Welcome to the December Extendify newsletter, where we give web hosts a monthly digest of what they need to know from the WordPress ecosystem.
- PHP 4 and WordPress 3.7-4.0 support is ending: If you haven’t already, it’s time to nudge or force users to update PHP and WordPress to maintain security.
- WordCamp events are coming back in 2023 offering sponsorship opportunities for hosts worldwide.
- Tasjeel partners with Extendify to power WordPress onboarding for the Middle East.
- Hostinger and One.com partner with Patchstack to improve security of WordPress installations.
Read more below and let us know if you have any thoughts. You can just reply to this email 🙂
PHP 4 and WordPress 3.7-4.0 support is ending
The PHP 7.4 end of life date was November 28, 2022. That means sites running PHP 7.4 will no longer receive PHP security updates. Despite this, WordPress.org statistics reports that 87% of WordPress websites are running on PHP 7.4 or older. While hosts have been nudging users to update to PHP 8.0, others like Kinsta are now forcing updates for users. We recommend defining and communicating an update path for your users to avoid future security problems. PHP 8.0 is expected to receive security support until November 26, 2023.
Similarly, WordPress core has stopped security update support for WordPress 3.7 through 4.0 as of December 1, 2022. Fortunately, according to WordPress.org statistics, those versions account for only ~0.5% of all WordPress sites. Surprisingly, another ~0.5% of WordPress sites are still on a version older than 3.7, meaning they haven’t seen security updates in some time.
And since we’re talking about WordPress.org stats, more than 90% of WordPress sites are running WordPress 5.0 or newer (which shipped in December 2018 with the Gutenberg block editor as the default editing experience).
WordCamp events are coming back in 2023
After a COVID slowdown in in-person WordCamps, we saw a handful of these events in 2022. Entering 2023, we expect a much busier schedule of local and regional events with 28 already scheduled per WordCamp Central. The three largest WordCamps are WordCamp Asia (Bangkok, February 17-19), WordCamp Europe (Athens, June 8-10), and WordCamp US (D.C., August 24-26). But we also expect smaller events across six continents.
We know from our host partners that WordCamps, WordPress’s official meetups and conferences, can be a tough nut to crack. Navigating these events for first time attendees or sponsors is unintuitive and understanding the differences between local and regional events can take time. But for hosts who understand the WordCamp dynamics these events offer amazing opportunities to talk with customers and collaborate with other stakeholders like agencies.
If you’re interested in learning more about attending or sponsoring a WordCamp we’d be happy to help you navigate these events.
Tasjeel partners with Extendify
Tasjeel is a leading provider of WordPress hosting for small and medium businesses across the Middle East. Tasjeel selected Extendify to power WordPress onboarding and site creation for its users to deliver modern web creation experiences and to grow its hosting business.
We are super excited about this opportunity to continue growing the global footprint of Extendify partners and to democratize digital experiences around the world.
Hostinger and One.com partner with Patchstack
There are a few names in WordPress security that all insiders know: Jetpack, WordFence, MalCare, etc. Recently, a newer vendor, Patchstack, has been making inroads among some of the biggest WordPress hosts around the world like Hostinger and One.com.
Similar to other security options, Patchstack scans plugins and themes installed on a website and compares them to Patchstack’s list of known vulnerabilities. A big differentiator is Patchstack’s slick centralized dashboard for monitoring an entire portfolio of websites and applying patches remotely. It’s worth keeping an eye on this one.