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Move to PHP7 and leave 5 behind…

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PHP7 has already been around the block once or twice, did you know it was released Dec 2015, that means it just turned 3! There are still a lot of people out there that still use PHP5.6 or less, to put this in perspective PHP5.3 was released in June 2009 which makes it 9 years old!!! Consider how many updates and bugs have been located since then… the frightening thing is that most of the websites we see still use 5.4, which was released in March 2012 and stopped receiving support September 2015!!!

This is direct from PHP.net;

Supported Versions

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.

Currently Supported Versions

BranchInitial ReleaseActive Support UntilSecurity Support Until
5.6
*
28 Aug 20143 years, 4 months ago19 Jan 201711 months ago31 Dec 2018in 11 months
7.03 Dec 20152 years ago3 Dec 201730 days ago3 Dec 2018in 11 months
7.11 Dec 20161 year, 1 month ago1 Dec 2018in 10 months1 Dec 2019in 1 year, 10 months
7.230 Nov 20171 month ago30 Nov 2019in 1 year, 10 months30 Nov 2020in 2 years, 10 months

Or, visualised as a calendar:

Today: 2 Jan 2018

PHP Version Support Chart

Current support of PHP Versions

Key

Active supportA release that is being actively supported. Reported bugs and security
issues are fixed and regular point releases are made.
Security fixes onlyA release that is supported for critical security issues only. Releases
are only made on an as-needed basis.
End of lifeA 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.

So if you’re using anything other than 7.x you’re in trouble, without regular security updates and patches software becomes troublesome! We always recommend 7 to everyone for the security, but it also comes with other advantages, lets talk about those for a second.

Higher Load Capacity

The upward shift in performance you get from PHP7 is due to the changes in phpng, these changes allowed us to adopt PHP7 smoothly, in fact most of our customers don’t realise they are on PHP7 as its default for new WordPress installs. Along with the performance boost PHP7 is better with memory, it just knows when to let go of the RAM more, meaning your site can run on less resources!

Lets make this more visual!

PHP 5.5

Transactions:              4354 hits
Availability:              100.00 %
Elapsed time:              299.64 secs
Data transferred:          17.23 MB
Response time:             1.21 secs
Transaction rate:          14.53 trans/sec
Throughput:                0.06 MB/sec
Concurrency:               17.59
Successful transactions:   4354
Failed transactions:       0
Longest transaction:       2.04
Shortest transaction:      0.12

HHVM

Transactions:              5256 hits
Availability:              100.00 %
Elapsed time:              299.53 secs
Data transferred:          20.06 MB
Response time:             0.92 secs
Transaction rate:          17.55 trans/sec
Throughput:                0.07 MB/sec
Concurrency:               16.12
Successful transactions:   5256
Failed transactions:       0
Longest transaction:       11.54
Shortest transaction:      0.43

PHP 7

Transactions:              11333 hits
Availability:              100.00 %
Elapsed time:              299.38 secs
Data transferred:          44.84 MB
Response time:             0.16 secs
Transaction rate:          37.85 trans/sec
Throughput:                0.15 MB/sec
Concurrency:               6.16
Successful transactions:   11333
Failed transactions:       0
Longest transaction:       0.77
Shortest transaction:      0.02

As you can see, compared to 5.5, Facebook HHVM is 1.2x faster but PHP7 is 2.6x faster! The speed increase is so easy to see!

PHP7 also comes with a host of new operators and tools suited for developers, which are kindly listed here

Overall, PHP 7 is faster, more secure, and significantly more resource efficient than older versions. To give you an example, a site running PHP 7 can handle twice as many visitors as PHP 5 can, using the same amount of memory. This means your shared hosting plan can take your website further for the same money!

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