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  3. Extended PHP support for older versions

Extended PHP support for older versions

Part of the Zone software platform (ZoneOS) is to provide PHP versions to customers even after they expire. Currently, the oldest supported version is 5.6.

According to the PHP Project, each new version of PHP is supported for a total of two years, after which security patches are applied to the version for one year. After that, support for the official version will cease, and the patching of discovered security bugs will end.

In most cases, service providers stop offering such versions on their platform quite quickly, because of the very high resource costs and risks involved in keeping and offering the version secure. We have done this in the past in our Zone, where we recall that we removed all versions below 5.6 in 2020.

In order to prevent a similar situation from happening again, where users with older versions lose the ability to run their web applications on Zone servers, we have added extended PHP Support for older versions of PHP.

This leaves Zone customers free to choose the time at their convenience to make their web application compatible with a newer version of PHP, without having to worry about the immediate loss of support and security. This service comes with an older PHP support fee, which will be applied as long as the virtual server is running an older version of PHP.

Zone will take over the security patching of PHP versions marked as obsolete by the PHP project as long as it’s technically possible.


Any main and subdomain using an outdated version of PHP will be charged. The price depends on the age of the PHP version in use and the number of versions in use on your virtual server.


The service will be activated in the second quarter of 2024, and further details will be sent to all affected users by email.

Current pricelist ( updated: 01.03.2024):

  • PHP 5.6 = 12 € +VAT/mo.
  • PHP 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.4 = 8 €+VAT/mo.
  • PHP 8.0 = currently free


  • test.miljonivaade.eu is using PHP versioon 7.2
  • vana.miljonivaade.eu is using PHP versioon 5.6
  • dev.miljonivaade.eu is using PHP versioon 8.2

For each month, a fee for PHP 5.6 in the amount of 12€ and PHP 7.2 in the amount of 8€ will be charged. Total monthly cost would be 20€+VAT/mo.


About a third of outdated PHP versions are running on subdomains whose names indicate that they are new, old or test versions of the web. They also contain forgotten forums and campaign web pages, where the most cost-effective solution is to delete the subdomain.

A subdomain can be easily removed from the server using the “My Zone” self-service – the files and database will be preserved and can be used to republish important content if necessary.

Test the new PHP version without disturbing visitors

For some time now, Zone has been providing its users with a convenient tool for testing new versions of PHP.

The tool allows you to test in real time how your website is working with the new PHP version without breaking anything and without disturbing your web visitors.

For more detailed instructions on how to use the tool, see the help article here.

Why use the new version?


One of the best reasons to always keep your web server’s PHP version as fresh as possible is the speed of your website.
WordPress, the world’s most popular website tool, also uses PHP. Often we hear questions about how to make your WP page faster – either by using a cache, a plug-in or by focusing on optimisation. The reality is that the first thing to do is to check if you can get your site working faster with the latest supported version of PHP. Only then should you start to address the other points.


Every year, a number of different security flaws are identified in PHP, which are fixed by the PHP project during the first three years of the release. Statistics on the various security issues can be found in this article.

Once support for the official version is lost, it is up to the user to make security fixes to PHP. In the case of Zone, this means that the security patches are done by the Zone team on behalf of the client.

This means practically a continuous effort to make sure that the old PHP version is compatible with the newer operating system and in turn with all the different integrations, to avoid interruptions in the various functionalities.


Each new version of PHP brings new features that make PHP more powerful and faster.

Between version 5.6 and 8.2, dozens of such features have been added. They make a developer’s job easier as well as making a website faster and more secure – so it’s in every developer’s interest to use the latest supported version of PHP.


Q: How do I know when the PHP version on my virtual server expires?
A: We will inform all users well in advance of PHP version expiry. You can also check the expiry date of your version in PHP: Supported Versions.

Q: I don’t use PHP at all, why should I bother?
A: We have made every effort to locate such virtual servers and update the PHP version. In this case, the end-user does not have to worry about the version. Also, the user will always have the option of upgrading to any PHP version in the future, should the need arise.

Q: Do I have to manually update PHP every few years?
A: At the time of writing, the PHP version does indeed have to be manually updated by the user, but this will change soon. As a very large proportion of users will only have a WordPress site on a virtual server, it will soon be possible to activate an automatic PHP update on the server, which will keep itself in sync with the WordPress version.

Q: I have WordPress, do I also need to update PHP?
A: We have notified all our WordPress users in a timely manner by letter. Where possible, we have already replaced the PHP version with a newer one, if no errors were detected during the auto-testing of the page.
In case you are running WordPress on a virtual server where the PHP is out of date, the WordPress admin panel will also display a notification.

Q: I have a site so old that it simply doesn’t support a newer version of PHP – now what?
A: There are several options to resolve this:

  • Zone+ WP Assistant – Zone.ee – The base is WordPress, but the page is quickly put together by an artificial intelligence based on the information you enter. It also comes with a useful AI-based WordPress assistant and a text generation tool, which hand in hand make it even easier to create a website. With the Zone+ WordPress Assistant, anyone can feel like a WordPress wizard!
  • Zone+ Brizy – a simple sitebuilder based on WordPress. With Brizy, you don’t have to worry about an outdated PHP version in the future, because Brizy users are kept up to date with the latest PHP version.
  • Converting a web page to static – Web pages with historical value can be converted to static HTML pages using a tool that does not require PHP language support. The best known free solution for this is HTTrack, available for both Windows and MacOS.
  • Continue to use paid extended support for older versions of PHP – but be aware that over the years the fees may increase, or support for very old versions may disappear completely at some point!

Q: While testing, the site seemed to work with the new version. After the upgrade, it turned out that there were still bugs. What now?
A: No need to worry, you can go back to the old version any time. If necessary, make a copy of the working page to the development subdomain and continue testing and patching there. Once you’ve solved the problems, you can move the working site to the main domain already running the new version.

Updated on 7. May 2024

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