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Day Zero of PHP 7 – Give it a try!

PHP 7.0 Available on all SiteGround servers

Today PHP 7 has reached its General Availability status. As you probably know it has been available on SiteGround servers for quite a while and you can refer toΒ an earlier post of ours about its features. Now it has reached GA status which means PHP7 can be used on production sites.

PHP 7 Adoption Status Among CMS Used By Our Clients

Many of the most popular content management systems on our servers such as Drupal, WordPress and Joomla! have decided to support PHP 7. Some of them have already officially announced that their code is compatible with PHP 7 and others will need more time to get to that point. Here is what our tests indicate as of today:

  • Drupal 8 - Officially supports PHP 7. Available for download.
  • Drupal 7 Β - Works with PHP 7. Available for download.
  • WordPress 4.3.1 - Works with PHP 7. Available for download.
  • Joomla! 3.4.5 - Does not support PHP 7.
  • Joomla! 3.5 - Supports PHP 7. Will be released in January 2016.

Please have in mind that even if you're using an app that supports PHP 7.0 some of its components like plugins, themes, modules, etc. may have old code that will not work on the latest version. This is why we advise that you always test on a staging environment before you enable it on your live site.

How to Enable PHP7 on SiteGround servers?

To enable PHP 7 for a certain account or part of an account you can use the PHP Version Manager in your cPanel:

PHP Version Manager in cPanel

Important Notice for the Users of our SuperCacher plugin for WordPress

Up until now our SuperCacher plugin for WordPress (SG CachePress) has been using the Memcache PHP PECL module. The Memcache PECL, however, is not available for PHP 7. PHP 7 is working with Memcached only. That is why today we released a new version of the SG CachePress plugin which uses Memcached - a new PECL for PHP, which provides more features and better performance.

If you would like to take advantage of the PHP7 and Memcached for your WordPress site, please follow the steps below:

1. Update the SG CachePress plugin to the latest version - 2.3.0.
2. Disable the plugin from the WP dashboard.
3. Re-enable the plugin to apply the new Memcached settings.
4. Change the PHP version for your site from the cPanel -> PHP Version Manager tool.

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.

39 Comments

  1. Reply December 3, 2015 / 21:03 Thomas HeroldSiteGround Team

    Have you done any tests on performance improvements when using PHP version 7?

  2. Reply December 4, 2015 / 01:32 Daniel KanchevSiteGround Team

    Thomas, in our previous blog post about PHP 7 we added a link to the following performance infographic by Zend:

    https://pages.zend.com/rs/zendtechnologies/images/PHP7-Performance%20Infographic.pdf

    Our internal tests show almost the same results.

    • Reply December 5, 2015 / 09:43 Kevin D KellySiteGround Team

      Daniel.
      Hope you don't mind me contacting you like this!
      But, I am new with Siteground and WordPress - plus also new with cCommerce and Blogging etc...
      Just starting off and trying to learn...I had WordPress installed just a couple of days ago - and
      I would like to use it to build WordPress sites with the british "XSitePro" software which I have the permission to use.
      However, It apparently uses PHP for it's Forms Wizard and Site Search Tools, but when I asked a Siteground chat agent about XSitePro he was not familiar with it.
      I am hoping you might be able to help me with whatever is required to set this up correctly, as I don't see any help scripts for this sort of application. (Or perhaps direct me to a more senior
      person who might also be knowledgeable regarding my request)?
      Any help much appreciated!

      Thank you,
      Kevin

      • December 7, 2015 / 02:44 Daniel KanchevSiteGround Team

        Hello Kevin,

        I am afraid that we are not familiar with the XSitePro software. However, if it is based on PHP/MySQL then you can use it on our servers. For more information about how to install XSitePro please contact their support team or if you want us to install the app for you then post a support ticket via our ticketing system.

    • Reply February 10, 2016 / 20:05 bitedgeSiteGround Team

      Does this translate to faster load times for low traffic sites?

      When will PHP7 be standard on SG shared hosting?

      • February 11, 2016 / 00:49 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

        PHP 7 performs way faster than any previous PHP version available and it's available on all our shared servers.

  3. Reply December 6, 2015 / 12:56 wirtschaft.comSiteGround Team

    Perfect, we will use PHP 7 for the WordPress folder. PHP 5.6 had only advantages compared to version 5.5. So we are looking forward to try the newest version.

