In November 2022, University IT Web Services will be performing an upgrade of the University of Rochester’s central web infrastructure (aka “Central WWW”). This upgrade will include a newer LTS (long-term support) release of the Ubuntu operating system (22.04) as well as a new major release of PHP (8.1). If you have a website or application on Central WWW, please review the below information to familiarize yourself with the change.

A list of all sites affected by the Ubuntu upgrade is available at

What Are The Important Upgrades?

  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS -> Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
  • PHP 7.2 -> PHP 8.1

When Are The Upgrades Occurring?

  • WDEV2 (Development) – Already Completed
  • WDEV (Development) – Oct 28, 2022 – 5 PM
  • Production – November 11, 2022 – 5 PM

How It Affects You

The change includes a major version upgrade from PHP 7.2 to PHP 8.1. As this is a major release of PHP, it includes backward-incompatible changes that may affect your application.

WordPress core should not be impacted by this upgrade, but your site may be impacted if you are using custom code or outdated plugins that have not been updated to use PHP 8+.

For a complete overview of changes between the versions, review the documentation below:

How To Prepare

Websites in the Central WWW production environment usually have a development counterpart; for example, the production site has a development equivalent at (If your application is on Central WWW but does not have a WDEV site then please notify Web Services).

Web Services has created another development environment called “WDEV2”, which serves the same content and files as WDEV, but has the newer Ubuntu 22.04 and PHP 8.1 installed. Your development site/application should be accessible on WDEV2 by changing the wdev to wdev2 in the URL.

For example: ->

We recommend that you fully test your site/application on WDEV2 so you can verify against the upgraded OS and PHP version.

Some sites or applications (e.g. WordPress) may be problematic to test on WDEV2 because they automatically redirect you to the main WDEV site. If this is the case for your application, and you wish to test before the upgrade, please contact us.

The Web Services team has also created a tool to help locate PHP functions that have been deprecated in PHP 7 and suggest a suitable replacement function. The site is located at and authentication is via NetID.

We ask that you please use the PHP 7 Upgrade site to update any deprecated functions and that you review your website on the WDEV2 server for proper functionality. If your application is using deprecated PHP features then a warning will be shown on that page.

If any changes are required to your site, you can make the changes on the original development server (WDEV). Your changes will be immediately reflected in the WDEV2 environment.


If you have any questions, needs, or concerns, please reach out to us at