The New Major PHP Version is Released – 7.0

The newest major PHP version was officially released a few days ago. The latest version 7 of the most common web language for building dynamic websitesPHP is now available.

PHP 7 is now supported for all hosting services offered by SuperHosting.BG.

More than 20 years have passed since PHP’s first web appearance back in 1994. During the first 10 years, 5 major versions of PHP Tools v.1.0 have been released until PHP 5 appeared in 2004. And ever since, there has not been any major PHP release. This does not include the experimental PHP 6 which never got a stable release. In 2013 a new project for developing a main version was initiated. After a lot of time, efforts, numerous modifications, improvements, fixes and innovations, finally we can see a completed next major version of PHP 7.

PHP 7.0 promises a 2x faster performance as well as lower memory usage compared to PHP 5.6. This definitely will have a very positive impact on all websites based on PHP.

What’s new in PHP 7?

PHP 7 emphasizes on removing deprecated features from previous versions, improving the consistency of the language itself and especially the performance.

Lower Memory Usage

PHP 7 is optimized in the way it represents internal values and data structures. Arrays (for example hashtable) use about 3 times less memory compared to PHP 5.6.

Speed boost

The speedup of PHP code executed originates from the reduced memory usage combined with the improvements in the internal data processing. In other words, PHP 7 comes with a faster and rewritten engine – Zend Engine version 3. This is the engine that literally drives (interprets) the PHP code.

Improvements and Innovations in The Language Itself

The new Zend Engine version is based on the PHPNG project (PHP Next Generation) which unleashes the huge scripting language improvements.

Here are a few of the innovations:

PHP 7 Benchmarks

Since the beginning of the PHPNG project there have been regular performance benchmarks. The results are available here: PHP 7.0 benchmarks

PHP 7 at SuperHosting.BG? How to activate PHP 7?

PHP 7 is supported for Shared hosting, Virtual serversManaged VPS) and Dedicated servers offered by SuperHosting.BG.

If you have a shared hosting account or Managed VPS you can activate PHP 7 through cPanel  -> PHP Manager by SuperHosting.

Upon the virtual private server service, customers can manually install and activate PHP 7.

Is PHP 7 compatible with WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal?

For the last few months, WordPress team has been following closely the PHP 7 development and actively comparing and testing every introduced change. Despite not yet officially declared, WordPress is ready and PHP 7 compatible (the latest versions).

There is still no official information, but according to developers Joomla! 3.5 will be PHP 7 compatible.

Drupal 8 is fully compatible with PHP 7.

Why the newest version is called PHP 7, but not PHP 6?

There is actually a PHP 6 version which never made it to a stable release.

PHP 6 exists as an experimental version, but it never made it to an official stable release. The PHP 6 project started in 2005, but it was effectively abandoned in 2010, because of implementation difficulties of Unicode support.

There are a lot of existing documents, help information and whole books for PHP 6 which could have led to confusion with the future main PHP version.

After a voting, the latest stable PHP version was voted to be 7 in order to avoid confusion with the already existing experimental PHP 6 version.

Note: There are PHP modules that are not 100% compatible with PHP 7 yet. The following modules – ZendGuardLoader, Memcache/d and imagick will be available for PHP 7 after their update.

Madlena Metodieva
Madlena Metodieva
Madlena is our super-support-guru. Madlena's SuperPower is that she can explain even the most complicated technologies in plain language.
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