PHP and WP requirements

The DWS WP Framework won't run unless the minimum PHP and WP requirements are met. Those were set pretty step, we admit, but there were good reasons that we argue for below.

This was a bit of a controversial choice as we started. PHP7.4 was still relatively new, and we didn’t know it would take over a year to release the first stable version. Even as of the writing of this article (April 2021), PHP7.4 powers “only” 26.5% of all WordPress installations according to the official WordPress statistics.

As a rule of thumb, one usually wants to support over 50% of PHP and WordPress versions actively used out there. That would mean that we should currently also support PHP7.3, or even better, PHP7.2 in order to support over 70% of all installations.

However, we decided against it. Right now, PHP7.3 is in EOL and support for PHP7.2 has been discontinued. As time passes, more-and-more installations will migrate to PHP7.4, and 25%+ is also not a bad share!

Moreover, PHP7.4 comes with a few new features that are just awesome for writing high-quality code, like typed class properties. It also introduced some deprecations and changed the concatenation precedence, so writing code that’s PHP7.4-conform will make it easier to upgrade in the future.

Last but not least, as the last version of PHP7 (since PHP8 got released in November 2020), it’s the version that most people are likely to stick with in the coming years similarly to how many people are somehow still “stuck” on PHP5.6 (last version before PHP7.0).

In short, it proves to be a slight disadvantage right now, but within 6-12 months (Q1-Q2 2022), that will disappear. And the advantages it brings are considerable, in our opinion.

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