What will happen to your PHP sites if you don’t upgrade? If you operate a site that runs on PHP, like a content management system or ecommerce website, then this is an event that will eventually impact your business. Drupal, Magento, WordPress and the all the top PHP frameworks are getting major upgrades. There’s a good reason for that. The underlying software and servers that power these applications have been undergoing huge architecture improvements.
Major changes are sweeping the industry to get more performance from our applications. They are getting more secure and robust to meet our needs in the cloud.
PHP 7 is the biggest major release to hit the PHP language.
If you’re running on any of the big turn key LAMP stack applications like Drupal, Magento, SugarCRM or WordPress then you should read this article. Also, if you have a web application running on CodeIgniter or any of the other PHP frameworks (Symphony, Zend etc) you should also pay attention.
It’s important to plan ahead to upgrade to supported versions of your software and infrastructure. If you don’t keep up, future upgrades to your website won’t be available to you. You’ll be stuck with the old way of doing things and leave security holes in your system.
So is it always safe to upgrade?
First and foremost, there are a couple of things that can break your code if you migrate to the new version. If you have been keeping up with earlier upgrades then you may be safe.
Here’s a list to get you started:
- – Deprecated tags like: <%, <%= and %> and “script language” are no longer supported.
- – Hexadecimal strings are handled differently.
- – Certain Exceptions are handled differently.
- – Certain functions are no longer available and have been replaced including the egreg_ and mysql_ ones.
- – The way parentheses are handled is different.
These are just a few of the dozens of changes in the new version that can break your application.
For more info, check the official documentation at : PHP 7 upgrade details page.
Basically, if you have an custom application running in PHP 5 or earlier then its best to keep it where it is and don’t touch it!
Just kidding. Version 7 is the biggest change in years. It has retired older code while making tons of new improvements.
What you’ll get in return for making the switch is lots of performance.
- + Check your software requirements before you upgrade.
- + Always test in a development environment.
- + Do a full checkout with all your business users to make sure they are not impacted before you go live.
- + New versions of apps like Drupal 8 and Magento 2.0 and the latest PHP frameworks are compatible with PHP 7.