PHP 7 hosting has been launched for all GreenGeeks customers. How do you do it, what is PHP and how does this all effect you? I hope to tackle all these concerns and more. What is so great about this new PHP version? PHP 7 does bring in a significant performance boost. There are also some new language features too.
Before we dive into the updates though, let us backtrack a little to catch everybody up to speed on what PHP actually is?
PHP is a server-side scripting language used in web development. The name, PHP, originally stood for Personal Home Page but has sense been changed to PHP: Hypertext Pre-processor. Here are the nuts and bolts. You can insert PHP code into HTML code and it can act as a much more powerful way of interfacing with information. Rather than just say, “This text is red” as you can in HTML code – PHP could call in a web template, insert a comment box and a whole lot more.
That is only scratching the surface of what PHP can do. Many popular scripts (like WordPress) are written in PHP. It can handle a lot of complicated ‘bits and ‘bobs.
How can you enable PHP 7 on your GreenGeeks account?
By default you will automatically on PHP 7, however if we have identified your website to have potential issues, we have not upgraded you to PHP 7. You can however, manually change this yourself. We have made it easy for GreenGeeks customers to manually enable PHP 7. This can be done by following the steps in our guide, Configuring PHP Enviroment Variables Through Your Custom php.ini. Jump into cPanel, select the PHP version and follow the other steps to configure your own PHP settings.
What is so Great About PHP 7?
So, first let me tell you – why PHP 7? Other updates have come and gone to PHP without the need of a version number change, right? Well, because of some of the major changes in PHP 7 it was given a new version number. It really altered things too much to claim it was a minor PHP 5 release.
Performance is the keyword. Most applications and scripts running on PHP 5.6 will run at least twice as fast (if not more) on PHP 7. It is able to handle more than twice as many requests per second while using less server memory. Need a real world example of where this will help? I think WordPress users should notice an improvement. In fact, any script that is heavily impacted by PHP should. You’ll be able to tell a difference. It will not be night and day differences due to the fact that once you add in latency, loading media and your browser rendering the webpage you introduce other factors that could slow it down. Having said that though, this is still a major improvement.
Business-based web sites will enjoy the boost in performance. Developers will like a lot of the syntax improvements and other new possibilities it provides. PHP 7 is a win/win for everybody. However, there are a few words of warning I have for you.
PHP 7 Words of Warning
Before you blindly jump into changing your PHP version, be aware that PHP 7 could break scripts or applications that are relying on older versions of PHP. If the script you use is powered by PHP and was last updated in the year 2000 – you might run into a problem. Several deprecated items have been removed. For most people using up-to-date scripts, this should not be a problem. Many of these have been deprecated for some time now.
You should definitely make sure your scripts and applications are ready for PHP 7 before you make the jump.
I’ve done my best to explain the changes in PHP in a way that everybody can understand it. The future of PHP 7 is bright and we want to help all of our clients take advantage of this huge milestone. Feel free to follow our guide on how to change your PHP version and then give all the new features a test drive. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are able to deliver a great PHP 7 hosting environment. Now that it is accessible, it should be interesting to see what the community does with PHP 7’s improvements.