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Matthew Weier O’Phinney
With PHP 8.0 EOL rapidly approaching, teams using PHP 8.0 need to upgrade to a supported PHP version or find alternative means to patch their deployments.
In this blog, we discuss the impending end of life for PHP 8.0, with details on the risks of deploying un-supported PHP 8.0, potential upgrade paths, and long-term support options for teams that can’t upgrade in time.
While PHP 8.0 is reaching EOL, it's important to note that PHP 8 itself is still in active development, with PHP 8.3 releasing later this year.
PHP 8.0, like other PHP versions, has a defined community support lifecycle, with each minor release receiving community support for three years. That support is broken down into two phases, active support and security support. After the version reaches the end of the security support phase, the version is considered end of life.
The active support phase for PHP versions runs from GA release date until the the security support phase. The active support phase includes both bug and security issue fixes, with regular point releases. For PHP 8.0, the active support phase lasted from November 26, 2020 to November 26, 2022.
When the PHP version enters the security support phase, that means that it only receives updates when there are critical security issues. PHP 8.0 is currently in this phase (as of June 22, 2023) and will remain in security support until November 26, 2023.
When PHP 8.0 reaches the end of the security support phase on November 26, 2023, it reaches community end of life. This means that it will no longer receive patches from the community. Any vulnerabilities that occur after that date will remain unpatched unless someone builds or acquires fixes to that CVE then applies them as a patch.
Zend extends PHP 8.0 end of life by two years, with patches for security vulnerabilities available until December 2025.
See Zend PHP LTS options >>
Active Support End Date
End of Life / Security Support End Date
Zend PHP 8.0 LTS End Date
November 26, 2020
November 26, 2022
November 26, 2023
The end of life date for PHP 8.0 is November 26, 2023.
The Zend 2023 PHP Landscape Report found 35.4% of PHP teams using PHP 8.0 in production, second only to PHP 7.4 at 54.2%.
We’ve covered the consequences of unsupported PHP at length in other articles before, but the basic consequences hold true whether you’re using PHP 7.4 or PHP 8.0. Not upgrading to supported versions means that you’re missing out on a variety of advancements in PHP, as well as exposing yourself to vulnerabilities.
While there is typically less of a gap for some of these categories when upgrading within a major version (e.g. 8.0 to 8.2), there can still be notable differences that make upgrading a valuable investment (beyond the obvious security benefits).
Ultimately, end of life PHP versions don’t receive patches from the community, which means that any vulnerabilities discovered in end of life PHP versions will remain unpatched and vulnerable to exploit. Upgrading to a community-supported version, or partnering with an LTS provider like Zend can remove that risk.
As noted previously, there are generally two ways in which teams can prepare for PHP 8.0 end of life: upgrading to a supported version, or preparing an alternate means of patching your soon-to-be EOL PHP.
The most common path for teams using PHP 8.0 will be to upgrade to PHP 8.1 or PHP 8.2. While not tantamount to a migration (e.g. migrating PHP 7.4 to PHP 8.0), upgrading PHP 8.0 to 8.1 or 8.2 will require careful planning
Depending on the complexity of the application(s), teams should give themselves plenty of time to scope and ultimately perform the upgrade.
The good news is that there are a variety of resources available for teams planning their migrations, including guides from php.net that detail the key features and incompatibilities for teams to test for and fix before they deploy the updated PHP version in production.
And, if that doesn’t solve the complexity of upgrading, companies like Zend can help via migration services.
Need Help Planning Your PHP 8.0 Upgrade?Read our PHP migration guide, or contact us today to explore our professional service options.Contact Us
Read our PHP migration guide, or contact us today to explore our professional service options.
Unfortunately, not all teams will be able to migrate PHP 8.0 to a supported version before it reaches end of life. While some teams may choose to self-support, not many are staffed to build and deploy PHP in house.
Luckily, Zend offers long-term support that extends the lifecycle of PHP – including PHP 8.0. As noted above, Zend PHP LTS gives teams an extra two years to plan and execute a migration to a community supported PHP version.
See LTS Options for PHP 8.0 Zend offers a variety of LTS options, making a great fit for organizations of all sizes and needs. Get details on our LTS options via the link below. See LTS Options
Zend offers a variety of LTS options, making a great fit for organizations of all sizes and needs. Get details on our LTS options via the link below.
See LTS Options
PHP moves fast, and it means that organizations deploying PHP need to have a well thought out strategy for upgrading and eventually migrating their PHP.
While the upgrade process for PHP 8.0 might not be as painful as other upgrades or migrations, don’t expect it to be easy. Be sure your team is carefully testing your applications before deploying, and, if you need help getting from 8.0 to 8.1 or beyond, or need LTS to keep your application(s) patched and secure in the meantime, Zend is here to help.
Get LTS and Migration Services for Your PHP 8.1 Deployments Keep your PHP secure and compliant with LTS or migration services from Zend. Explore your options today via the links below. Explore LTS OptionsSee Migration Services
Keep your PHP secure and compliant with LTS or migration services from Zend. Explore your options today via the links below.
Explore LTS OptionsSee Migration Services
Zend Product Manager, Zend by Perforce
Matthew began developing on Zend Framework (ZF) before its first public release, and led the project for Zend from 2009 through 2019. He is a founding member of the PHP Framework Interop Group (PHP-FIG), which creates and promotes standards for the PHP ecosystem — and is serving his second elected term on the PHP-FIG Core Committee.