Short version: what file can I ask a company who hosts my website to provide that will prove that they upgraded the server's PHP and when they performed the upgrade? I believe the server is based in Apache.

I'm a frontend web developer working an in-house position. Some of the company's older websites are developed and maintained by a third party which has proven to be less than competent and possibly untrustworthy. We recently paid a hefty sum for a PHP upgrade to the servers our site is hosted on in order to meet their requirements to keep the site running.

In the process of updating the Wordpress installation that is hosted alongside the main site I've found that the WP install reports the PHP version to be 5.2.17 . This is alarming since the upgrade was to be to PHP version 5.6 by their specifications. I'm fairly certain the WP install is on the same server since it is run from a subdirectory on the domain.

So before contacting this third party I'd like to find out if there is any sort of server log(if that is even the correct term) I can request that would show that the PHP upgrade took place. Additionally it would be beneficial to receive an indication of when this upgrade took place to ensure that they actually did it when they said they did and not after the fact to cover their shenanigans.

I've tried all sorts of methods to discover the PHP version of the server myself including running numerous scans, trying to upload a file containing <?php echo 'Current PHP version: ' . phpversion(); ?> to the site and navigating to it, and even an (poorly executed) attempt to inject code into an image file to be uploaded to the site.

Any suggestions are welcome. I reason that since this is specific to server log files this would be the best place to ask, but if it should be moved to webmaster stackexchange let me know. Thanks!

  • What is the operating system/disro it's version on the system ? – Iain Jan 17 '17 at 19:52
  • @istheEnglishway unfortunately this information is hidden from any methods I've read of obtaining it. 403 pages bring back Apache Server at www.example.com Port 80. Using a plugin in the WP install I found the following: You are running WordPress 4.7.1 | PHP 5.2.17 | Apache | MySQL 5.5.53 – Bonk Jan 17 '17 at 19:55

I don't think we can reasonably answer your headline question without more information. The information we would need is The operating system, distro & version. Even with that information there may not be anything that can be requested because we don't really know how it was installed.

If for example the underlying OS/Distro is CentOS you may request /var/log/yum.log however, for Ubuntu it would be a different file and for windows it would be something else. If php was updated from source then all bets are off.

I'm fairly certain the WP install is on the same server since it is run from a subdirectory on the domain

That really doesn't have to be the case at all.

<?php echo 'Current PHP version: ' . phpversion(); ?>

What exactly happened there?

In truth I don't think there is much we can do to help you, mainly because you don't have sufficient access, privilege and knowledge.

  • When I tried to access the uploaded file that contained that bit of code I was met with a 403. The third party company has apparently taken all measures to hide the needed info. Unfortunately they won't allow access to anything that would give me the ability to get this information either. We won't be working with them for much longer, but it would be great to know if my employers shelled out ~$5k for an upgrade that didn't happen. Thanks for answer in any case. I'd rather know that it can't be known than not! – Bonk Jan 17 '17 at 20:08

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