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 To help many outdated websites, it is still not uncommon to see WordPress websites that run on PHP 5.6 or older.
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1 – Security – PHP 5.6 is long outdated, and no longer gets security patches; this is enough reason alone to update to PHP 7.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If you are getting a warning about outdated PHP version, you should contact your web developer or web hosting company immediately and get them to update your server.