PHP 7 + OpCache Now Available On All Shared SiteGround Servers

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UPDATE: PHP 7.0 has Memcached support which you can use for object caching. If you’re using our SG Optimizer plugin, it will automatically use the appropriate drop-in.

HHVM has significantly changed the way PHP sites are optimized for performance. Right now it is probably the fastest stable execution engine for PHP scripts. However, with PHP 7 on the horizon things may change and HHVM may face a serious competitor as according to some benchmarking tests and those disclosed by Zend, PHP 7 is much faster than HHVM.

Important: Even though it’s stable, PHP 7.0 is still in beta and it’s not recommended that you use it on live websites. In addition, it does not yet have Memcache support which means that if you want to use the SuperCacher and PHP7, you need to disable the Memcache option from the plugin backend before switching to PHP7.

Why Should You Use PHP 7?

The main advantage of PHP 7 is that it is much faster than any of the available PHP 5.x releases. The fact that PHP 7 provides opcode caching by default is the main reason for the performance improvements provided by PHP 7.

How To Activate PHP 7 on a SiteGround server?

Here at SiteGround we believe that our clients should have access to the latest technologies as soon as those technologies are stable enough for secure usage. That is why we have added the latest PHP 7 beta version to all our servers.

You can activate PHP 7 directly from the PHP Version Manager in cPanel or by adding a line in your .htaccess file. The PHP 7 OpCache functionality is enabled by default. The folder which is used by PHP 7 to store the opcache is:

code

If you want to clear the cache you can simply delete the whole .opcache directory.

Are Any Issues Expected?

We have tested default installations of some of the most popular apps (WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, etc.) and we did not notice issues. However, as PHP 7 is the largest shift in PHP technology since the upgrade to PHP 5.3, issues will occur for sure. In PHP 7 many things have been changed and some functions have been deprecated so developers may check this article by Cal Evans from Zend for more information about the backwards compatibility issues that could occur.

Daniel Kanchev

Enterprise Cloud Solutions Architect

My challenging job is closely related to all kinds of Free and Open-Source Software products (some of my favorites are WordPress, Joomla!, Magento, Varnish and Apache mod_security). As a Web security and performance freak I am always hyper focused on solving all kinds of issues and improving our services.

Comments ( 39 )

Nicolas F

Aug 27, 2015

Thanks for letting us try PHP 7 ! :-) I tried it on a WordPress blog. It works great, but maybe you should warn user to delete the SiteGround CachePress plugin before activating PHP 7. You have to delete the plugin and the /wp-content/object-cache.php file to make it work. So far, speed seems great, I'll keep a close eye on performances for a couple of days.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Aug 27, 2015

Don't delete the plugin! Simply disable the Memcache option - PHP7 does not support Memcache yet :(

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Barbara L

Sep 11, 2015

If I delete the plugin will my website work properly?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Sep 12, 2015

Yes, if you delete the droplet and there aren't any other problems, it should work. But don't delite the entire SG CachePress plugin, just disable the Memcache option. We're working on a patch for that at the moment so we will make it available with PHP 7 shortly.

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Matteo

Aug 28, 2015

this sentence is completely wrong "The fact that PHP 7 provides opcode caching by default is the main reason for the performance improvements provided by PHP 7." PHP7 is faster than previous versions thanks to the new AST, memory optimisation and old code cleanup. All the benchmarks against php 5.5 and 5.6 had the opcache active, therefore how come php7 becomes faster by turning it on?

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Marina Yordanova Siteground Team

Sep 01, 2015

Hello Matteo, you are right, but we at SiteGround haven't been providing opcode caching in particular for PHP so far. This is why we say that in our point of view PHP 7 is much faster. Regards!

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Rishi

Aug 29, 2015

So glad SiteGround is giving customers the options that other shared hosts don't. Glad I switched! :-)

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Marina Yordanova Siteground Team

Sep 01, 2015

Thank you for the kind words! Glad to have you on board :)

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John

Aug 29, 2015

Joomla 3.4 is not compatible with PHP7. Will have to wait for Joomla 3.5. http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=706&t=893799

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John

Aug 29, 2015

correct link http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=706&t=893799&view=previous https://github.com/joomla/joomla-cms/issues/7571

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Marina Yordanova Siteground Team

Sep 01, 2015

Our techs have tested the installation of the latest Joomla in general. They haven't tested specific functionalities of the website. The main idea of the post is to make more people aware that PHP 7 beta is already available on our servers, and if their current host does not offer it yet - they are welcome to test it out with us, and find out how it's working for them. Regards!

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Coregenie

Aug 31, 2015

Hi Do you allow this in PHP 7 + OpCache wordpress hosting? ~With Regards Coregenie Web Desigх

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Marina Yordanova Siteground Team

Sep 01, 2015

Yes, you can try out PHP 7 + OpCache on our WordPress hosting. Just change the PHP version from your cPanel. Regards!

