Why consider migrating from PHP 5 to PHP 7 in 2017?

May 24, 2017

PHP 7 is the new wave of change in the way we represent our businesses on the digital platform. Ever since PHP 5 was released in 2004, PHP 7 has been the most remarkable update that has proven to be disruptive in the web development market-place. The reason being, PHP is one of the most popular web development languages that most websites and applications are based on. So, migrating to PHP is naturally, a key concern for most businesses that have used this language for their business apps or websites.

Reasons why you should upgrade to PHP 7

So, first off, let’s get to the most common reasons why you’d want to, or rather, you might just have to update the version of PHP on your server from PHP 5 to PHP 7, this year

  • You will find that the minimum requirement to run WordPress on your server will have risen to PHP 7.
  • All your installed plug-ins and scripts will not remain compatible any longer with the version currently in use.
  • Even if your installed plugins and scripts are compatible and still working, you might encounter certain conflicts between the version in use and your installed plug-ins and scripts.
  • You will find the current version to have gaps in its security level which could now be filled only by upgrading to the latest version i.e. PHP 7
  • Over the time, you will feel the need to make the switch to a more stable version.
  • You may want to upgrade to PHP 7 also for testing this different version on a local installation of WordPress or on one of the staging sites.

Benefits of adopting PHP 7

The critical ways in which PHP 7 has revolutionized the world of web development include drastic improvements in the performance, major reduction in the memory consumption and various other language-specific features that will make any PHP developer go gaga about the new version.

Let’s have a look at what all are the benefits of migrating to PHP 7 for you as a developer or as a startup looking to get a PHP based website or application:

  • Designed to manage the work-loads of this day and age, PHP 7 is the choice of technology today for developers.
  • PHP 7 receives a brand- new version of the engine coming under the code name of PHPNG that imparts your app with about double the performance and significantly improved consumption of memory with PHP 7 – as opposed to the PHP version previously in use (5.6).
  • Powered by the new Zend Engine 3.0, your app can now cater to more users at the same time without any additional hardware requirement.
  • It goes without saying that the speed has also improved significantly. To be precise, your app now enjoys double the speed since PHP 7 lets your code get executed more speedily as well as renders your app with the need for fewer servers to cater to the same number of users.
  • With PHP 7, it has become much more expedient now to handle errors that are fatal and catchable fatal. The new engine exceptions is the feature in PHP 7 that now allows you to replace such errors with exceptions and manage these more effectively.
  • 64 bit support is another added feature of PHP 7 by virtue of which you can now confidently run the language on your 64 bit Windows system if need be.
  • You can now be more efficient with your code by using more accurate type declarations that already eliminate a lot of inaccurate results. This is now possible because PHP 7 has introduced 4 additional type declarations including int, string, float and bool.
  • PHP 7 now lets you add anonymous classes that help further speed up your coding and shorten the time taken to execute the process.

Possible Drawbacks

Having talked about all the benefits that PHP 7 has to offer, the question that arises now is as to what could be the possible down-sides of migrating to PHP 7 – So, here we go!

  • Before you decide to migrate from PHP 5 to PHP 7, you must keep in mind that the new version might bring some such improvements or changes that might make parts of the older version completely obsolete.
  • After migrating, some of your already installed plug-ins, themes and scripts may not remain compatible to your new PHP version anymore and this might as well result in breaking your site partially or even fully.
  • Sometimes, you may even encounter a situation wherein the older PHP version is not supported at all anymore. In such a scenario, if you are using the plug-ins, scripts etc. compatible only to the older version, this may make the old code on your site become incompatible and therefore, break.

To keep some of these possible draw-backs at bay, you can try to manually check your website to estimate the possible issues to be encountered after upgrading to PHP 7. Also, there can be some plug-ins available that can help perform an automated website scan for you to more precisely determine whether your site will be compatible in case you plan on upgrading to PHP 7.

As a leading PHP development company we offer customized PHP solutions to organizations around the globe that deliver maximum ROI and reduces the overall development cost and  we also support our clients with tools and techniques to solve critical business problems.