There’s a great deal of buzz around PHP 7. As the next major version of PHP—the most popular web development language in the world—it promises serious performance gains, drastically reduced memory consumption, improved security, and more. Results show that with PHP 7, WordPress sites are more than twice as fast. See here for how PHP 7 performed in our testing.
We plan to make PHP 7 environments available to our 50,000 WP Engine customers this fall. To ensure that your WordPress site is PHP 7-ready, we recently launched PHP Compatibility Checker, a plugin now available in the WordPress Plugin Repository. With this plugin, which is the web’s first WordPress PHP 7 compatibility checker, you can test your WordPress site’s code conformance and whether your existing codebase is compatible for a PHP 7 upgrade.
The PHP Compatibility Checker plugin isn’t just for WP Engine customers. In the true spirit of open source, we’ve made it available to anyone with a WordPress site–that’s 26 percent of the internet (and rising). Originally, we developed this tool to help us migrate our customers to PHP 7, but realized it would be of great value to the community as site owners look to move to PHP 7 environments. Any WordPress user can now leverage the plugin to test their site’s PHP 7 compatibility and identify and fix any issues so they can enjoy the performance gains PHP 7 offers.
The plugin is the fruit of extensive testing and evaluation from our engineering teams as part of our promise to deliver an enterprise-grade managed WordPress platform that offers the full set of performance improvements of PHP 7. PHP powers roughly 84 percent of the web, while just 1.7 percent of WordPress websites run PHP 7. We hope the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin will help drive broader adoption of PHP 7 across the web by helping WordPress users proactively discover incompatibilities in their code, plugins and themes.
In addition to the plugin, WP Engine is also sponsoring the update of the open source PHPCompatibility library, which can be used by any PHP project.
At WP Engine, we strive to support the latest technologies as quickly and safely as possible. With PHP Compatibility Checker, we are now providing a tool to ensure the seamless adoption of PHP 7 as we work to add support for it across our platform. Customers whose sites are verified as PHP 7 compatible using the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin and meet some eligibility requirements will be able to request a migration to a PHP 7 environment in the fall. Please look for more information about official PHP 7 support for WP Engine customers in the near future. In addition, we are also working with developers of popular plugins used on our platform to ensure their solutions are compatible with PHP 7.
To get started, simply download the plugin to quickly and easily begin testing your site for PHP 7 compatibility. As customer success is our No. 1 priority, we are pleased to offer this automated way to ensure your sites are compatible to safely move to PHP 7.
We recommend viewing this PHP version and upgrade guide for more information.
Taylor McCaslin works as a Product Manager at WP Engine. He speaks at WordCamps and WordPress events around the country. WordPress has been Taylor’s platform of choice for over 5 years, he even paid his way through college by freelancing as a WordPress developer! When not creating products that captivate and delight, you’ll find Taylor geeking out with the latest tech gadget or experiencing the rich Austin art scene. Follow Taylor on Twitter @Taylor4484.