WordPress (& Local) Ends PHP 5.6 Support

Hi all!

If you missed it in the WordPress community, with the release of WordPress v6.3 last week, WordPress no longer supports PHP 5.6. PHP 7.0.0 is the new minimum required version.

What does that mean for Local? Well, if you had existing sites in Local running PHP 5.6, they’ll continue running. You’ll see an “Update” button next to the WordPress version on your Site Overview page in Local - don’t click it if you need to keep using PHP 5.6!

As of today (15 Aug, 2023), Local still allows you to create a new site with PHP 5.6. Local also installs the latest WordPress by default on all new sites… meaning the site will create successfully, but will throw a fatal error when the site launches due to an incompatible PHP version.

In the coming days, we’ll be marking PHP 5.6 as “end-of-life” (EOL) in Local, which means it will stop appearing as an option for new sites in Local. This will prevent users from getting into a state with a broken site with the latest WordPress 6.3.

This won’t require any update to the Local app - with our changes to how PHP updates roll out, we can do this on our end and PHP 5.6 will simply fall off as an option without you needing to do anything.

If you’re building sites on older versions of PHP, even potentially still using PHP 5.6, we recommend updating to at least PHP 7.3.5 within Local and continuing from there. We’ll also evaluate adding PHP 7.0.0 if possible as it came up in a community feature request - thanks for that!

For many of you (>99%), this change won’t affect you - but if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know. Thanks!