Did you know updating to PHP 7 will boost your website performance.  For those that have WordPress websites, updating your hosting server to PHP 7 will give you a nice performance boost.

PHP Versions?

The WordPress platform uses scripting code known as PHP.  PHP is a general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited to server-side web development, in which case PHP generally runs on a web server. Any PHP code in a requested file is executed by the PHP runtime, usually to create dynamic web page content or dynamic images used on websites or elsewhere.

Why Make the Switch To PHP 7?

Currently most WordPress websites are being run using PHP 5.x and upgrading to PHP 7.x will boost your websites performance giving you an edge over your competition that hasn’t upgraded.  Below is a performance test that was performed using various versions of PHP and HHVM (The competitor to PHP).  As you can see PHP 7 gave WordPress websites a significant boost in performance and came close to matching it’s rival.

Upgrading To PHP 7 WordPress hhvm-php7-benchmark

 

Resource: http://talks.php.net/fluent15#/wpbench

 

What Does PHP 7 Have To With SEO?

One of the Google ranking factors for both Domain and Page Authority is page speed.  The faster the page loads, the more likely it will rank above it’s competitors with everything else being equal.  The other factor of course is usability.  Faster websites are easier to use because the user doesn’t have to wait as long.

Some of the benefits to upgrading to PHP 7 include

  • Site speed – PHP 7 can handle uncached hits 2-3x faster than on PHP 5.5
  • Resource efficiency – An upgrade to PHP 7 is estimated to bring 30-50% improvements in memory consumption
  • Service more concurrent users – PHP 7 can serve up to 3x as many requests per second and handle more traffic with the same number of resources
  • Return type declarations – You can now specify return type variables with PHP 7
  • Error handling – Many fatal errors have been replaced with object-oriented exceptions to make it easier to find and address bugs
  • Long-term supportLower technical debt with ongoing support of of bug fixes, security patches, and maintenance updates for years to come

PHP 7 Statistics

  • As of November 2016, 52.9% of WordPress websites run a PHP version less PHP 5.5.
  • These versions of PHP have been deprecated and unsupported for over 9 months.
  • Only 3.4% of WordPress websites run PHP 7, the current main version of PHP.

WPEngine (My preferred WordPress hosting platform) has a great article on the benefits of upgrading to PHP 7.  They make upgrading to PHP 7 as painless as possible.

PHP Compatibility Checker

PHP Compatibility Checker WP Engine Hang Ten SEO WordPress PHP 7 PHP 5

WPEngine created a plugin to test your current WordPress setup called PHP Compatibility Checker.  It will evaluate your current setup and tell you which if any plugins are incompatible with upgrading to PHP 7.