I'm brand new to web development and I've installed Joomla on my website. For whatever reason I can hardly do anything because my PHP version is only 5.3 according to Joomla.

However, using my cpanel I changed the PHP to 5.5.

How do I get Joomla to update the PHP version?

Additional info: This is what it looks like, I don't understand why Joomla has a different php version.Below is also the error message I see when I try to install a template package.

enter image description here

  • 2
    You cannot update your PHP version with joomla, you need to do that on your server. Witch version of jJoomlaj are you using? Jan 7, 2016 at 22:40
  • I installed the most recent version I could which was 3.4.8
    – Sean
    Jan 8, 2016 at 0:05
  • 1
    Joomla 3.4.8 should run fine on PHP 5.3 although PHP 5.5. is probably better. You may need to elaborate on "hardly do anything". Are you receiving an error message, for example? Jan 8, 2016 at 6:27
  • I added screenshots of the problem and the error message. My cpanel is set to PHP 5.5 but I can't set Joomla to PHP 5.5
    – Sean
    Jan 9, 2016 at 0:22
  • I guess the error you are receiving is when trying to install an extension that requires higher php.
    – FFrewin
    Jan 9, 2016 at 6:34

2 Answers 2


As others mention, Joomla does not install nor update PHP, it simply reports the version of PHP available.

It's possible that your .htaccess file contains instructions to set PHP version. This is quite common, but the exact code varies depending on your hosting company, but it usually looks something like this:

AddHandler application/x-httpd-php53 .php .php5 .php4 .php3

Look for this line in your .htaccess file, and comment it out (add # before the line) if you find it. Note that there can be several instances of .htaccess on your account, in different folders.

You can also check your PHP versions by creating a new .php file (call it anything you like), and put the following code inside to show information about your PHP settings:


Save, and visit the file in your browser, (e.g. http://example.com/myphpinfo.php). Try moving the file to different folders, and see if the PHP version changes.

Make sure you remove the file when you're done testing, for security reasons.

  • 1
    Thank you so much, your first suggestion worked! In case anybody else comes looking for an answer, I only needed to change the .htaccess file located in my Joomla installation directory. When I changed additional .htaccess files, it actually made it worse! (:
    – Sean
    Jan 15, 2016 at 23:29

Depending on the type of hosting and the hosting provider, it's possible to adjust the php version for your account through .htaccess - so my guess is that your htaccess file may contain such directives.

So go check your .htaccess file for entries like:

AddHandler application/x-httpd-php53 .php

or something like this if you are with GoDaddy:

AddHandler x-httpd-php5-3 

Remove or comment out these lines using '#' in front of them like:

#AddHandler application/x-httpd-php53 .php

In addition, using the same, you could try setting the desired php version so:

AddHandler application/x-httpd-php55 .php

could switch you to PHP 5.5.

Anyway, if you can't solve it, I would recommend to contact your hosting provider to assist you with this.

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