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Speed Up Your Website With PHP 7!

Impressive Website Speed Increases

We've been testing WordPress with PHP 7 and we're seeing some very impressive results. We're seeing websites load in less than a second.

Do you want to see for yourself? Go here: https://www.jenniferbergstromdds.com/

That's a website of one of our clients that we switched to PHP 7. That was the only change we did. The website was already loading quickly but the switch to PHP 7 made an even bigger impact:

Before:
before-php7

After:
after-php7

Read on to see about using PHP 7 with your website and what changes might need to be done to get your website there.

Background

PHP is the programming language used for a lot of websites today. If your website runs WordPress, then you're using PHP because that is the language it is programmed in.

The latest major release of PHP was version 7 back in December 2015. They skipped version 6, so it went from version 5.6 (August 2014) to version 7.0. PHP 6 was a version that was abandoned, so that is why they went to version 7.

PHP 5 End of Life

  • Support for PHP 5.5 (and all versions below) ends in January 2017
  • Support for PHP 5.6 ends in January 2019 but they are only issuing security fixes.
  • PHP 7.1 will be out before January 2017 and it will be supported until late 2019.

Find out more about PHP supported versions.

What's So Good About PHP 7?

There are a number of benefits:

  • PHP 7 is twice as fast as version 5.6!
  • It can handle twice as many requests as 5.6.
  • Reduced memory consumption.
  • New language features.

If your website uses a version older than 5.4, then security fixes are no longer supported. The best path to follow is making sure you're using a modern, supported version of PHP behind your WordPress website.

Ok, I'm In... So Switch It Already

We can do that for you if you host with us. We can even look at doing it if you don't host your website with us.

You may be wondering why we're talking about this now in October when it was released last December. It takes a while for programming to catch up. Some plugins have not made their code compatible with PHP 7 yet (they're behind). If that's the case, then we'll have to look and see if we can make the changes to the code or if a different plugin can be used. If we can't do either, then you'll need to either disable some plugins or else have us do more work to get your website to work.

Making the switch will take 2-3 hours (estimated). Here is a list of tasks we need to do to migrate your website to PHP 7:

  • Backup the full site - all files and the database
  • Take screen shots from Pingdom and GTmetrix for a performance report
  • Change PHP to version 7 in your hosting control panel
  • Test all the functionality of the website (both the front-end and backend)
  • Change the database engine from MYISAM to innoDB
  • Compile a complete report with all the screen shots and things that we changed

Before we do this work, your version of WordPress and all plugins and themes need to be up to date with the latest versions. Getting this done would be in addition to the 2-3 hours of work and testing mentioned above.

It's Worth It

You'll have to make this small conversion later anyway, so why not get this done now and take advantage of the increased speed?

If you would like to go ahead, then please use the form below to contact our Website Maintenance Department:

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