At Bluebird, we are firmly committed to the stability, performance, and security of your websites. Keeping your software updated is a good idea for many reasons and all WordPress users should upgrade to the latest version of PHP as soon as possible. Recently PHP 5.6 and 7.0 have achieved the EOL (end of life) status, and more applications are starting to urge users running on deprecated versions of PHP to upgrade to PHP 7.2 or newer. Have you considered or at least made a move to PHP 7?
PHP 7.0 which was released in 2015 delivered some hefty performance and memory utilization gains for all web applications including WordPress. The adoption of it among our customers has resulted in many sites becoming faster than before.
However, since then three newer PHP versions were released – 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3. PHP 7 has been around for almost two years and now is the time to move forward from PHP 5 and PHP 7.0 and upgrade to a newer and fully supported version of PHP so that we can all benefit.
PHP 7.2 is now the default PHP version for new accounts
Seeing that PHP 7.1 is no longer supported by the PHP team and PHP version 7.0 has officially reached its EOL (End Of Life) state, we have changed the default version for all our servers from 7.1 to PHP 7.2. Since January 2019 all new shared hosting accounts have shipped with PHP 7.2 as their default PHP version. Thanks to the underlying benefits of PHP 7.2 we can expect our platform to be much more efficient for hosting PHP websites.
Phasing out of PHP 4.4, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 & 5.6
Over the next month or so we will be encouraging customers still using old versions of php to move towards PHP 7.2 and 5.6 for those unable to jump to 7.x. We have already begun to disable older versions not being used with a target of PHP 7.1 as the minimum available.
PHP 7.2 performance
Based on performance benchmarks run by Phoronix, PHP 7.2 runs up to 13% faster than PHP 7.1, or 20% faster than PHP 7.0. And compared to PHP 5.6, PHP 7.2 is over 250% faster. This leads to faster coding and faster loading websites.
PHP 7.3 performance
According to performance benchmarks run by Phoronix, PHP 7.3 is just shy of 10% faster than PHP 7.2 in the popular PHPBench. PHP 7.3 is 31% faster than PHP 7.0 or nearly 3x the speed of PHP5.
PHP 7.2 for WordPress
It’s always important to run the most recent version of software, but over 40% of WordPress users are still using PHP 5.6. Considering WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, that’s a significant number of people running an out of date version. WordPress users should make sure that they upgrade to the latest version of PHP to make sure their websites are running as fast as possible. Some customers on our platform have reported after the upgrade they experienced up to 40% faster page speed and could execute as much as two times more requests. Many reported higher memory efficiency results as well.