Jenny is a PHP & WordPress developer and a Core Committer to WordPress that works as an Engineering Manager and Community Enabler at Human Made. She can often be found evangelizing open source community, organizing events, and occasionally speaking at events.
Q&A with Jenny
I asked Jenny a few questions and included his answers below.
As best as we know, what is the current distribution of PHP Versions across WordPress?
You can check out the daily stats on the WordPress.org stats page. https://wordpress.org/about/stats/. I like to put the stats in terms of the number of supported and non-supported PHP versions, otherwise known as zombie PHP versions.
1/3 of the reported sites are running on a supported version of PHP. That leaves 2/3s on zombie PHP versions. If you include PHP7.1 whose end of life is at the end of this year ( 2019) then it looks even more grime. Roughly 1/5 of WordPress installations are running an actively supported version of PHP.
Why should hosting companies care what version of PHP their customers are running?
Keeping the infrastructure of a server up to date is no different than doing house maintenance. We like to keep our homes in working order so that a criminal can’t easily get into our homes. As a hosting customer, I expect my hosting company to be keeping my site safe. But then again, this depends on what hosting company I paid for as a customer. If I rent a camping spot for my trailer, then I’m not going to expect the camping site to care about the maintenance of my trailer, but if I’ve paid for a hotel room, then I would expect the electric sockets in the room to work. In digital terms, part of the solution is to keep software up to date. This includes PHP versions.
What have been some of the highlights of your own experience working with both the PHP and WordPress communities?
The fact that both the PHP, WordPress and other open source communities span multiple continents, cultures and social norms really impresses me. It’s not easy to coexist in a space that has so much background, history and experience. The supportive nature you can find in both communities is always inspiring to come across. It’s always impressed me the way people in the open source space challenge and encourage each other to be the best citizens of the web they can be.