After a lot of speculations and waiting, finally PHP 7 is out for the regular WordPress users. Although it is not a compulsory upgrade, most website users are finding the upgrade useful for powering their sites that run on WP. Firstly, it is offering the sites a massive speed boost, and secondly, it is opening a whole new world of updated plug-ins for these sites. We know, your WordPress site is probably perfectly happy and completely functional on the PHP 5.2 version, but that is just restricting your CMS and database functions.
Older PHP versions are ebbing
In reality, version 5.2 has not seen any updates in the last couple of years, and there have not been as many security patches as there should have been. The jump to version 7.0 serves a three-fold purpose. It boosts speed, provides more security and extends your website’s compatibility to new future updates. After switching to PHP 7.0, some WordPress users are reporting less server usage. That is not just cutting down a lot of carbon footprints, but it is also indicative of the bigger savings thanks to green technology. This newer version of the scripting language is breaking all barriers for WordPress, and you need to jump on before this train leaves the station.
Updating to a newer version of something you have been familiar with for months or even years might be extremely annoying, but you need to realize that this move is necessary to keep your site visible and profitable. Your updating mechanism can be a bit different from your neighbor’s, since the process depends on the hosting services rather than the CMS platform. However, the first step should be common for every website – taking a complete backup just in case things go awry during the updating process.
Check your hosting compatibilities with PHP 7.0
There is a slim chance that your hosting company will not support the upgrade. There are also chances that you might have to pay significantly for getting hosting services for the newer version of PHP. In such cases, you may want to reconsider your hosting choice in place of compromising your PHP version. There is no way a hosting service provider’s new perks or higher speed or better speed can make up for the latest PHP 7.0 update. You can check out Chicago SEO services to know what hosting features are must for the new PHP versions. This new update brings forth the option to adopt sleeker and smarter plug-ins, better optimization options and better visibility. Almost all the latest versions of the WordPress plugins perform better with the latest PHP versions.
Why should you update your PHP version?
PHP 7 is faster than PHP versions 5.6 and 5.2. In fact, if you like numbers and statistics, PHP 5.2 is two times slower then PHP 5.6, and it is almost 400% slower than version 7.0. This provides 100% reason for you to switch to PHP 7.0. It is time to pay attention to the updates that keep coming on your WP backend panel urging you to upgrade your PHP version. Here is the complete set of reasons you need to update your PHP to 7.0.
- Faster, stronger, smarter – PHP 7.0 makes your website up to 3 times faster than 5.5 version.
- Efficiency – a newer version, of course, means better efficiency. Upgrading to version 7.0 can reduce memory consumption by 30% to 50%.
- Error handling – some fatal errors inherent of earlier PHP versions have been avoided with the help of the newer upgrade.
- Better tech support – PHP 7.0 and 7.1 lower the technical debt of companies. There are ongoing bug fixes, regular updates and security updates from the developer team.
- Ideal for all – the newer versions are ideal for both business owners, who are dabbling in online marketing and for developers, who have been creating and maintaining websites for ages.
Get ready for the big move
Over 50% of the websites now online run on a version lesser than PHP5.5. All older versions of PHP are suffering from a lack of support and enough updates for the past year or more. As of 2017, only about 12% of the websites run on PHP 7.0 and that gives your website the perfect opportunity to turn its performance around and simply outdo its competitors in organic traffic. Before going for the update, you should check the compatibility of your current site with any of the compatibility checker plug-ins from WordPress. A plug-in of this sort can help you figure out if your website setup is ideal for the PHP 7.0 version and it can help you find out if all your other plug-ins are compatible as well.
What is the Yoast team saying about the update?
PHP 7.0 is not a compulsion for most websites running on WordPress. However, if you are a Yoast SEO plug-in user, you may have already noticed their “unmissable” (and almost annoying) push notification that insists on updating the user’s PHP version to 7.0. The only way to switch off the notification is by making the jump. Since WordPress and search engines are not advocating the use of PHP 7.0 overtly, the Yoast developer team has taken it upon themselves to help the World Wide Web become a more secure place and a much faster place for all users and fellow developers.
The take-home message
When you install the new PHP update to your website set up correctly, your site will automatically experience a boost in visibility. This is a result of better website optimization for search engines. A newer update to the website scripting language can render your database better compatible and instantly accessible to the new algorithm updates of the most popular search engines. Google is indeed the king of all search engines and the developer teams drop two new algorithm updates every day to keep the search results intuitive and relevant. Moving to a new PHP version, of course, ensures better optimization to the latest version of Google algorithms. It ensures that your website stays compatible with the requirements of the mobile-first movement. There is not much hope for a site that runs on outdated versions of a scripting language. Older versions of PHP have already started impeding visibility, organic traffic, mobile reach and plug-in compatibility of WordPress sites.