PHP 7 Released

Posted by Paul on December 23, 2015

The release of PHP 7 is actually very good news for everyone who uses the Internet because it will speed up the majority of websites out there in one fell swoop! This will include big sites like Facebook, Yahoo and Wikipedia as well as sites hosted on WordPress (which is a lot!), although the update won't be automatic.

Web developers, hosts and geeks alike may wonder how we got to PHP 7 when PHP 5.6.16 was only released late last month (26th November 2015)? The reason for this is that there was indeed a PHP 6 version which was developed way back in 2005 with support for Unicode, but subsequently got merged back in to PHP 5.3. As books had been published on this PHP 6 version, to avoid confusion, a vote was held and PHP 7 came out as the chosen version number for this release.

So why is this such good news?

  • PHP 7 is backwards compatible, meaning you should be able to just switch PHP versions and then get all the benefits
  • PHP 7 has various new features that your web developers can take advantage of
  • PHP 7 has been shown to be up to 70% faster!

70% faster is a big deal that will translate in to more sales and less hosting costs. And this number comes from the page load time of the website - not some test designed to use the speediest features of PHP 7.

How can you start using PHP 7?

While PHP 7.0.1 has already been released, you probably won't yet be able to install it via your hosting control panel. If you're on a VPS or dedicated server, you may be able to ask you web host to install it, otherwise you'll have to wait until it's supported by the company behind your control panel, which in our case is cPanel. Users are already chasing cPanel for updates but it's probably not going to be until early 2016 that PHP 7 is officially supported.

Have you tried PHP 7 already? Are you looking forward to it? Let us know in the comments!

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