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:
— Kalle ? (@Kalle_) August 10, 2016
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.
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.
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.