Why we use PHP 7 for our WordPress builds
Out of all the programming languages being used, PHP is the dominant force. More than three-quarters of developers use PHP as their server-side programming language of choice and it really is no surprise … it’s the best! We use it for all of our website builds, in order to deliver the best quality finished product for all our clients. But why is PHP 7 so great? Here are 4 core reasons …
1. It allows for a greater range of plugins
PHP has grown to become the most popular coding language, largely because of how much easier to use it is than the alternatives. Well, in the release of PHP 7, the developers incorporated a range of new features that makes building plugins easier than ever before. This includes things like type hints and the ability to manage minor coding errors.
Long story short, PHP has become both easier to use and more sophisticated all at once. As such, it now attracts a broader range of developers, including many more talented and respected ones who before shunned PHP 5. In turn, this allows website builders like us the chance to offer our clients a more diverse array of features built into all new websites.
28th February 2019
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 42 seconds.
2. It’s safer
There are two clear ways in which PHP 7 is a far safer language to use that PHP 5. First off, by updating the language the developers were able to clear away many of the well-documented hacks that crippled some sites running on PHP 5. Secondly, as the language is easier to write without making errors, this makes it less vulnerable to hackers.
In turn, you can sleep easier at night knowing that it’s far harder for anyone to gain access to your site by exploiting fundamental weaknesses in the code. This applies to a whole host of plugins which now run of the more secure PHP 7. To help advance this even further, just ensure you keep your WordPress version up-to-date so as to benefit from new security releases
3. It runs more quickly
Speed it everything these days when it comes to web development. A fast site has a much better chance of performing well in Google search results, as speed is a critical ranking factor. It also leads to a much better user experience as visitors don’t have to wait so long for your pages to load. Well, the reason that PHP 7 is so quick comes down to its removal of a number of old and outdated functions.
In turn, PHP was able to grow more advanced, without becoming bloated and slower to load. This means that PHP is both leaner and more efficient. But don’t take our word for it. You can check out this article here that showcases how much faster it is and how many more hits it can handle compared to other languages.
4. WordPress backs it 100%!
Even before PHP 7 was officially available at the end of 2015, the guys at WordPress had spent months slaving away to get WordPress ready to incorporate it. They believed so wholeheartedly in the upside that PHP 7 offers that they ensured WordPress was best suited to make use of it. They now encourage all WordPress users to ensure their sites adopt PHP 7 and to seek out plugins that make use of it as well.
Making the switch
If you have an existing website that runs on PHP 5, then making the switch to PHP 7 is possible. It will require you to do an analysis of your site’s code, speak to your host to ensure they support PHP 7 and to see which plugins you use have not yet upgraded. Alternatively, you could pay an experienced developer to update your site quickly and efficiently.
Similarly, if you are looking to have a new site built, then we strongly recommend you hire a developer who works exclusively in PHP 7. This is where we come in. All of our new builds incorporate PHP 7 and give you access to a faster, more secure site that makes better use of a diverse array of plugins.
We are passionate about staying on top of new releases and making the switch to PHP 7 was a key move for us and our clients. If you are interested in finding out more about our work, you can check out our portfolio here. Alternatively, feel free to reach out and contact our team direct.