PHP7 Dublin talk

We were lucky enough to attend a talk this week to hear about PHP7 direct from Rasmus Lerdorf, the father of PHP.

It was standing room only at the Gresham Hotel as Rasmus took us through the new features PHP7 brings, impressive benchmark results & a guide to the deployment techniques used at Etsy. There was also a lively Q&A session afterwards, with Rasmus more than happy to answer everyone’s questions.

Our focus is building websites with PHP based content management systems rather than custom PHP programming. So the primary takeaway for us was the benchmark results for WordPress CMS, which showed dramatic improvements in both latency and memory usage. These were achieved purely by upgrading from PHP 5.x to PHP 7, with the code & hosting environment unchanged. The benchmark test showed WordPress memory usage reduced from 94 Mb in PHP 5.6 to just 15 Mb with PHP 7 - a phenomenal result.

Other popular apps which showed significant performance gains were Drupal 8 CMS and even Magento, an ecommerce platform which is particularly resource intensive. The extent of improvement does depend on the nature of the software. For example, the shopping cart system Opencart only got a limited boost, because it’s mainly doing database work which is outside PHP’s control.

You can view the slides from the talk at http://talks.php.net/dublin16. Thanks to Etsy & PHP Dublin for organising this event, and especially to Rasmus for a great talk & being so generous with his time & knowledge.

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