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So, I think I know what needs to happen but I wanted to get the opinion of the community and hopefully some more experienced people. I have to do content and theme updates to a site still running php 5.6. Because of a custom built app that interacts with the site, we can't currently update the php version, although we know this is a security no-no. So, I need to be able to keep the WP codebase compatible with php 5.6. The site already has the update blocking plugin on it, but I assume I would need to have a custom container for local development and a droplet or other VPS for showing to be able to show the updates off before pushing them to them to the live site. Is that right? Are there any shortcuts here? any chance the site will run on a php 7 server? I think most of the changes I need to do are just JS/front end stuff, so I'm hoping to take the lazy devops route here if possible.

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nizz0k,

so not sure exactly what you are looking for but I will give it a try. If you have not updated your WP core or any of the plugins running on this PHP5.6 server then most likely you will have some issue/issues trying to run this same code without any updates on a PHP 7.0 server.

What this issue will be of course is hard to tell as I have no idea what plugins you are running. Here ares some issues I have experience over the past years jumping from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.0 to PHP 7.2

I have not had my WP site crash but I have many PHP warnings go off. I have also had some things not function properly and some plugins functionality breaking, custom theme templates not working right etc..

The only way for you to know this and figure out everything is to spin up a PHP 7.0 server, if that is your version of choice and place a copy of your site and start updating one item at a time. Turn on debug and start fixing any issues. Then you can get your WP site updated and running on PHP 7. This custom PHP application will also need to be eventually done the same as the site.

This is the only way I see moving your current stuff over.

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  • question is more about considerations for setting up an environment to stay on php 5.6 without getting forced to upgrade. I need to do the updates on the legacy system and keep it locked at a php5.6 friendly codebase. I can do this on my local and test servers, so I guess that's the route for the moment.
    – nizz0k
    Apr 8, 2019 at 8:28
  • nizz0k, so yes, depending on your hosting, you can have dev/test site on a php 5.6 server with your legacy php code and WP site and turn off ALL WP automatic updates and of course do not do any updates from the WP admin. But my question is: Is you current Live site and this legacy code still running on PHP 5.6? PHP has Ended the Life of PHP 5.6 at the beginning of this year. So that is why my suggestion of you needing to eventually, move your current WP site to a more secure updated supported PHP version and then convert your legacy code over at some point. Apr 9, 2019 at 13:49

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