  4. Reply December 7, 2015 / 14:43 John CameronSiteGround Team

    Why did you skip PHP6?

    • Reply December 8, 2015 / 01:09 Daniel KanchevSiteGround Team

      We did not skip PHP 6 because there is no PHP 6. The developers of PHP decided to release PHP 7 instead of PHP 6. Please find more information here:

      https://wiki.php.net/rfc/php6

      • December 9, 2015 / 10:44 ShahSiteGround Team

        As expected from best hosting provider who always strive to give the best to their customers. Good job! No wonder why more and more people migrate to SiteGround. ^_^

      • December 10, 2015 / 02:54 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

        Doing our best!

  5. Reply December 8, 2015 / 12:02 Leho Kraav @lkraavSiteGround Team

    You should also advice people to empty their ~/.opcache directory. Random weirdness can occur.

  6. Reply December 8, 2015 / 13:06 Bob MarleySiteGround Team

    "Why did you skip PHP6?"

    They were probably too busy migrating to Windows 9.

  7. Reply December 10, 2015 / 09:50 CourtneySiteGround Team

    Can a staged WP instance be tested for PHP7? I would like to determine why it isn't working on my main site without taking that down to troubleshoot.

    • Reply December 11, 2015 / 08:03 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Yes, simply modify the staging folder to use PHP7.

  8. Reply December 11, 2015 / 03:42 AndrewSiteGround Team

    I'm getting a "Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Class 'Memcache' not found" for PHP7, WordPress 4.4 and latest W3 Cache using memcache, also have latest SG super cache plugin.

    • Reply December 11, 2015 / 08:04 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Please update the plugin top its latest version, then disable it and enable it again. It should work after that!

      • December 11, 2015 / 13:05 AndrewSiteGround Team

        Hi, thanks for the suggestion, this is the error now:

        Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Class 'Memcache' not found in /site/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/lib/W3/Cache/Memcached.php:38 Stack trace: #0 /site/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/lib/W3/Cache.php(42): W3_Cache_Memcached->__construct(Array) #1 /site/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/lib/W3/ObjectCache.php(567): W3_Cache::instance('memcached', Array) #2 /site/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/lib/W3/ObjectCache.php(166): W3_ObjectCache->_get_cache(0, 'site-transient') #3 /site/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/lib/W3/ObjectCacheBridge.php(32): W3_ObjectCache->get('itsec_upload_di...', 'site-transient') #4 /site/wp-content/object-cache.php(51): W3_ObjectCacheBridge->get('itsec_upload_di...', 'site-transient') #5 /site/wp-includes/option.php(1559): wp_cache_get('itsec_upload_di...', 'site-transient') in /site/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/lib/W3/Cache/Memcached.php on line 38

      • December 12, 2015 / 00:38 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

        Please, disable all memcache / memcached options from W3 Total Cache and utilize it through our SG CachePress plugin. If the issue persists, please post a ticket in your Help Desk πŸ™‚

  9. Reply December 12, 2015 / 01:03 Franc KarpoSiteGround Team

    I tried PHP7, but had to go back to to 5.6 because 7 caused problems with a plugin that is neccessary for my websites.

    • Reply December 14, 2015 / 08:20 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Soon most of the quality plugins will update to support the latest PHP versions. If that doesn't happen with yours, I would consider replacing it with one that does support PHP7.

  10. Reply December 21, 2015 / 22:58 JimmyBoSiteGround Team

    I found it excellent so far, and have it running on a WP site with at least 30 plugins and have found no issues to date, was well worth the risk as the speed is much zippier.

    • Reply December 22, 2015 / 06:02 Kiril HristovSiteGround Team

      Thanks for your feedback. Glad you're seeing improvements.

  11. Reply December 23, 2015 / 04:02 Leho Kraav @lkraavSiteGround Team

    Hristo, I'm not succeeding with going to PHP7 on 2 of my SG sites, even though the SG CachePress recycle is properly done and also SG support people have taken a pretty good run at it but still failed. After switch PHP version to 7.0.0 (btw, where's 7.0.1), both sites show very similar same behavior - most of it seems to work, but random out of memory and fatal errors with garbage symbols start showing up in debug.log. This is not about plugins being incompatible - I've been running PHP7 on staging for a month+ for both sites without a single issue. This is something with the SG platform. Please see ticket #1523566 to start.

