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I'm new to Joomla and the site I'm taking over needs critical updates and has for some time. It needs 14 extension updates, and I'm getting this message:

Your site is currently using PHP 7.2.2. This version of PHP has become End-of-Life since Monday, 30 November 2020. It has not received security updates for a very long time. You MUST NOT use it for a live site! Akeeba Backup will stop supporting your version of PHP very soon. You must very urgently upgrade to a newer version of PHP. You can check our Compatibility page to see which versions of PHP are supported by each version of our software, select the newest one that fits your site's needs and upgrade your site to it. You can ask your host or your system administrator for instructions on upgrading PHP. It's easy and it will make your site faster and more secure.

As I'm very green here, can anyone provide me with steps to take to backup and update the site without losing everything or crashing it?

Thanks!

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  • Have you read Akeeba Backup documentation akeeba.com/support/akeeba-backup-3x.html ?
    – Sharky
    Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 17:19
  • Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 21:06

2 Answers 2

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There is a not a simple step by step answer for you unfortunately as there is so much information we don't know about your hosting and Joomla environment. The approaches available will general fall into either the update-in-place or clone/copy which I think is the better way to go if it is available to you as be sure your updated site works without impact the current site.

You obviously have Akeeba Backup so taking a backup, or two, with that product is probably the first thing you can do and download at least one backup to somewhere other than your the default directory inside your Joomla installation. Getting familiar with the backup and restoring of Joomla instances using Akeeba is something you really should learn how to do and be comfortable with as you may need to recover your Joomla site if something goes wrong.

On your hosting environment manager(cPanel,Plesk) you will need to understand whether you can have multiple versions of PHP used at the same time, eg. PHP 7.2 and PHP 8.0. Regardless try restoring a backup into a different directory in your hosting account, essentially giving you a clone/copy of your Joomla instance, that you work with to update the extensions and even the core Joomla as you don't mention what version you are on. If the clone/copy of your site can use PHP 8 without impacting your current site then that is the better way to go.

If you aren't comfortable with the cloning/copy approach then you can follow the update-in-place method where you back up your site, update one or two of your extension to a later level that supports PHP 8, test that they work and update a couple of more extensions and test again, How often you might like to take a backup during this process is up to you as it will move your fallback/recovery position forward and you wont have to go back to the start if something goes wrong.

Once the extensions & Joomla versions are up to date then back up the site of course. From here you can use the function of your Hosting account manager to increase the PHP level by either going straight to PHP 8 or stepping up through 7.3 and 7.4, testing the site as you go. If problems arise you should be able to simply fallback to the previous PHP version until you can resolve the issue.

Which approach you take also depends on the usage of your website. For example a low usage website with little traffic and tolerable users you might be able to do the update-in-place and if there are odd messages or the site is down for a little while why you restore it nobody will complain. Conversely a high traffic site is probably not going tolerate messages and downtime so the clone/copy approach would be the better approach for you.

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There are much missing information here, e.g. Joomla version, installed extensions etc.

I'm afraid that nobody can give you step-by-step instructions from here, since there are a lot of factors engaged in this, but you'll have to hire a professional to do the job.

I know it's not the answer you were looking for, but this is the only secure way to update your website without crashing it.

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