Performance — Why you should consider moving to PHP7

Programming languages are ever evolving in each iteration. PHP also went through big changes over the past few years. As web applications like Drupal got more complex also the prerequisites for the Interpreters got higher. The times of building a website and running it for 10 years+ on the same stack and PHP version are over and to move on with better performance and security it’s a must to upgrade and maintain the sites we build over the time they are online.

Shortly after we launched amazee.io we also rolled out support for PHP 7.0. As we are currently putting a lot of effort into Lagoon we intended to roll out PHP 7.1 when we switch everything to Docker. As there were a lot of customer requests for PHP 7.1, we rolled up the sleeves and got 7.1 shipped to the current hosting platform.

Performance

We all love fast websites, right? Reports and our own observations show that PHP7 has a 50–70% Performance improvement over PHP 5.6. Also the new PHP version has a substantially lower memory footprint which helps a lot with memory intensive applications.

The road to PHP 7.1

When PHP 7.0 was released it was a revolutionary step, especially when it comes to big performance improvements and a substantially lower memory footprint. A very good in-depth article comes from the Tech Team of Badoo and how they could lower their operational cost and save one million dollars by switching to PHP 7! The benchmarks between PHP 7.0 and 7.1 show a performance improvement between 4–7%.

Long-Term Stability

On amazee.io we currently support PHP 5.6, 7.0 7.1. PHP 5.6 will be end of Life in on 31 December 2018 — This gives you roughly 1.5 Years to test and migrate to PHP 7.1. With making sure your application runs on the newest version of PHP you ensure that you’re good to go for the future!

Drupal is already PHP 7-compatible

Drupal 8 and recent versions of Drupal (7.50+) are fully compatible with PHP 7.1! The only thing that might need work will be the contrib-modules as not all of them are ready for PHP7. Many well known modules already released PHP7 compatible versions — It’s your turn now to upgrade them on your Drupal site

Further information about what might cause issues when moving to PHP 7.0 or PHP 7.1 can be found on the Migration page of the PHP.net website:

You can start testing locally already!

As you already know, amazee.io comes with a local development environment based on Docker. And you know what? Testing PHP 7 is easier than filling out your tax forms. Just update your docker-compose.yml file with one of our templates! Head over to our Documentation and check out the docker-compose.yml example files.

If you tested your site throughout feel free to give our team a heads up and we move your sites on the servers to PHP 7.

On to a faster and nicer world of Drupal with PHP 7!