For those who do not know, PHP is a very popular programming language, that was created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf. Since then its popularity has been steadily growing. Today almost 82% of the website use PHP, so most of the Web relies on this programming language to some extent.
As more and more people enter the online world, many of them using their mobile devices, it has become crucial for the servers powering the world’s websites to react quickly to the user’s requests. Studies have shown that a person will leave a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. This means that speed is of utmost importance when it comes to the Internet user.
The changes and upgrades in PHP have managed to dramatically boost the performance of sites that use this programming language. It is believed that PHP 7 offers a 100% speed improvement compared to the earlier version PHP 5.6. To see the speed of a PHP7 site in action, check out this site dedicated to helping people prepare for nursing exams. This means that web developers can create websites that offer engaging and interesting features that will quickly respond to user input. But let’s see which are the most important benefits that this upgrade has brought.
Main benefits of PHP 7
As mentioned above, speed is one, if not the most important benefit of PHP 7. Developers managed to find a solution to improve PHP so that it can increase performance while reducing memory consumption. Speed is now twice faster compared to PHP 5.6 according to benchmarks tested on major projects, WordPress and Drupal.
Now the type of variable that is being set is specified and not set automatically by PHP. As PHP is considered a weakly typed language, it does not require the user to declare data types. There are still data types associated with variables, but you can do major changes such as adding a string to an integer without causing an error. Type declarations are very useful helping you get the expected results by defining what should occur. This will also make your code easier to read.
Error handling is another feature that has been added. If in the past handling fatal errors was almost impossible in PHP, now an exception would be thrown when such an error would occur, instead of just stopping the script. A fatal error means a blank white screen on a production server, which would confuse the user and therefore cause your credibility to drop. It can also cause problems with the resources that have not been closed properly or are still in use.
Security is a huge concern for a lot of places, especially in regions of the world with instability in both the government and the political environment. Take for example Syria and Turkey, both countries have experienced a lot of big changes over the last few years. VPNs in Turkey are becoming more and more common as people struggle with Internet privacy.
• Spaceship Operator
The spaceship operator, also known as Combined Comparison Operator, is a cool addition to PHP 7, which complements the greater than and less than operators.
• Null Coalesce Operator
This operator will return the left operand if it is not NULL. The important thing to mention is that it will not raise a notice in a situation when the left operand is a non-existent variable.
Easy to use
PHP 7 has an easy and readable syntax, with a code that is embedded in the HTML source code, based on C/C++. That is why it is very easy to use and programmers are very comfortable coding with it.
PHP can be run on all important operating systems such as UNIX, Linux, Windows or Mac OS.
Supports all major web servers
This programming language can support all major servers, such as Microsoft IIS, Apache, iPlanet server, Netscape, etc.
Supports all major databases
It also supports all important databases, such as IBM DB2, MySQL, InterBase, FrontBase, SQLite, ODBC, PostgreSQL, dBase, etc.
It is secure
PHP 7 has many layers of security to stop malicious attacks and threats.
There is a large community of PHP 7 enthusiasts who update and share documentation, tutorials, FAQs and online help.
Proven and trusted
Since its inception more than two decades ago, PHP has got better and better. It is trusted by millions of developers and websites and the numbers are going up day by day.
PHP 7 is the most important update that has been made in the PHP scripting language in more than ten years. Therefore, upgrading to PHP 7 is a very important step and a necessary one if you want much faster performance and less overall demand on your web servers.