Why pay attention to the latest PHP 8 update? Are you excited about the latest features in PHP 8? So many questions in your mind, it will bring a whole new bunch of robust features, improvements, and some breaking changes. It will be pushed to all the servers soon to support it. PHP is already in its release stage and most of the RFCs have been approved and implemented so that its functioning is enhanced and is more reliable.
PHP is crucial to WordPress and is the foremost part of the site's performance. Updating the PHP version of your website ensures security and speed. Each version of PHP remains actively maintained for 2 years and to ensure WordPress sites are secure and quick it’s vital to remove the unsupported version of PHP when they reach End of life.
According to WordPress.org, 64.0% of WordPress sites are using PHP 7.1 or lower, with 22.9%, the plurality, using PHP 5.6
Older versions are no longer supported
PHP is being used by 78% of all the websites that use a server-side programming language. It has a release life cycle in which it keeps pushing for the latest changes and improvements. Each version is supported for 2 years after it is released and the bugs and security issues are fixed regularly.
End of life for PHP version means they will no longer have security support and are vulnerable to attacks.
- - As of Dec 2019, PHP 7.1 reached its end of life
- - As of Dec 2018, PHP 7.0 reached its end of life
- - As of Dec 2017, PHP 5.6 reached its end of life. With this, the era PHP version 5 came to an end which was launched 14 years ago.
PHP 7.4 is the latest stable version of PHP was released on Nov, 2019.
The Latest Improvements & Features Added
All the new features in PHP Development are updated without having to spend hours troubleshooting. Since PHP 8 is currently in its active development let’s start with the new features and improvements you can find in PHP 8:
1. PHP JIT (Just in Time) Compiler
JIT, also referred to as Just in Time adds a huge improvement in the version. JIT is incorporated as an independent part of the OPcache and is the most notable feature in the JIT compiler. Among all other new features added, it significantly tends to improve the performance of PHP versions.
PHP has not complied, it is interpreted line by line, but the JIT compiler compiles parts of the code during run-time which leads to the massive improvement in the performance. And when it comes to tasks like 3D rendering, data analysis, and Artificial Intelligence it makes a huge difference.
2. New Union Types
Types are an integral part of PHP, where you can assign a variable as an integer, boolean or null. Earlier it was assigned with a single type. But with PHP 8 you can assign with 2 or more types i.e a union type.
Earlier PHP Doc annotations were used to make something like union type, but now you can skip the tedious task and assign variables with multiple types.
3. High-Quality Codes
One of the most important aspects of PHP is quality codes that make a huge difference. A lot of problems remain hidden as the PHP version does not catch and highlight the errors and warnings which ultimately ends up with a lot of problems for the developers.
With the latest PHP 8 version, there is a great improvement as the developers can rectify the issues instantly and easily. However, set display_errors=Off, if you decide to use PHP 8 on a live site to not show such errors to your site visitors.
4. Faster Code Execution
Although the latest version brings a lot of new things we are convinced with the fast code execution. As already discussed above the JIT simply generates a machine code as an output. This is the first time PHP came with a compiler.
With the latest features, you can analyze the improvements in the code and execute complex tasks and algorithms instantly bringing whole new opportunities to broaden its reach.
PHP version of the site can be changed from control panel-Site Tools>Dev Section or cPanel>PHP version. PHP holds WordPress together as glue therefore it’s important to keep it updated.
You might have understood the benefits of upgrading your PHP with the latest features and advancements. So have you updated your PHP for WordPress? Which version of PHP are you currently using?
Willing to learn more about PHP 8 and know how can it benefit you? Have a look at our creative Portfolio, and let us know your feedback!