Hosting and current version of PHP

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11 posts Page 1 of 2
by lynn » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:54 am
My client is a legacy 25-year Sonic client, very loyal, and wants to host her new Wordpress site on her existing Sonic hosting account. Her new site, built in a staging environment, uses the recommended WP 5.22 and PHP 7.3,

We get this error when installing... "Your server is running PHP version 5.3.29 but WordPress 5.2.2 requires at least 5.6.20."

Is there any way to host an up-to-date Wordpress site on this client's account on Sonic?

by joemuller » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:32 am
Hi Lynn,

At the moment, the newest available version of PHP on our Hosting platform is 5.6. You can change the site over by doing the folllowing: (For more info, see here.)

- Edit the file '.htaccess ' in the top directory of your website (this is normally where the index.php and wp-config.php files are for Wordpress) to have the following two lines on top:

Code: Select all

Action php-cgi /cgi-bin/php56
AddHandler php-cgi .php

There may already be a similar line referencing 'php53', in which case you can change that line to have 'php56' instead.

We're currently working on a (long overdue) refresh of the Hosting platform, which will include a newer PHP 7 release. For now, PHP 5.6 is the most recent one available to you.

-- Joe M
I'm a proud employee of! :-)
by Lis » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:57 pm
Hi Joe,

I have the same issue. I followed your direction to edit the .htaccess file, and continue to receive the same error message.
Any suggestions?

by joemuller » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:52 am
His Lis,

Go ahead and check now - it looks like your Wordpress install was actually in a sub-folder ('/resort'), so I went ahead and updated both the main .htaccess file as well as the one in the folder. That should get everything running PHP 5.6.

-- Joe
I'm a proud employee of! :-)
by anklam » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:49 pm
I just made this change to the .htaccess file that's located alongside the index.php and wp-config.php files, but I now get the error message:

Error establishing a database connection
This either means that the username and password information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect or we can't contact the database server at This could mean your host's database server is down.

Are you sure you have the correct username and password?
Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?
Are you sure that the database server is running?
If you're unsure what these terms mean you should probably contact your host. If you still need help you can always visit the WordPress Support Forums.

by anklam » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:24 pm
It looks like the answer to my problem is mentioned in another thread on this forum:

the MySQL password hash for your account needed to be updated to work with the newer PHP version. This Wordpress install must have been created quite a while ago since it was using MySQL's "old_password" format.

I switched back to PHP 5.3 and changed passwords, hoping that this might regenerate a newer password hash. After editing .htaccess to use 5.6, it didn't work.
by anklam » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:35 pm
OK. I should have read further in the other thread at viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9245&start=10

Following those steps worked! Hurray!

by ankh » Thu May 13, 2021 9:44 am
Help? This has been dragging out for years now.


Your site is running an insecure version of PHP (5.6.34), which should be updated.
What is PHP and how does it affect my site?

PHP is the programming language used to build and maintain WordPress. Newer versions of PHP are created with increased performance in mind, so you may see a positive effect on your site’s performance. The minimum recommended version of PHP is 7.4.
by ankh » Thu May 13, 2021 9:46 am
Oh, and there's also this warning: "Any changes to these must be made by your server administrator."
Who would that be?


One or more recommended modules are missing

PHP modules perform most of the tasks on the server that make your site run. Any changes to these must be made by your server administrator.

The WordPress Hosting Team maintains a list of those modules, both recommended and required, in the team handbook (opens in a new tab).

Warning The optional module, imagick, is not installed, or has been disabled.
Warning The optional module, zip, is not installed, or has been disabled.
by ankh » Thu May 13, 2021 9:48 am
And, ah, this: "Contact your web hosting company to correct this."


Outdated SQL server Performance

The SQL server is a required piece of software for the database WordPress uses to store all your site’s content and settings.

For optimal performance and security reasons, we recommend running MySQL version 5.6 or higher. Contact your web hosting company to correct this.


I don't mean to be tiresome, I realize Sonic is expanding fast and perhaps doesn't have a lot of experienced pros on staff at this point. But if Sonic's encouraging people to create websites, some further education seems apt.
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