PHP update needed

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59 posts Page 2 of 6
by drew.phillips » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:24 am
maureenj wrote:I need to upgrade my PHP to PHP 7.2 or newer, but at the minimum I need to update to PHP 5.6.
I can't update my Wordpress site, which I have hosted with Sonic for years, until PHP is updated.
I just called customer support, and the guy I spoke to there refused to help me and sent me to forums. I see on the forums that Drew has helped several other people with this, and I hope he will please help me too. I freelance, and not updating my website now is becoming expensive.
I do not see a way to do it myself., and a redirect from
Thanks very very much.
Hi Maureen,

I made the change to your .htaccess file in your hosting directory, but also ran into the "Error establishing database connection" error briefly due to the old password format mentioned in the previous post.

I fixed that and the site is running on PHP 5.6 now. We don't yet have PHP 7 without a "Custom Hosting" container ($38/mo), but Scott is working diligently on an upgrade to our general hosting cluster (no ETA yet).

Let me know if you run into any issues with the upgrade or have questions.


I'll add this here for reference in case people find it later. Fixing the password is possible if you have Sonic shell access.

To do so, edit the wp-config.php file to get your current database credentials. It may look like this:

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define('DB_NAME', 'username_oc_1');    // The name of the database
define('DB_USER', 'username_oc_1');     // Your MySQL username
define('DB_PASSWORD', '76f7c035e51e65479b19838160331b1b'); // ...and password
define('DB_HOST', '');
Using an SSH client, connect to and log in with your username and password.


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mysql -u username_oc_1 -h -p
Enter the password.


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set password for 'username_oc_1'@'%' = PASSWORD('76f7c035e51e65479b19838160331b1b');
This updates the MySQL password to the newer format without changing it.

After performing this step, PHP can be updated to 5.6 by changing the .htaccess file.
Drew Phillips
Programmer / System Operations,
by maureenj » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:34 pm
Thank you very much for your prompt help, Drew.
I wish the customer service rep on the phone had told me help was actually available, instead of telling me to go look in the Forums.
I appreciate your help, and hope Sonic does upgrade PHP soon.
Thanks again,m
by tikvah » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:25 am
I'm also getting the error: "You cannot update because WordPress 5.2.2 requires PHP version 5.6.20 or higher. You are running version 5.3.29."

I no longer have Telnet access to the server, nor do I want to do all this manually. PHP is something that ought to be handled by Sonic and implemented systemwide.

I own (I think) 6 domains that all run Wordpress. I would like to update Wordpress on all of them, something that ought to happen automatically, but I can do it manually if needed, along with updating themes and plugins. This is done through the browser interface and is very straightforward, no UNIX required.

Please update PHP such that we can continue to use your service of hosting Wordpress (the primary reason why I continue to host sites & domain names at Sonic).

Thank you.
by ankh » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:46 pm
Same question, I think:
An updated version of WordPress is available.

You cannot update because WordPress 5.2.3 requires PHP version 5.6.20 or higher. You are running version 5.3.29.
Please explain like I'm 75. I used to know how to do all this stuff, but age and decrepitude ....
by ankh » Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:01 pm
Same question. Can't update Wordpress until a newer PHP is available.

Is this something we're expected to do individually for hosted pages?
Or is it a tool that runs somewhere in the background and all the hosted pages call on it?

Please explain like I'm 75.
by ankh » Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:02 pm
oh, the message is:
An updated version of WordPress is available.

You cannot update because WordPress 5.2.3 requires PHP version 5.6.20 or higher. You are running version 5.3.29.
by tikvah » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:09 am
ankh wrote:oh, the message is:
An updated version of WordPress is available.

You cannot update because WordPress 5.2.3 requires PHP version 5.6.20 or higher. You are running version 5.3.29.
Are you still getting these messages? My sites are updating now. I wish someone from Sonic would respond.
by joemuller » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:49 pm
The latest available version (as of September 23rd, 2019) of PHP available for hosted webpages at Sonic is 5.6.34. To set up your website to use this version, you will need to edit/create a file called .htaccess (note the leading dot) in the main directory for your website (normally where the main index.html or index.php would live). The top of the file needs to contain these two lines: *

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AddHandler php-cgi .php
Action php-cgi /cgi-bin/php56
We have seen a small number of websites using older Wordpress plugins and themes break when a newer version of PHP is used.

* Note that if the 'AddHandler php-cgi ...' or 'Action php-cgi ...' lines should only occur once in the file.
I'm a proud employee of! :-)
by patty1 » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:12 pm
Joe, I have those two lines at the top of my .htaccess file. I'm not getting a message about not being able to upgrade Wordpress, but I am getting the warning, "WordPress has detected that your site is running on an insecure version of PHP."

I don't know which version Sonic would need to go up to in order to qualify as a secure version. Any idea on that, and when it might happen?
by joemuller » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:43 pm
Hi Patty,

Per the offical PHP website, PHP 7.0 is the minimum version that is still fully supported with security updates. We're currently working on a refresh of our hosting servers, which should be complete by the end of this year - at that point, we will likely be running a version of PHP 7 as default.

Regardless of which PHP version is installed by your hosting provider (that's us in your case), you can always take basic steps to keep your site secure - these include using a strong, unique password for your login, removing unused plugins/themes, and making sure automatic updating is turned on in the Wordpress admin panel.

-- Joe
I'm a proud employee of! :-)
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