Web Hosting just got better with PHP 7.4

Web Hosting just got better with PHP 7.4

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PHP 7.4 is now available on all of WHC’s web hosting, reseller hosting, cloud and dedicated servers, and Managed WordPress hosting plans. It delivers superior performance, adds new features, and deprecates some older features. You can enable PHP 7.4 from your control panel today, or read on to learn more!

What is PHP?

PHP is a powerful and flexible programming language specifically engineered for creating dynamic websites. It’s used with popular apps such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Magento.

PHP is an integral part of the most popular hosting stack (known as a LAMP stack, which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP). PHP is also used by popular social media sites such as Facebook and Pinterest.

What’s new with PHP 7.4?

Extended Support

PHP 7.4 was released by the PHP team at the end of 2019, and has been added to WHC’s systems in May 2020. The PHP team will be providing security updates to this new version until 28 Nov 2022.

WHC supports PHP 7.4 with compatible services through both cPanel’s native implementation as well as through the CloudLinux PHP handler,.

Improved Performance

If you’re using WordPress or other PHP-powered web apps, you may notice a slight boost in overall site performance after updating to PHP 7.4 from earlier versions. Although the performance improvement isn’t as big as the one observed between version 7.2 and 7.3, every bit counts!

Those with their own Cloud or Dedicated servers may be able to leverage the new opcache preloading features to further improve the performance of their high-traffic web applications.

New & Deprecated Features

For developers, PHP 7.4 add a few new features worth exploring, such as

  • Typed properties
  • Arrow Functions
  • Unpacking inside Arrays

PHP 7.4 also depracates a few features and removes a couple of extensions.

Consult the official PHP 7.4.0 Release Announcement for a full list of features and deprecations.

Should I switch to PHP 7.4?

Yes, but carefully — and there’s no reason to rush into it.

Updating to a newer version of PHP can present potential incompatibilities with some websites, but it’s necessary in the long run in order to stay secure and potentially improve performance.

While some websites still run on versions of PHP as old as 5.2, using anything other than the latest supported version (7.2 at the time of this article’s publication) is not recommended for production websites.

Before switching and in order to minimize disruptions, it’s recommended to update any plugins, themes, and applications used on your websites. An outdated theme or plugin may encounter problems with the latest version of PHP, and could potentially cause problems on your site.

How can I start using PHP 7.4 on my website?

You can switch PHP versions from your control panel, with just a few clicks. If you discover a problem on your website following the switch, you can just as easily switch back to a prior version, in real-time.

What’s Next For PHP?

PHP 8 is on the horizon, scheduled for release in December 2020. As a major version update it will feature more significant changes and upgrades than the recent minor releases.

If your website uses PHP, check back in early 2021 for all the latest features.

About the author: Alex Tucker

Alex is a writer and digital marketer operating out of Ontario, Canada. He's passionate about health and wellness, self defense, and creating WordPress websites.

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