PHP 7 Is Now More Widely Used than PHP 4

PHP 7 Release Manager and Core Developer Kalle Sommer Nielsen has been watching the usage statistics of the latest version rise on W3Techs’ market share assessment. PHP is currently used by 82.1% of all the websites for which W3Techs can detect a server-side programming language. The site also collects data on the breakdown of major PHP versions.

Nielsen announced that PHP 7 reached an important milestone this week, passing PHP 4 in usage:

According to W3Techs, the vast majority of the world’s PHP-powered websites (97.8%) are running on version 5. The 5.6 branch will have active support through December 31, 2016 and security support will be extended through December 31, 2018.

php-version-breakdown-august-2016

WordPress usage statistics for August 2016 show that more than 2.2% of its sites are running on PHP 7, which is slightly better than the world’s average. Since the minimum requirements to use the software are PHP 5.2.4+, the chart does not display information for sites on PHP 4.

worpress-php-versions-usage

WordPress core already offered full support for PHP 7 when it was released at the end of 2015. Initial benchmarks reported by core committer Aaron Jorbin indicated that WordPress running on PHP 7 showed a 2-3x speed improvement as compared to PHP 5.6. WordPress is actively working to encourage hosting providers to upgrade their users to a more current version of PHP. As more hosts begin to offer support for PHP 7, we’ll see a greater number of plugins and themes become fully compatible, and the number of sites on the latest version will continue to rise.

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6 Comments


  1. Still no WP version by PHP version chart on wp.org guess we will see that when php8 is at 56% marketshare compare to php 5.2.

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  2. Just checking a related post here from March 2015, you can see that PHP 5.2 dropped from 16.6% in March 2015 to 7.4% in August 2016.

    That is a good thing to see.

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    1. Great to see that PHP7 use is growing, can we hope for WordPress to finally move on from PHP5.2 in early 2017?
      WordPress 4.7 could deprecate support and notice users in the dashboard, 4.8 remove it and never look back, happy days.

      WordPress is actively working to encourage hosting providers to upgrade their users to a more current version of PHP.

      I keep reading this, but is there a place where I can follow the things being done? Perhaps chime in?

      I took a quick look at some of the featured web hosts listed on wordpress.org. Dreamhost boasts about PHP5 support (pretty vague), nothing about PHP7. Bluehost has PHP5.6 on all plans, but to get PHP7 you need to buy a dedicated or VPS plan.

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      1. I can only speak about VPS on Dreamhost, but the PHP 7 there is real, and kinda awesome.

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      2. If by “Move on”, you mean drop support, that won’t happen as soon as early 2017.

        With 7.4% of reporting installs relying on it, that is a substantial amount of sites (it’s also worth noting that this is for those reporting, there may be setups that do not report as well).

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