Support » Plugin: PHP Compatibility Checker » PHP Compatibility Checker breaking website running PHP v7.3?

  • Hi,

    Having trouble while updating the server of my website from PHP v 5.6 to PHP v7.3. So I installed your plugin to help troubleshoot. But when I activated it, the site broke 🙁

    Isn’t that what this plugin is supposed to help prevent?

    Does your plugin work w/ PHP v7.3? My experience tells me no… Will you be updating it?

    (Although I use WP Engine as my hosting provider for some other sites – and so I felt confident using this plugin – it is not the hosting provider for the site I’m wrestling with.)

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • davidvee


    WPEngine Employee

    Hey @hommealone. The plugin does work in a 7.3 environment, but in some cases some plugins can cause the linting process to stall out. We’re currently investigating a fix for this. In the meantime, and regardless of a fix, we recommend you run the plugin in a non-production environment. Have you tried running it locally? WP Engine’s DevKit would be the best way if you’re on WPE, as that will help make sure the environment variables are the same. I hope that helps 🙂

    Thanks for your response! I’m using it on a non-production version of the website. This site is not one of our WP Engine-hosted sites, though, unfortunately. I thought that’s who it is intended for, no?

    I looked in the reviews and support threads of the plugin, and it appears that I’m not the only one with this issue.

    How would that “stall out” that you describe explain the website breaking at the moment that I activate your plugin? Wouldn’t the linting process only begin on command, and not immediately upon activation?

    Any other advice appreciated!



    WPEngine Employee

    The plugin can be used on any platform. It’s not WPE dependent.

    FYI, our DevKit solution can also be used for sites intended for any platform. Local by Flywheel is also good for a local dev solution.

    In any case, that’s not what you need help with 🙂

    As you pointed out, the plugin causing runaway processes when scanning some plugins is different than “activating” the plugin. That’s actually news to me, but may be a known issue by others here especially if it has been mentioned in other threads.

    I’ll surface this with the dev team working on this plugin so they’re aware.

    For the sake of clarification, have you tried running it locally? Did you have a similar experience?

    Hi David and again, thanks for your responses, and thanks for running this by the rest of your team.

    Sorry, but I have not tried running it locally. I don’t have a local installation. I have only a production website on a (very cooperative) shared hosting provider, and a staging website (where I’m doing the experimenting) set up by cloning the production site to a subdomain on the same shared server. And I’m afraid that, with my level of skill at least and thus the time that would take, there’s no money in the budget to set up a third installation locally.

    BTW, I have reverted the PHP software on the staging site back to v5.6. Can your plugin normally work on a 5.6 version server, and still check the compatibility of a theme for v7.3?



    WPEngine Employee

    The plugin will run in 5.6 and check for 7.3 compatibility. So long as there’s nothing on your server preventing it running, it should be fine.

    As an FYI, the plugin is only checking for linting failures so any errors it flags may not mean the site will actually have problems. As another option, you can also just install the site in a 7.3 staging environment and run your normal tests on the site to see if it works. You’ll have to do that even if the site passes the linting 🙂

    BTW, if you end up considering a local development environment in the future, I’d recommend you check out “Local by Flywheel”. It’s free and super easy to use…

    Thanks again for your continued input!

    So… I think I fixed the error in the theme. Then…

    (While in 5.6):
    a) I Ran PHP Compatibility Checker; theme and plugins showed no problems for update to 7.3.
    b) I Disabled all plugins.
    (Switched to 7.3)
    c) I Activated all plugins (bulk actions: activate)
    d) Site crashed 🙁
    (Switched back to 5.6)
    e) Site operational again (with all plugins active)
    d) Deactivated all plugins except the PHP Compatibility Checker plus “WordPress Zero Spam” plugin, which had crashed the site during previous PHP update attempts.
    e) Ran another check: again showed no impediments for update to 7.3
    (Switched to 7.3 again)
    f) Site operational again with (only) those two plugins active.
    g) De-activated PHP Compatibility Checker and “WordPress Zero Spam” plugins
    h) Activated all other plugin again; site still operational
    i) Activated PHP Compatibility Checker – site crashed again!
    (Switched to 5.6)
    j) Deactivated PHP Compatibility Checker
    (Switched to 7.3 again)
    k) Site again operational, with all plugins except PHP Compatibility Checker and “WordPress Zero Spam” active.

    I can run all plugins together without problem in 5.6.

    I can run JUST those two plugins in 7.3 without crashing the site!

    Seems like turning either one of those two plugins on along with all of my other plugins crashes the site – but only if I am running 7.3.


    This seems to be a plugin compatibility issue as much as anything else, but, the compatibility problem only manifests itself when operating under PHP v7.3.



    WPEngine Employee

    Ouch. That sounds like a lot of trouble shooting you’re doing to isolate all that. I’m not hearing of other similar crashes and our deploy processes tested the plugin running in 5.6 and 7.3. That being said, it sounds like PHPComp is running in 5.6 for you and you’re trying to run the linting to see what might break when you’re in 7.3. That being the case, you can disable PHP Comp in your 7.3 environment after you’ve run the linting in 5.6 of course.

    That doesn’t help you for future linting with the plugin (e.g. if you want to run it in 7.3 for future 7.4 compatibility), but that approach should get you what you need for now. Sound about right?

    I’m also wondering if this is host / environment specific. What host are you using?

    Well, I guess that this is no longer a PHP version compatibility issue so much as a plugin incompatibility issue. Your plugin did help to deduce that, so thank you.

    We’re using a small hosting company who works closely with us to meet our needs. Not one of the big companies.

    Server architecture Linux 2.6.32-773.26.1.lve1.4.43.el6.x86_64 x86_64
    Web server Apache
    PHP version 7.3.7 (Supports 64bit values)
    PHP SAPI litespeed
    PHP max input variables 1000
    PHP time limit 30
    PHP memory limit 256M
    Max input time 60
    Upload max filesize 2M
    PHP post max size 8M
    cURL version 7.65.3 OpenSSL/1.0.2s
    Is SUHOSIN installed? No
    Is the Imagick library available? No

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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