Cannot Upgrade PHP without Impacting Droplet (WordPress) Installation


I am struggling to update my PHP version on my DigitalOcean droplet. It is currently on 7.0.33 and I would like to update it to PHP 7.4+. The ondrej php upgrade method does not work for me so I tried using the sergey-dryabzhinsky repo. Upon getting the php to successfully upgrade to 7.4, my website loads only a Apache screen and no longer links to the web page.

How can I upgrade my PHP from 7.0.33 to 7.4+ without affecting the WordPress installation? I know there must be a way to do this without impacting any directories or configs. Please advise.

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April 29, 2024

Heya @28aa9846729a44cf9f819481fa1755,

Can you tell us why using the ondrej:php repo does not work? Here is the usual way to upgrade PHP version with Apache.

Step 1: Backup Your Data

Before making any significant changes to your server, it’s essential to back up your data. You can use the snapshot function:

It doesn’t matter that you have tried some stuff, just make sure you back up now before you proceeed

Step 2: Update Your System

Log in to your server via SSH and run the following commands to update your package lists and upgrade existing packages:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 3: Add PHP 7.4 Repository

You need to add a repository that contains PHP 7.4 packages. The Ondřej Surý PPA is widely used for PHP installations on Ubuntu:

sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
sudo apt update

Step 4: Install PHP 7.4

Once the repository is added, you can install PHP 7.4:

sudo apt install php7.4

Install PHP 7.4 modules that you might need. Commonly used modules include:

sudo apt install php7.4-cli php7.4-fpm php7.4-json php7.4-common php7.4-mysql php7.4-zip php7.4-gd php7.4-mbstring php7.4-curl php7.4-xml php7.4-bcmath php7.4-json

Step 5: Disable the Old PHP Version

Disable the old PHP 7.0 version to avoid conflicts:

sudo a2dismod php7.0

Step 6: Enable PHP 7.4

Enable PHP 7.4 to make it the default version:

sudo a2enmod php7.4
sudo systemctl restart apache2

That is it, it’s a straightforward process.

Can you let me know what errors you hit if you follow it?

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