The scripting language PHP last received a major release in the form of PHP 5 eleven years ago. Despite this lengthy interval, PHP has continued to undergo development and is now one of the most popular scripting languages on the internet. PHP 7, the fastest PHP of all time, is now available to all Hostpoint customers. PHP 7 comes with tens of thousands of changes to its code and is more streamlined. Just some of the updates found in the new release include improved error handling, improved security with cryptography features and smaller storage requirements – and with better performance to match. The PHP website contains documentation detailing exactly what users can expect from PHP 7.
Twice as fast as PHP 5.6
However, the most remarkable change in this new release is its impressive speed. PHP 7 is twice as fast as PHP 5.6 and is actually fourteen times as fast as PHP 5.0. Under real conditions, this has a massive effect on the speed of web applications such as WordPress and Drupal, as shown in this fascinating infographic by Zend.
Click to activate
It takes just a few clicks of the mouse in the Hostpoint Control Panel to activate the latest version of PHP for each hosting account. In our Support Center you will find an article explaining where these settings can be found.
As is usual for major releases, the developers of PHP 7 have carried out a general overhaul and resolved various issues inherited from previous versions – and disposing of several obsolete features in the process. If you are using a CMS or shop, we therefore recommend finding out whether the current version you are running is compatible with PHP 7. Current versions of WordPress, Drupal 8 and TYPO3, for example, are already compatible. The release of Joomla 3.5 in February 2016 will also support PHP 7. Information about the updates is available directly on the PHP website for users who program PHP scripts. If you encounter any problems after the upgrade, it takes just a few steps to downgrade to an older version of PHP in the Control Panel.
Deactivating older versions of PHP
Each time a new version of PHP is released, the PHP community discontinues support for the older versions. We will therefore discontinue support for PHP 5.5 at Hostpoint in the next few months. While PHP 5.6 will continue to be supported for the time being, we recommend that you upgrade to PHP 7 in good time in order to avoid another update a few months from now.