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Opened 4 weeks ago

Last modified 2 days ago

#41191 new enhancement

Create browse happy type notice for PHP versions

Reported by: joostdevalk Owned by:
Milestone: Awaiting Review Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version:
Component: General Keywords:
Focuses: Cc:

Description (last modified by joostdevalk)

For tons of reasons we want people to upgrade their PHP versions, preferably to PHP7. While historically we've never bothered users with this, the Yoast WHIP project has proven that doing so can actually change the statistics in a meaningful way, both because users act and because hosts become more active when pushed harder.

There's prior art for notices about PHP, both in Joomla and Drupal:

https://www.drupal.org/node/2670966
https://image.ibb.co/gFa8MQ/wwww.png

I would argue we should take a more positive approach than they do and focus on the speed benefits of PHP7.

To do this, we would:

  1. Introduce notices that would tell people to upgrade their PHP.
  2. Link those to explanatory page that tell people what PHP is and why they should care.
  3. Link to pages that show them how to upgrade (preferably host specific if we can).
  4. Give them email examples of emails they can send their host if it didn't work out.
  5. Send them to the WordPress hosting page if all else fails.

Let's start by fleshing out # 1, I've already got my content team working on # 2 as well. @hedgefield already had some ideas, I'll ask him to add them here :)

Attachments (2)

WHIP core2.png (208.3 KB) - added by hedgefield 4 weeks ago.
Here's an idea for how we could present this notice. I've adapted the text from the Yoast WHIP notice for the Wordpress audience, and styled it like the Welcome widget on the WP dashboard. This could be the 'worst version' of the notice for people on 5.2, and it could get progressively more benign the closer to PHP7 someone is.
WHIP core3.png (177.3 KB) - added by hedgefield 4 weeks ago.
Here's another (smaller) take where most background information is deferred to the page with the instructions. We should also make a page that explains exactly what PHP is and why it is important, for people who have no idea what we mean. I added a link to that in the copy of this mockup too.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (14)

#1 @joostdevalk
4 weeks ago

  • Description modified (diff)

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #core-php by joostdevalk. View the logs.


4 weeks ago

@hedgefield
4 weeks ago

Here's an idea for how we could present this notice. I've adapted the text from the Yoast WHIP notice for the Wordpress audience, and styled it like the Welcome widget on the WP dashboard. This could be the 'worst version' of the notice for people on 5.2, and it could get progressively more benign the closer to PHP7 someone is.

@hedgefield
4 weeks ago

Here's another (smaller) take where most background information is deferred to the page with the instructions. We should also make a page that explains exactly what PHP is and why it is important, for people who have no idea what we mean. I added a link to that in the copy of this mockup too.

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #core-php by swissspidy. View the logs.


4 weeks ago

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #core-php by desrosj. View the logs.


4 weeks ago

#5 @psykro
2 weeks ago

I'm very keen on informing and pushing users to upgrade (or get their hosts to upgrade) their PHP versions. A few thoughts on this

  1. How would we go about creating host specific links. Are we able to determine what host a WordPress site is installed on?
  2. The notifications @hedgefield has posted look good, but I wonder if they will clutter up the admin notices, perhaps just the 'Your site could run faster' message with link that opens the content below it?

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #core-php by flixos90. View the logs.


2 weeks ago

#7 @psykro
2 weeks ago

The following came out of the discussion of this ticket in the #core-php Slack channel

  • We'd like to show a notice to recommend jump to PHP >= 5.6 (even better >= 7.0).
  • We'd like to show that notice first for only 5.2 users, but then iterate over time to show it, up until we reach 5.5.
  • Once number of 5.2 users is low enough, we bump WP core's minimum requirement to 5.3. Then over time, we do that further until we reach 5.6.

#8 follow-up: @chesio
11 days ago

Once number of 5.2 users is low enough

I'm curious whether there's any actual number behind "low enough"... :)

#9 in reply to: ↑ 8 @jdgrimes
11 days ago

Replying to chesio:

Once number of 5.2 users is low enough

I'm curious whether there's any actual number behind "low enough"... :)

No. That will likely be discussed at a future meeting in the #core-php channel in Slack. (Meetings each Monday at 18:00 UTC.)

#10 @casiepa
11 days ago

It seems currently 4.6% of WP installs is still using 5.2, it would indeed be nice to set a target % when to tackle the higher version(s).
I must say to be very surprised that only 52.5% is on PHP 5.6 or higher. I would have expect that one to be much higher seeing the performance gains.

Following closely!

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #core-php by flixos90. View the logs.


6 days ago

#12 @chesio
2 days ago

It seems currently 4.6% of WP installs is still using 5.2

Coincidentally, ~4.3% of WP installs run WordPress 3.6 or older (ie. 4+ years old and without automatic background updates option that has been introduced in 3.7 as far as I know).

The 4.6% is still too big number to ignore, but I think more reasonable way to make decisions based on these stats is to apply them only to WordPress installs that are "actively maintained". We can argue what "actively maintained" means, but I don't believe that someone suddenly decides to hit the "Update WordPress" button after not doing so in 4+ years...

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