HHVM for Varying Vagrant Vagrants: WordPress Development on Speed


Are you looking to add HHVM to Varying Vagrant Vagrants? HHVVVM is a new HHVM configuration for WordPress developers who currently have dev environments set up using VVV.

HHVVVM, though it sounds oddly similar to an STD, is a configuration created by John James Jacoby, which you can fork for your own use.

If you already have VVV up and running, you can set up a new HHVM-powered VVV site by following Jacoby’s directions in the readme.txt file of the project. The process is fairly straightforward:

  1. Create a __hhvvvm directory in the www directory of your VVV checkout
  2. Clone HHVVVM into the new __hhvvvm directory
  3. Create a jjj.dev directory in the www directory of your VVV checkout
  4. Install WordPress using the WP Skeleton approach by Mark Jaquith
  5. In terminal, cd to the www directory of your VVV checkout
  6. In terminal, run vagrant provision
  7. Visit jjj.dev/wp-admin/ in your favorite browser


HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine) is a PHP execution engine based on the HipHop language runtime, created by Facebook in order to make their infrastructure more efficient. Facebook invented it out of necessity, with hopes of being able to mitigate the growing costs of hardware. The company was able to achieve ridiculous performance improvements in the neighborhood of 6X and released HHVM 3.0 in late March.

Kinsta, a WordPress managed hosting company, has an excellent article explaining the previous hurdles of running WordPress with HHVM, along with instructions for installing or compiling HHVM on Ubuntu and Nginx.

WordPress 3.9 greatly improves HHVM compatibility, so many developers have started to experiment with it and have achieved some insanely fast load times. Hold onto your hats, folks:

Hosting companies are gradually starting to adopt HHVM, as many believe that it will soon revolutionize PHP. It’s been tested with the top 25 Github PHP frameworks and the HHVM team has lofty goals to run all existing PHP code out in the wild. If you want to start testing WordPress with it now, VVV users can fork Jacoby’s HHVVVM configuration, or you can set it up manually on your server via the instructions from Kinsta.

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