PHP 7 Server Rebuild FAQs

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The following FAQs cover some important details to be aware of when Pagely rebuilds your VPS in order to get Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and PHP 7, among other goodies. Please note, if you've purchased your VPS after August of 2016, you're already on the latest software. This only pertains to older VPSs.

Will my sites be any faster?

Yup. PHP 7 has shown to boost raw performance by 30-50%!

Will my sites go down?

Yes, but very briefly. Once the process begins, our automation will first get your new server ready before taking anything down.

For Single Node VPS configurations, the cut-over stage usually takes about 5 minutes of downtime to complete.

For HA VPS, public facing traffic will experience near-zero downtime. Traffic under the /wp-admin/ URL structure will experience about 5 minutes of downtime during the transition.

In worst case scenarios, there can be up to 30 minutes of downtime. Rest assured, this process will be supervised by a Pagely Engineer who is focused on your task, and we'll be checking a lot of stuff beforehand to ensure a smooth transition!

Will all my sites use PHP 7 automatically?

Once your rebuild is completed, all new apps you create will default to PHP 7. Any existing apps will also be set to use PHP 7 once the cut-over is completed. You may request in advance to have your existing sites set to use PHP 5.6.

Can I change the PHP version?

Absolutely! After the upgrade is complete, you'll be able to manage the PHP version of each individual application within atomic: Changing PHP Versions

How do I know if my sites are compatible?

We recommend this PHP Compatibility Checker plugin. It's easy to use and generates a nice report for you to see what parts of your code may not be compatible with PHP 7. Keep in mind that with PHP 7 they have finally removed a lot of the functions that were previously marked as deprecated but remained working. Remember, you can always switch the version back at the click of a button! We recommend disabling the plugin when not actively testing your site.

Deprecation and removal of pecl_http module and http_get

Along with this upgrade, we have removed support for the pecl_http module, which provides the http_get PHP function. If you use this feature in any part of your application's theme or plugins, it is very important to update your code right away. WordPress has a built in method for making HTTP requests and in most cases this is a trivial change. To check for this in your code, simply log in through SSH and run the following command:

grep -Rn \ http_get\( ~/sites/*/

If you get any results, you should be able to convert it to use wp_remote_get without complex modifications. If you're not sure, please contact Support for assistance.

Removal of memcached

We have removed memcached from our latest generation hosting stack. Previously, this was used for object caching and as a session store. We are now using Redis for both of these purposes. Your sites will be reconfigured automatically to use Redis for sessions without any further changes needed from you.

If you happen to use W3 Total Cache Plugin or any other third party object cache plugin, we recommend disabling it before the upgrade occurs. Pagely has better caching solutions built in which are fully compatible with our managed WordPress environment. Reach out to our Support team if you have any concerns about this change. 

Will my server's hostname change?

Yes, your server will have a new base domain of instead of, but the first part of the name will be the same. So if your server's name is, the name will become

Once the transition is complete, this updated name will be displayed in your Atomic web interface as well for easy reference. Both DNS records will point to the new server, but we recommend using the new name moving forward.

Will my SSH/SFTP users or passwords change?

Nope. That will all stay the same.

Will my IP Address(es) change or will I have to change my DNS?

Nope. We will keep the same public IP address allocations you already have. No DNS updates required.

Anything else I should know about the new OS?

Yes. The rebuilt server will be running on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. As such, there have been updates to many pieces of software across the board. There have also been many security fixes related to OpenSSL and OpenSSH. We encourage you to check all desktop client software such as FileZilla, Dreamweaver, Putty, etc. and be sure you are on the most up to date version. In some cases you may not be able to update to the latest version, if you do encounter any error messages connecting to your server after the transition, please contact Support with specific error messages and we should be able to enable a legacy compatibility mode. Keep in mind this should only be a last resort because the legacy mode is less secure and may break compatibility with the very latest versions of client software.

It is also worth noting that ssh-dss keys will no longer be compatible. If you have any Collaborators using ssh-dss style keys, they will have to regenerate their SSH keys using ssh-rsa key type and install the new public key from within Atomic to regain SSH and SFTP access

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