WordPress has announced a bold move today. In an official blog post Mark Jaquith, one of the lead developers of WordPress said that eventually, starting this year WordPress will end the support for PHP 4 and MySQL 4.
Quoting from the blog post, the reasons he gave were:
Our approach with WordPress has always been to make it run on common server configurations. We want users to have flexibility when choosing a host for their precious content. Because of this strategy, WordPress runs pretty much anywhere. Web hosting platforms, however, change over time, and we occasionally are able to reevaluate some of the requirements for running WordPress. Now is one of those times. You probably guessed it from the title — we’re finally ready to announce the end of support for PHP 4 and MySQL 4!
According to the official announcement, WordPress 3.1 which is due to be announced in late 2010 will be the last build to support PHP 4. Also WordPress 3.2 which should come anytime around first half of 2011, the compatibility will be fixed to PHP 5.2. Also for MySQL, announcement made on the blog post was:
In less exciting news, we are also going to be dropping support for MySQL 4 after WordPress 3.1. Fewer than 6 percent of WordPress users are running MySQL 4. The new required MySQL version for WordPress 3.2 will be 5.0.15.
In order to check, which version of PHP and MySQL your hosting provider provides, you can make use of Health Check plugin. This plugin will tell you, if you are ready to be upgraded to WordPress 3.2 when it is available. If you are not ready for it, your blog will not be able to upgrade to WordPress 3.2 because of an inbuilt adapter, which stops it.
According to us, this announcement is surely a bold move, but should not take much concerns for most of the blog owners as statistics show that very less number of trivial blogs only run on PHP4. But still if you are unaware of the version of PHP and MySQL that your hosting provider provides, you better keep an eye on it and check it before it’s too late for you to upgrade to latest version of WordPress.