Upgrading to PHP 5.6 and Apache 2.4 version

PracticalHost Cloud web hosting is is updating current versions of PHP to PHP 5.6. This maintenance is occurring because of upcoming end of life (EOL) support for certain PHP versions. This upgrade provides new features for customers to use.

We are proactively providing test links to help identify potential site break changes that might occur on your sites. 

Following is a timeline for PHP 5.6 availability:

  • Available now: PHP 5.6 is currently available.
  • Early Q1 2016: PHP 5.3 and 5.4 clusters will be updated to PHP 5.6.

Access control (.htaccess) updates

In Apache 2.2, access control is based on client hostname, IP address, and other characteristics of client requests. The operations were performed by using the directives Order, Allow, Deny, and Satisfy.

In Apache 2.4, access control is performed in the same way as other authorization checks, by using the new module mod_authz_host. We recommend you replace the old access control idioms with the new authentication mechanisms, although for compatibility with old configurations, the new module mod_access_compat is provided.

For more information, see http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/upgrading.html#run-time

Server Side Includes

Sites that use legacy Server Side Includes (SSI) syntax will need to be updated to the new Apache syntax orSSILegacyExprParser must be enabled via .htaccess:

 SSILegacyExprParser on

For more information, see:


How does this affect me?

Given the changes from PHP 5.3 and 5.4 to 5.6 (to include the upgrade from Apache 2.2 to 2.4), we ask that you view the provided links for common break changes. We ask that all customers to use the following test links to verify application compatibility.

Example link for ORD1-1

If your site is www.example.com, the test link for your site on PHP 5.6 is http://www.example.com.php56-<cluster>.ord1-1.websitetestlink.com

Replace the 53 or 54 in your current test link with 56 tin the new test link, as shown in the following table.

Example current test link URLExample new test link URL
www.yoursite.com.php53-10.ord1-1.websitetestlink.com www.yoursite.com.php56-10.ord1-1.websitetestlink.com
www.yoursite.com.php54-1.ord1-1.websitetestlink.com www.yoursite.com.php56-1.ord1-1.websitetestlink.com

The preceding test links will be used until the environment has been made fully available, at which point they will be updated.



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