As I have written in previous posts, WordPress version 3.2 will soon be released, with several new features. A release candidate (RC1) is available and currently running on my WordPress theme demo site. However, there is one thing I need to add about the upcoming release that I had managed to miss myself and which could potentially cause problems for some site owners: The minimum requirements for installing and running a self-hosted WordPress installation will change with WordPress version 3.2. The reasons for this were described in a blog post on WordPress.org almost a year ago.
To summarize: Starting with v3.2, you will need to have PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0 (or newer). Support for older versions such as MySQL version 4.x has been removed. If you want to install (or upgrade to) version 3.2, you need to make sure that the PHP and MySQL versions of your server or hosting account are up to date. And you should do it BEFORE you attempt to install or upgrade, or you may end up with a broken website.
If you don’t know which versions that are used on your server or your hosting account, there is a simple way to check it: Install the Health Check plugin from the official WordPress plugin directory. Once activated, you will see a notice in your WP-admin that tells you if your MySQL and PHP versions are up to date. Once you know, simply deactivate and then delete the plugin. If the notice says that the versions of PHP and MySQL are too old, I recommend that you contact your web host and request that they upgrade to newer versions.
This shouldn’t be any problem for most site owners, since most of the major hosting companies are running newer versions of both PHP and MySQL since a long time back. But not all hosts do, and many private web servers are still running older versions – so if you are not completely sure you should run the check. It only takes a minute, and it can be well worth the effort.
This article was written by Andreas Viklund
Web designer, writer and the creative engine behind this website. Author of most of the free website templates, along with some of the WordPress themes.