PHP 7: Turbocharging our WordPress Websites

PHP is the programming language used behind 82% of the sites on the web, but it hasn’t really had a major release in over a decade with PHP 5 being released in 2004. Even PHP 5.5 is 4 years old.

PHP 6 was abandoned due to various issues and finally, PHP 7 was officially released in December 2015, with 7.1 coming out a year later.

It is only recently that PHP 7 has started to go mainstream, and in the past few weeks, we have begun migrating client sites over to it.

Pretty much the only thing of interest to our clients is how the new version of PHP performs, and we have some good news.

The developers worked very hard to refactor the PHP codebase in order to reduce memory consumption and increase performance. And they certainly succeeded.

Benchmarks for PHP 7 consistently show speeds twice as fast as PHP 5.6 and many times even faster! Although these results are not guaranteed for your project, the benchmarks were tested against major projects, Drupal and WordPress, so these numbers don’t come from abstract performance tests.

It not only executes your code faster but also requires fewer servers to handle the same number of requests per second. As an example, the WordPress homepage now requires 72% lesser CPU instructions to execute than before. That’s because PHP 7 receives a brand new version (refactored) of Zend Engine, which adds a significant speed enhancement to the language.

Zend, a PHP distribution have put together a great infographic showing the performance increases of WordPress which you can see below.

If you would like you site upgrading to PHP 7 please contact us, and we will check to see if your Theme and plugins are compatible. We will slowly do this ourselves for all sites.

If you are interested in hosting your website on the fastest server possible, and not having to pay hundreds per month then get in touch. Our hosting plans start at £175 and all our sites are hosted on a dedicated server.

James Smythe

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