PHP update needed

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14 posts Page 2 of 2
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 ....
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