Each release branch of PHP is fully supported for two years from its initial stable release. During this period, bugs and security issues that have been reported are fixed and are released in regular point releases.
After this two year period of active support, each branch is then supported for an additional year for critical security issues only. Releases during this period are made on an as-needed basis: there may be multiple point releases, or none, depending on the number of reports.
Once the three years of support are completed, the branch reaches its end of life and is no longer supported. A table of end of life branches is available.
|Branch||Initial Release||Active Support Until||Security Support Until|
|5.5||20 Jun 2013||2 years, 11 months ago||10 Jul 2015||10 months ago||10 Jul 2016||in 1 month|
|5.6 *||28 Aug 2014||1 year, 9 months ago||31 Dec 2016||in 7 months||31 Dec 2018||in 2 years, 7 months|
|7.0||3 Dec 2015||5 months ago||3 Dec 2017||in 1 year, 6 months||3 Dec 2018||in 2 years, 6 months|
Or, visualised as a calendar:
|Active support||A release that is being actively supported. Reported bugs and security issues are fixed and regular point releases are made.|
|Security fixes only||A release that is supported for critical security issues only. Releases are only made on an as-needed basis.|
|End of life||A release that is no longer supported. Users of this release should upgrade as soon as possible, as they may be exposed to unpatched security vulnerabilities.|
As it is the final PHP 5 release, support for PHP 5.6 has been extended: active support will run for an additional four months, and the security fix period has been doubled from one to two years. Other releases are unaffected.