Yesterday was the official release of PHP7. For most people this won’t mean a lot, but given the fact that PHP is a technology used to power over 80% of all websites on the internet it’s not an event to ignore.
PHP7 was two years in the making and is the next successor to PHP 5. Since PHP 6 was an actual existing project, that got canned a couple of years ago, there’s a jump between PHP 5 and the current version 7. But the real value lies within the codebase itself.
PHP7 is by far the fastest version of PHP. Applications build on PHP7 will run about 35% times faster compared to PHP 5.6 and about 85% faster compared to PHP 5.5 (see the benchmarks of Mattias Geniar from Nucleus Hosting). Of course, these benchmark numbers can differ slightly for your own installations, but the overal increase is enormous.
For many years PHP has been given a reputation of not being secure enough, even though the technology had actually nothing to do with it. But to protect developers against themselves (and others), extra measurements have been taken to improve the overal security in the language and functions and extensions that were marked deprecated were removed from PHP7.
Upgrade or not
It is certainly worth to upgrade your applications and platforms to PHP7. If you have been upgrading all the way up to PHP 5.6 and don’t use deprecated functions, your migration to PHP7 should be a breeze. We’re already running full tests on our projects to ensure they are PHP7 ready.
To help you figuring out if your application is ready to be upgraded, our friends at CuBe have created PHPCompatibality. Our friends at Nucleus now offer hosting with PHP7 if you want to have your PHP7 ready application running on the internet.
When you’re not upgrading to PHP7, just remember that if you’re running mission critical applications support for PHP versions are only for two 2 years. Take a look at the current supported versions of PHP.
So, don’t wait too long to upgrade your applications and platforms to PHP7. You miss out on a whole bunch of goodness!