Upgrading to PHP 7: Addressing the End of Support for 5.x by 12/31/18

After almost 12 years, PHP updated their version to PHP 7 which was launched into the market in 2015. PHP has officially announced they are ending the support for its previous version, PHP 5.6, by  December 31st, 2018 and 7.0 by December 3rd, 2018. So the timing to address this is now...and we’re here to strategize and provide you with a smooth transition.

So current PHP 5 and PHP 7.0 users are specifically urged to upgrade to the latest PHP version to remain secure. Regardless the CMS you presently use, this crossroads must be addressed and Ameex is already working with clients to be prepared. Here’s what a few leaders have communicated to their clients.

latest supported versions of php
  • Acquia has quoted "PHP.net will end support for PHP 5.6 in December 2018. As a result, Acquia is ending support for PHP 5.6 in favour of PHP 7.1 on Monday, 1 October 2018. We strongly recommend customers move to PHP 7.1 as soon as possible after appropriate testing."
  • Magento community version works only with the PHP 5.6 version and the same cannot work with PHP 7.2 (the latest version). This means Magento community users have to migrate to Magento 2. However, the Magento commerce (formerly enterprise) users will have extended support till 2020. 
  • Wordpress have advised strongly to its users about upgrading to PHP 7.2. The site on its official recommendations has listed using PHP version 7 or greater under host supports. 
Wordpress on php 7 upgrade

While many are already discussing with us about moving into PHP 7.1 or 7.2 to avoid any pending security risks/attacks after support ends, here are the perks your CMS will gain by moving into PHP 7.  

Benefits of PHP 7.x

Performance

PHP 7 offers blazing performance over its predecessors. Users have reportedly witnessed 2X faster performance with the latest PHP frameworks. 

Compared to PHP 5.6, PHP 7 places substantially reduced demands on servers, which makes it a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly choice, as comparatively less energy is needed to power servers running PHP 7 applications.

Compliance

Since the introduction of GDPR (ADD A DEFINITION), the awareness about data security and privacy terms have vastly increased across users around the globe. With the latest version, maintaining compliance certifications with requirements related to privacy and data security is easier and more efficient than ever before.

Compatibility

PHP 7 is powered by the Zend engine that offers direct implementation with JIT. With this implementation, the information directly is directly sent to the compilers without having to convert the information based on the platform. This reduces the time and effort of the developers to a great extent. 

64-bit support

PHP 7 supports 64-bit architecture which was missing in its previous version. This enables users to handle large files with the 64-bit system architecture. 

Security

Data security and vulnerability issues are addressed in PHP 7. PHP 7.x provides native protection against DoS, code execution, overflow, memory corruption, XSS, directory traversal, bypass, and gain information types.

Support and Maintenance

Support is restricted for Plugin and Themes in older versions. Maintenance is simplified when using the latest version of PHP reducing the maintenance costs. Scalar type and return type declarations in PHP 7 makes it easier to test the application and helps to find hidden and “not-so-obvious” bugs, which can cause great problems in future.

Enhanced mobile support

PHP has rolled out many features that are aiding mobile user experience enhancement. The Zend engine, reduced memory usage, native local threat storage (etc.) are well suited to mobile devices with limited browsing features. This is welcome news for businesses who offer better customer experience in the mobile interface.

 

While the initial calls for an upgrade to PHP 7 were low after its launch, they have significantly risen since the announcement about the end of support for 5.6. The provider also makes minor releases which must be updated in order to stay on top of security threats. 

Either way, client internal discussions around strategically addressing this should be taking place already or very soon. Ameex is staffed with trained professionals and ready to assist.

So, are you using the PHP 5 framework? Are you looking for a Digital Transformation and Maintenance partner who can continuously monitor and keep you updated with the latest enhancements and keep your site secure? 

Talk to us, the experts with years of PHP and Web development strategy who can provide the peace of mind you deserve. Talk to us and we’ll share how we can help today.