In my post, I show you how to update the PHP version on Hostgator in the Cpanel, step by step. Upgrading to the latest PHP version ensures you have the latest security patches, it also helps with your site loading speed.

Hostgator sets your PHP version when your purchase a hosting package, it probably isn’t the latest version. I show you how to check what version your site is using now and how to upgrade.

Let’s get started.

Step one – Log in to your Hostgator Cpanel.

First, log in to your Hostgator Cpanel account.

Hostgator Cpanel log in page

Here is Hostgator’s Cpanel dashboard.

Hostgator Cpanel dashboard

Step two – Select ‘Software.’

On the dashboard, select ‘Software’ from the left-hand side menu.

Software link


HostGator Web Hosting

Step three – Select ‘PHP selector.’

In the ‘Software’ section, select the ‘PHP selector’ icon.

Select 'PHP selector'

Step four – Check your current PHP version.

Next, you see all folders and files associated with your hosting account. To check your current PHP version, open the root directory of your website.

PHP selector

Your website root directory is in the ‘public_html’ folder, click to open that folder.

Public_HTML folder

The current PHP version for your site is in the drop-down window. On my website, the current PHP version is 7.0.

Current PHP version

Step five – Update PHP version

To update the PHP version, click on the drop-down menu.

Select PHP version

Select the PHP version you want, then click on ‘Update’ to confirm.

Once the update is complete, you receive a confirmation message.

PHP preference updated

As of December 2020, the latest PHP version is 7.4.

Step six – Check your website.

After upgrading the PHP version, I recommend you visit your site to check that everything is working. If your site has loading errors, return to the PHP selector and set the PHP version to the previous setting.

How to upgrade your PHP version video tutorial

Update PHP version in Hostgator - Beginner's how to guide
Watch this video on YouTube.


Now you can check your current PHP version and update to the latest version on Hostgator in your Cpanel.

I recommend you check the PHP version of your website. Upgrade if necessary, it ensures you have the latest security releases.

If you have a hosting with Bluehost, check out my ‘How to upgrade the PHP version in Bluehost’s Cpanel‘ post to upgrade the PHP version.

I also have a YouTube channel with many blogging tutorials. Don’t forget to say hi in the comments.

Before you upgrade your PHP version, could you spare one minute to leave a comment? Did I help you with my post? Would you like me to cover anything else in Hostgator’s Cpanel? I appreciate all feedback.

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  1. Hi John,
    Thank you! That was helpful. When I updated from the default 5.6 on Hostgator this morning, I didn’t see an option for 7.3 — looks like I’ll be on the phone to them today to follow up.

    1. Thank you, Cheryl, for your kind comment.
      I used to have a site hosted on Hostgator and they did not offer me an option to upgrade to the latest PHP version. I don’t know if it is a Hostgator thing or if they only offer it on their best Hosting plans. After you speak to Hostgator, would you kindly drop a comment here so others can get an answer to this? Good luck!

      1. I can confirm, Hostgator is not offering anything above 7.1 at the moment. Some say it is because they don’t want the support tickets of breaking everyone’s out-of-date websites. However, they can designate a default for the server (like 5.6 or 7.0), forcing the user to manually have to choose a newer version. Why they don’t….I don’t know. But 7.1 is going to be kicked to the curb soon with everything pushing for 7.3.

        1. Hi James, thank you so much for writing this. I stopped using Hostgator last year so I lost access to my Cpanel. That fact that PHP versions are only supported for two years, makes Hostgator’s choice to go with older versions, not very customer friendly.

          1. I agree. They also have some of the slowest SQL db speeds when it comes to making anything useful with PHP (ie, WordPress). Both of these issues combined make Hostgator a poor option for modern websites with any kind of traffic. Been looking around for a better option myself.

          2. I think Hostgator is an OK option for new bloggers price-wise, but as a site grows, it needs better resources.

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