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Victor Ekpott

Sep 08, 2015

Your home page says our customers loves us. Well, I love you. Siteground has removed the headache of thinking about the host and your application. You guys are models for other hosting companies.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Sep 08, 2015

Thank you for the kind words!

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Imoleayo Ogunbekun

Sep 10, 2015

Being a startup web developer from Nigeria, Siteground has helped me look bigger in the presence of my clients, I wouldnt recommend any other web host, Site uptime, speed, Customer care all very solid.... the learning platform and the awesome backup retrieval when i crash everything. Thank you a zilion.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Nov 30, 2015

Thanks for the kind words, it's always a pleasure to hear from a happy customer!

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Enrico

Sep 11, 2015

I am now using PHP 7 beta 3 and apparently it is working fine but I don''t see performance improvement. Now there is already PHP 7 RC 2 and on September 17, it will be released PHP 7 RC 3. PHP 7 Beta 3 is already two version old, when do you plan to give us a newer version of PHP 7 ? Thank you Enrico

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Sep 12, 2015

It takes time to implement a new PHP version on a big hosting structure like ours :) However, we will make a newer version available very soon.

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Tony

Sep 17, 2015

Is php-7 compatible with Moodle 2.92? Thank you.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Sep 23, 2015

According to the official Moodle documentation 2.92 does not support PHP7.

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Roma

Sep 17, 2015

I've been with many other hosting companies but I did not last long and for a lot of technical and features reasons which Siteground resolved! I am not moving anywhere, anytime soon! Before moving to SG, I took the time to test my existing site speed, and support and when I moved, there was a big difference between SG and my previous hosting! You guys are great and if you continue to be the best at what you do, you might have to rent a bigger office/building to make room for more SG team!

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Nov 30, 2015

Thanks for the great words!

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William

Sep 21, 2015

Hi, Any plans for Cloud servers?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Sep 23, 2015

Soon!

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Alex

Oct 07, 2015

Any update on timeline for Cloud Servers? Still can't even use 5.6 on my cloud server.

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Daniel Kanchev Siteground Team

Oct 12, 2015

Alex, there should be no problem to use PHP 7 and 5.6 on your cloud server. Please post a support ticket, so that we can access your server and check the case for you.

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Martin

Oct 20, 2015

Hey SG, i think to have PHP 7 with Opcache on a Shared Hosting Platform will be great, From a security point of view: as the Opcache is written in a shared memory. How do you separate "customers opcache memory" in the webservers memory ? Best, Martin

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Oct 21, 2015

We don't use shared memory at all. The cache is stored in the user's home folder and is accessible only by that user.

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james

Mar 29, 2016

What about the plans for bringing php 7 on your dedicated servers ?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 29, 2016

It can be installed on your server upon request. Just post a ticket in your Help Desk :)

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Jong Faxon

Apr 27, 2016

Very good information lots to think about now.Andrew

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Michael Lindholm Nielsen

May 02, 2016

Do you know if there is a list of compatible plugins for WordPress somewhere? Also, it would be great if Memcache could work with PHP 7 at some point :) Best regards, Michael

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

May 03, 2016

If you're using PHP7 you can simply enable the Memcached service from the SuperCaching plugin and the page in cPanel. It will work with memcached instead of memcache but you shouldn't feel any difference. As to the plugins, it's really up to their developers to make them compatible with PHP7 and that's probably a feature that should be added in the official WordPress repo because it would be impossibe for us as a host to gather and organise that information.

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Shayan

Jan 04, 2017

This is wonderful. Joomla! + PHP 7.1 = BOOM ! A huge performance improvement.

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James

Apr 11, 2017

Yo peeps, I ran PHP 7 and moved back to PHP 5 ( although PHP 7 is fine, OPCache is fine too but I had too go back for a specific reason ) But the OPCache was still interferring with the website so I had to flush it SFTP mannually root PHP7 subfloder PHP7 - then - PHP5

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Apr 12, 2017

Maybe the dynamic caching was showing fully cached page content, the OPCcache cannot return data if you switch back to 5. Hope that you will manage to sort your code and move to PHP 7 because it's really way better :)

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David

Sep 28, 2018

Kills your inode count - and it slows down site administration. For my frequently updated sites, I've disabled this.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Oct 01, 2018

PHP7 dramatically improves the speed of your WordPress backend. If you have too many inodes, I would recommend deleting the /.opcache folder from your account. Maybe you've switched between 7.x versions and something went wrong. Furthermore, please update to 7.1 at least if not to 7.2 - there are massive improvements over 7.0. PHP5.6 is already thing of the past and in my opinion in 2018 it should not be used for any production site.

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