Rolling with the 8s: WordPress + PHP version bumps, new debug tips, and generator improvements

Announcing updates for PHP, WordPress, a new method for debugging,  UI and cache updates, the list goes on so let’s get to it.

PHP 7.2.8

Every WordPress site launched or container that is restarted will now run on PHP 7.2.8. The folks over at The PHP Group encourage everyone to update to 7.2.8 as this release focuses on security.

Since it’s a minor release any site currently running on 7.2 should not have an update with this update.

WordPress 4.9.8

Do you ever get annoying with downloading, patching or updating WordPress? If so, the good news is that we’ve got you covered. New WordPress sites or container restarts will run the 4.9.8 minor version update of WordPress.

WordPress Debug

Based on user feedback we made a change to how Shifter handles WordPress Debugging. Shifter will not add or alter the WP_Debug options that users can add to wp-config.php.

Prior to this update, Shifter’s container hosting environment would add WP_DEBUG true to your wp-config.php file to allow PHP related errors in themes and plugins to be visible. The downside to this is that PHP errors would alter the layout of the WordPress Admin and Front-end.

We still think that WordPress users should consider PHP 7 compatibility, but there are much better ways to go about it.

For example, we recommend Query Monitor to check for errors, notices, and overall performance of the plugins, themes, and functions you are using. We will go into this topic further in a separate article.

Redis Object Cache as a Standard

Every WordPress site on Shifter now ships with Redis Object Cache enabled. If you are a fan of static WordPress sites like we are you may be wondering what Redis and static WordPress have in common.

In short, Redis is an excellent compliment to Shifter’s container-based environment which we use while editing WordPress content. Redis helps by making that environment faster through a database caching model and also helps our static site generator crawl sites more quickly and without error.

For more info on how and why we added Redis Object Cache to WordPress sites on Shifter, check out our full post here.

Shifter-Local gets Redis too

To ensure a smooth transition from your local development environment to production we’ve also added Redis to Shifter-Local.

If you have not tried Shifter-Local yet, it’s our docker based container hosting environment for WordPress you can use on your local machine. It’s is helpful to ensure your site is Shifter compatible.

Improving Pagination Compatibilities

We resolved a pagination bug where the nextpage shortcode would split a post up into several separate pages.

Improved Redirects via the Redirection Plugin

A recent announcement added support for redirects to static WordPress sites on Shifter using the Redirection plugin. This update extends that support for greater stability and more coverage when creating redirects within WordPress.

URL Redirects

Another update to a recent release includes improvements to URLs with and without trailing slashes. For the first release and full notes pleases check out our original announcement on the topic.