The Definitive PHP 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4 Benchmarks (2020)

The Definitive PHP 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4 Benchmarks (2020)

Each year we release our in-depth performance benchmarks across various platforms to see how different versions of PHP stack up against each other. This time we again went all out and benchmarked six different PHP versions across 22 different platforms/configurations; including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, Laravel, Symfony, and many more. We also tested popular ecommerce solutions such as WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, Magento, Grav CMS, and October CMS.

We are always encouraging WordPress users to take advantage of the latest supported versions of PHP. Not only are they more secure, but they offer additional performance improvements. We aren’t talking just about WordPress either, this true for the most part across all platforms. We’ll show you today how PHP 7.4 knocks the socks off of everything we put it against! ?

We tested the performance of 22 platforms/configurations on 6 different PHP versions and #PHP 7.4 took the gold in 17/17 (5 N/A). ??

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The State of PHP in the Community and at Kinsta

PHP is an open-source, server-side scripting and programming language that’s primarily used for web development. The bulk of the core WordPress software is written in PHP, which makes PHP a very important language for the WordPress community.

Some may argue that PHP is dead. But even though developers like to state this, PHP is alive, faster, and better than ever. According to W3Techs, PHP is used by over 78.9% of all the websites that use a server-side programming language. That’s a lot of websites relying on PHP.

However, a big problem in the community is that many are still using old and unsupported versions of PHP. According to WordPress stats, only 38.3% are running on supported PHP versions (7.2 or higher). This introduces both performance and security issues.

Why is this happening? Here are a few common reasons we typically see:

  • Lack of educating the community on what PHP is and the important role it plays with how WordPress functions. Not everyone is tech-savvy, which is OK.
  • Compatibility issues with plugins and themes running on newer versions of PHP.
  • WordPress hosting providers being reluctant to push out new versions from a fear of creating problems.

To try and help move the community forward, Kinsta has adopted the same end-of-life (EOL) schedule as PHP. This helps to ensure sure your WordPress sites are as fast and secure as possible.

How do Kinsta clients stack up against the general WordPress community? We were curious ourselves, so we took a look at the numbers.

PHP version of sites hosted at Kinsta

Here is the rundown:

  • 25.8% of WordPress sites at Kinsta are running PHP 7.2.
  • 68.6% of WordPress sites at Kinsta are running PHP 7.3.
  • 4.7% of WordPress sites at Kinsta are



This article was written by Brian Jackson and originally published on Blog – Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.

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