Antique atreet floor on the evening Sun.

Why wordpress is so beloved by non-tech people ? Because they never encounter errors like: “WordPress does not support your PHP version” or “To use wordpress you need to have PEAR lib installed, contact your web hosting provider for support”.

Some people may never seen this, but if you are used to install different kinds of open source software you encounter these errors frequently.

This is happening because the software use some functions or libraries that are not by default in all website environments. If you used mostly WordPress you did not encountered this kind of error because wordpress was built to work on all platforms.

This can be seen as a good thing, from the users point of view, but because it is made to work on older versions too we may miss a lot of performance.

WordPress developers came to a turning point where they have to choose if they continue to provide support for older versions or they do everything to enhance the functionality and speed or WordPress. It seems they have chosen the second way, the way of performance.

What does this means ? It may have no impact on you if you use a good hosting, like hostgator for example, but if you use a 7 year old hosting from and old school provider you may have some problems. They announced that the drop of support will happen in 2011, when they will release the WordPress 3.2.

Last year i’ve built a software for a client and worked on my development environment. After 2 weeks of working when everything was complete and tested he told me to contact his hosting provider to set up the website on his main hosting. Everything crashed, the hosting provider had PHP 4 installed. I asked them why they don’t upgrade and they told me that most of their clients have websites optimized for PHP 4 and it will be a bad idea to change.

Sacrifice the performance for laziness. That was my thinking. Probably they weren’t aware that most of the functions from php 4 that are considered wrong¬†was not deleted in PHP 5. New functions were created to replace the old ones but they have different names so they don’t interfere with the old ones. Websites built on PHP 4 should work fine on PHP 5.

How to test what WordPress version you have ? Well, create a file, call it test.php and write <? phpinfo(); ?> iside. Upload it to your hosting ftp and run it in your browser. There you have it, all info. Make sure you delete the file after use.