PHP is the programming language that powers your WordPress website and is integral for your site running smoothly.
Most major web hosting companies have already upgraded and set PHP 7 as the default version. To help many outdated websites, it is still not uncommon to see WordPress websites that run on PHP 5.6 or older.
Why is PHP 7 important?
It is crucial to upgrade for several reasons, where security is the primary.
1 – Security – PHP 5.6 is long outdated, and no longer gets security patches; this is enough reason alone to update to PHP 7.
2 – New features – Plugins, themes, and WordPress itself can use more advanced features for developing – making their lives easier.
3 – Speed – Although counted in milliseconds, PHP 7 does execute faster, making your website overall quicker.
This screenshot was taken September 15th, 2019 and showed the lifespan of the various PHP versions.
If you are getting a warning about outdated PHP version, you should contact your web developer or web hosting company immediately and get them to update your server.