Update
- Once your site is loading after changing your theme or renaming you plugin, you will need to make sure everything is updated. This includes your WordPress installation, as well as all themes and plugins - including any that you edited to fix the site. Log in to your WordPress dashboard using the auto-login located in your Control Panel, or directly through your website.
- Click on the updates section found here.
- Complete all the updates. We recommend starting with the WordPress version update.
Here is our FAQ on how to Update your WordPress Plugins.
Step 4 - Revert Changes
Once you have made these changes you will need to access the wp.config.php file to turn debug mode off - change 'true' back to 'false' and save the changes.
If you changed your theme to get your site back up you can revert to your original theme if it has an update that supports PHP 5.6 or higher. Follow the steps outlined in the Themes section (Step 2) to switch back. You may need to reinstall your theme files if they have become corrupted during this process.
Now that your plugins are updated, you can change the plugin folder name back to the original name and try reloading the site. For example, 'pluginfilename-off' changes back to 'pluginfilename'. If the site breaks again you will need to re-install the plugin folder. If the plugin is standard you can usually download the plugin file from the directory at wordpress.org . If its is a Premium plugin reach out to your plugin provider.
It is possible that your plugin may have been removed from WordPress.org codex because it is no longer safe. If this is the case we recommend that you find a replacement plugin.
Please contact our customer support center with the error message you receive if these steps do not resolve your issues.