The Yoast SEO plugin no longer supports PHP 7.1 and lower

Last updated December 5th, 2023 23:58

Developers of one of the most popular WordPress SEO optimization plugins have released a new version. This version, labeled as 20.5, brings a significant change that may affect many WordPress users on servers still running older PHP versions. The crucial change is that the Yoast SEO plugin no longer supports PHP 7.1 and lower (5.6, 7.0, and 7.1).

The minimum PHP version requirement is now 7.2.5 and higher. Additionally, it also requires a minimum WordPress version of 6.0.

The Yoast SEO plugin no longer supports PHP 7.1 and lower

While it may initially seem like an extreme change for users of this plugin, approximately 89.9% of WordPress websites are currently running on PHP 7.2 and higher.

The Yoast SEO plugin no longer supports PHP 7.1 and lower

Regarding the change in PHP version, such significant changes in widely used plugins are often a reason to compel users to address the PHP version change and transition through their web hosting provider to a higher and more secure version. For example, in 2017, the developers of Yoast SEO did a similar thing and were able to motivate an estimated 6.5 million users to change their PHP version or switch to a hosting provider that offered a higher PHP version.

As for the statement from Yoast SEO, it came directly from the founder, Joost de Valk (

To move the web forward, we need to take a stand against old, slow, and unsafe software. Because web hosts are not upgrading PHP, we have decided to start pushing this from within plugins.

Developers of the plugin consider this step to be absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy and secure WordPress ecosystem.

What can you do if your website has an older PHP version?

If you are on shared hosting, there isn’t much you can do on your own. However, it is recommended to contact your web hosting provider and request a migration of your website to a server with a higher PHP version or ask them to switch your PHP version to a higher one. Ideally, in today’s time, version 8.x (such as 8.0, 8.1, and 8.2) is recommended.

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