PHP stands for Hypertext Pre Processor and is one of the most widely used programming languages worldwide. PHP * is a server-side language that means its function is actually applied to the server. The CMS (Content Management System), your site’s content management system relies on PHP and ‘works’ on content and data before it reaches your screen. This helps developers create dynamic pages quickly and efficiently! PHP is the most popular server-side language with 82% market share!
But what changes now?
Since 2004, ZEND, her PHP mother, released PHP5, there has been a major change in publishing. But it came to the crew of time and the developers’ world is launching fireworks! As of PHP 5.6, which is the latest and most stable, PHP7 was released in December 2015. Below I will explain the reasons why you should embrace this change for … yours!
To get an idea of what’s going on in general with every release that comes out we have gathered the following items. PHP version 5 is used by 97.8% of all sites that use PHP in general, and version 5.5 is used by 20% of all sites using PHP5.
The end of PHP 5.5
PHP.net passes every version of a 2-year trial period where it detects and resolves any bugs and problems. It then provides support for another one – a third time – only about serious security issues. Then, even if ‘gaps’ are found, they are not corrected by the PHP community. You can see here when exactly each version stops being supported. PHP 5.5 therefore died!
Since June 2016, the older versions of PHP5 (up to and including 5.5) have been … unstoppable, without support. Also, by August 2016, 57.1% of WordPress websites run in PHP version earlier than 5.5! It has been without support for a long time. PHP 5.6 still has a lot of … lifetime (about 2 years) but why not prefer fresh PHP7?
That’s why we go PHP7!
Changes brought by the new PHP mainly affect the lives of developers. But therefore also the end user. There are many new and extraordinary features that add to the heights and offer higher security! Some examples are the following.
The most important feature of PHP7 is the dual speed compared to the previous version. Initially, the code being written is implemented much faster, and fewer servers are needed to serve the same number of users. Additionally, so far, when a serious PHP problem has occurred, the script has stopped. In PHP7 there are Engine Exceptions where you replace these problems with exceptions that are easier to use.
Finally, as mentioned above, the lack of support in previous versions of PHP makes it necessary to transfer to PHP7!
And a little more … geeky stuff
In addition to speed, a significant change to PHP7 is the Type Declarations: you can now set variables in your language (variables) and not automatically set by PHP. This means you can add Scalar types like int, float, string and bool, but many more. In addition, an improved feature is Error handling, the handling of errors. This includes the Engine Exceptions mentioned above. The new PHP adds a new operator with a name that you can not resist using: Spaceship Operator! This is the Combined Comparison Operator that basically complements the language ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ (<=>). It is essentially the joining of three operators (smaller, equal, larger) and each one separately. The most common use is in sorting.