    • Reply December 25, 2015 / 04:03 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Thanks for reporting this. PHP7 is still new, we will dig into it! We will update your ticket with more info.

  12. Reply December 30, 2015 / 17:49 KimSiteGround Team

    Why not upgrade to the newest version of PHP it have some issues corrected now I can see πŸ™‚

    • Reply January 3, 2016 / 11:47 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      We do reply all PHP branches on a regular basis after an extensive testing procedure.

  13. Reply February 9, 2016 / 16:50 Ian MacdonaldSiteGround Team

    Mara CMS has supported php7 since the beta -In fact it was less of a problem to get that working than with 5.6. Just done a brief test on SG with 7.02 and everything seems to work. Excellent.

    • Reply February 10, 2016 / 01:05 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Great, happy that it's working smooth!

  14. Reply February 24, 2016 / 15:34 Jonathan RiemerSiteGround Team

    I am "almost" sure my PHP 5.6 site will work in PHP 7. Is it relatively easy to roll back to 5.6 if 7 causes my site to crash? My web-site is already super fast on your SG servers, I can only image how it will perform on with PHP 7.

  15. Reply March 8, 2016 / 01:58 JonathonSiteGround Team

    In case anyone runs across this thread and uses W3 Total Cache with PHP 7, you'll probably get the following php error:

    PHP Warning: Parameter 1 to W3_Plugin_TotalCache::ob_callback() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/[...]/public_html/[...]/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3464

    The fix is very simple. Open the following file:

    wp-content\plugins\w3-total-cache\lib\W3\Plugin\TotalCache.php

    Go to line 512 and remove the "&" from the following code:

    function ob_callback(&$buffer) {

    • Reply March 9, 2016 / 10:03 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Thanks for sharing this, but I think you should post in the plugin's page in wordpress.org so the developer can patch the code in next release.

  16. Reply September 11, 2016 / 04:56 AlexanderSiteGround Team

    Hi,

    Still having huge problems, when moving to PHP 7 on Siteground. Random "memory exhausted", even though the site only uses around 20 MB of memory. Problems are showing up randomly and are happening more often when SG Cache is enabled. I am running the same setup on a local PHP 7 setup and on 2 other servers online, without any problems! No fatal errors on our end, while debugging the system on any other system. Sadly this means back to PHP 5.6x on Siteground for now.

    Regards
    Alex

    • Reply September 15, 2016 / 01:41 Daniel KanchevSiteGround Team

      Hello, Alexander. We do host thousands of sites that use PHP 7 + Memcached and also our SuperCacher without any issues. I do suspect a specific problem with a plugin or with your theme. Please post a support ticket and provide instructions how the issue could be recreated on our end. Then ask our colleagues to forward the ticket to me or to Ivan Yordanov. We'll be glad to check this problem in details and hopefully resolve it.

    • Reply January 18, 2017 / 05:08 JohnSiteGround Team

      Same deal with me,

      I have had to revert to PHP 5.6 to get a new project to work happily with certain plugins, one being BuddyPress, however BP is not exactly playing ball yet with PHP 7+ so will wait for some plugins new versions, then update on staging and push to live if we do not get a whole raft of errors here.
      Other dev's are also reporting better results on other host's

      Come on SiteGround, get with the program, if WP Engine can do it, why can't you? πŸ˜‰

      Cheers.

      JB

      • January 19, 2017 / 03:20 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

        Not sure what WP Engine are doing that we're not πŸ™‚ I don't think any hosting company is patching plugins so they can work with PHP 7.0. To be honest, if a plugin, important for you is failing on PHP7.0 all you can do is either replace it or wait for an update on a lower version.

  17. Reply May 2, 2017 / 08:54 Andrew PetersSiteGround Team

    Is there a way to update all sites to php 7 on our account at the same time instead of doing it one by one?

    • Reply May 3, 2017 / 06:57 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Yes, you can place an .htaccess file in your home folder with the appropriate line and it will apply to all sites you have unless specified explicitly in their sub-folders. Check out this article for the appropriate line of code you need to paste: https://www.siteground.com/kb/how_to_have_different_php_versions/

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