I found something interesting today, and it probably won't affect most of you, but…
The developers at WordPress said today that they won't be supporting earlier version of either PHP or MySQL, both of which are very important to WordPress. They say that if your web hosting company isn't running PHP, version 5.2 or higher and MySQL, version 5.0.15, you won't be able to upgrade to WordPress 3.2, which is due out before the end of this year.
So, how do you know?
Log into cPanel and look for "Program Versions." If you're with HostGator, where I have two accounts and totally love the service, you will find this in the lower left-hand corner of your dashboard. AND, you're in luck because HostGator is running PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.1.48. You're good to go.
But if you have a smaller hosting company that doesn't do upgrades all that quickly, you may want to consider alternative hosting before WordPress 3.2 comes out.
I love HostGator for so many reasons, but the biggest is that my site is almost NEVER down. I've seen other hosting companies, like Kiosk, for example crap out regularly. They aren't down for long, but how do you know that wasn't the exact instant that someone tried to buy your product or read your blog? You don't and you never will.
Other great things about HostGator are the unlimited domains that you can have with the middle-of the road of "Baby" Gator account. You also get unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space. Imagine having a big launch and all the traffic that can accompany one. You don't want the site to go down. (Not that I wouldn't call and alert them, but still…) It's a great choice. I've used more expensive and cheaper services and HostGator is MOST definitely #1 in my book. I've had it for the past 4 years and would never consider switching.
If you look around your cPanel or Plesk account and can't find the versions of PHP or MySQL that your host is running, there's a plugin for WordPress called "Health Check" and you can even install it from this WordPress blog here: http://wordpress.org/news/2010/07/eol-for-php4-and-mysql4/
So, here's the thing… If you decide to go with HostGator, yes… I will be paid. But I use the service and tell you what… I'll give you a coupon code to save you some money off the price. When you're signing up, be sure to use: "patsspecialdeal" (Pat's Special Deal – all one word, lower case) in the coupon box. I guarantee that you'll be a happy customer.