What is PHP7 and why should you be using it?

For the first in a series of Tech Tuesday articles, let us explain what PHP7 is and why your website should be using it.
16 May 2017 | Digital Business

PHP is the backend to countless websites and is one of the most common languages in use across the web.  As a server-side scripting language, it’s function is to interpret website code, perform a function and then return the results to a site visitor’s browser.  In fact, you are seeing it in action right now, as this page is rendered dynamically using content stored in a database.  Created by Rasmus Ledorf in 1995, originally to power homepages, PHP has been actively developed since and the latest version, PHP7, was released at the end of 2015.

More speed, Scotty.

The most noticeable and useful improvement is speed.  PHP7 applications run over twice as fast PHP5.6 ones – and who doesn’t want a fast site.  With Google also ranking on performance, having a fast site is clearly beneficial and PHP7 helps that.  If your hosting provider isn’t using it, we’d recommend you look around for one who is.

WordPress runs twice as fast under PHP7

With the improved performance comes improved efficiency  – so your site can serve more concurrent requests.

Improved error handling

Have you ever come across a website showing a blank white page?  This happens when an error occurs under older versions of PHP.  Definitely not a good look for your site.  Developers rejoice as they can finally handle errors properly and avoid a “white screen of death”.

It will work with existing websites

Typically, if your site runs under PHP5.6 today, it will operate perfectly under PHP7.  Legacy applications using deprecated functions may have issues.

So as you can see, there’s no reason not to have your site powered by PHP7.   If you are unsure your site is using or can take advantage of it, get in touch and we’ll let you know straight away.