PHP has cemented its place in the list of hottest backend technologies since its inception in 2005. It is loved equally by both developers and businesses looking for faster, better websites.
PHP’s stable popularity worldwide can be credited to frequent, smarter releases. They started with PHP Tools back in 1995 and now have PHP 7. The latest version (PHP 7.3) is set to release in December this year.
Take a look at PHP's impressive statistics:
|About 83.6% of the websites on the internet use PHP, according to a recent stats by W3techs (June 2018). Of which, 15.3% use PHP 7. Which is a good number considering how new it is; 7.2.8, the newest version, was released on July 19, 2018 (just two weeks ago).|
In this article, we will discuss everything that’s groundbreaking about PHP 7 and how can your business benefit from it. Let’s start with new features in PHP 7:
What’s New In PHP 7?
Since PHP offers stupendous features which promise less maintenance and operation costs, it is good for Enterprises to beverage this new version of PHP.
Some of the stan-attractors are as follows:
Newer Zend Engine (Zend Engine 2)
The main objective behind the Zend Engine is to reduce the memory consumption. This helps Enterprises with large data availability.
- Zend Engine 2 is more scalable, reliable and better.
- It also boasts a reduced number of servers. This is to add great value to the user experience.
Takeaway: Since a business would require a better system with less memory consumption and more users, this feature is more helpful to them in a lot of ways.
The main problem with error processing is that it would take up an ample amount of time. This is a nightmare for many PHP Developers who have to get hooked with their systems and ponder over the errors that are invisible. This affects the business in a considerable way since end-users have to deliver the output on their websites.
Fortunately, the error processing is less complicated in PHP 7 than the older versions. Here:
- Users get ample chances to replace the errors by using exceptions.
- While you “catch” the exceptions, PHP 7 would convert it to fatal errors.
Takeaway: Smoother, simplified error processing makes PHP 7 a refreshing option.
Runs on Windows
PHP (1-6)’s incompatibility with Windows system serve as their biggest flaw till date. The previous versions of PHP were available only on Linux.
It is not the same case in PHP 7. This version provides you with a 64-bit support in Windows system. It is a major relief as most of the businesses run on Windows. A study shows that nearly 90% of the businesses depend heavily on it. Only a handful of businesses use Linux for their office use. Hence businesses must consider switching over to PHP 7 swiftly.
Scalar Type Declaration
There were not many scalar parameters that were available earlier. It was quite difficult for developers to indulge much in this section. But with PHP 7, the case is different.
- There are 2 options which are available right now i.e coercive and strict.
- Coercive is the standard default mode.
- More parameters compared to earlier versions are present now, including integers, booleans, floating-point numbers among others.
- Augmentation of other types that were first released in a more earlier version: PHP 5 is also possible now.
This would help businesses to get the coding done by their developers much quicker. Businesses need not depend only on the limited options that were available previously.
It is a well-known fact that only PHP 5.6+ has advanced performance results compared to previous ones. The best thing about PHP 7 is the progress this version has shown in terms of performance. It has come a long way from being a version of limited versions to offering stellar performance with its improved features like availability on windows system and more quirky error processing options.
Secured and Supportive
In PHP 7, if there is a bug, fixing it is quite easy, unlike its predecessors. Hence it is more secure and compatible now, enabling businesses to trust this version more.
Syntax plays a key role in the offering of PHP support. Without a proper syntax, it becomes tough for developers to connect with the version. The short echo syntax, which is used to output more than one string, has helped this a lot. Using the short_open_tag ini setting is no longer in use when short echo syntax has come into usage.
PHP 7 has easy to use syntax which will reduce the sophisticated processes. This saves time and allows businesses to concentrate on their outcome in terms of the website.
PHP Traits was not taken into consideration until PHP 5 version was introduced.
Traits, also called as "compiler assisted copy and paste", allows us to assemble smaller fragments of code. You can very well include them inside your classes, which means you can add reusable snippets of code to classes which are otherwise considered unrelated. This will allow you to compose the classes and not just assemble them together by using the method of inheritance.
Advanced, Built-In Webserver
Since PHP 5.4 version was released, PHP development had its own platform of Built-in webserver. This was mainly used for testing purpose.
With Built-in webserver, you can spin the current project that is present in the current version of PHP. You can also check if the application can still work. This will give way for fewer errors and enhance the productivity of the business’s development team.
Though this feature is present in all other versions of PHP 5, this exact feature adds to the proximity for migrating to PHP 7. The main advantages of using this feature are:
- Password encryption is in high level
- Passwords cannot be easily hacked
- The format contains both the information regarding the algorithm and the salted password. So, they can be saved separately.
If you were going to store plain md5s, then you have to ensure that your database columns are wider than it already is, since it will generate a 60 char hash.
Password hacking used to be one of the most serious security threats for businesses. But not anymore with Password Hashing feature. This has helped businesses trust PHP 7 version more.
Why Your Business Needs PHP 7 Power
- Migrating to PHP 7 will ensure you have entered the newer and elite era of PHP web development.
- Staying ahead with the latest trend helps you stay ahead with your business plans.
- There are a lot more successful Enterprises all over the world, that make use of this technology in their web development platform. Facebook, Tumblr to name a few.
- A recent study indicates that more than half of the web applications are created by using PHP. Over 22 million websites are run on PHP. Hence migrating to PHP 7 is the basic thing that has to be done first.
- This would increase the quality and revenue of the business without any doubts.
Migrating to PHP 7: The Process
- The first thing you have to do is to hire a PHP Developer who is well versed in PHP web development, especially PHP 7. If you have the admin rights of your website, then you can do it on your own. But beware of certain hindrances that may enter your way.
- Refer to your nearby hosting company and speak to them regarding the update of your account.
- Make sure of the compatibility of your website to update to PHP 7. Only then, you have to consider upgrading it to PHP 7.
It is always better to migrate to the newer versions of a software. Upgrade to PHP 7, if you are willing to enjoy all the added features.