PHP 7 is a major upgrade compared to the last stable version of the language, PHP 5.6. Although upgrading your code from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7 involves carefully checking for incompatibilities, both in your code and in any libraries on which your code depends on, the benefits of upgrading to PHP 7 make the effort very worthwhile. PHP 7 performs much faster than PHP 5.6, which allows sites that use the new version of the language to offer much better service to their users.
If you are not following PHP closely or you are new to PHP programming, you should know that before PHP 7, PHP 5.6 used to be the stable version. PHP 5.6 was first released back in August of 2014, and PHP 7 came out on December 2015, one year later. With the release of PHP 7, people started to compare it with its previous version. If you fall into that category of people, the following detailed comparison of the major differences between PHP 5 and PHP 7 will be immensely helpful for you.
PHP version 5 was released in 2004 when web technology was still relatively new. The most common CMS (content management system) frameworks of today such as WordPress did not exist back then. Improvements in both security and performance have been made in the ensuing years. However, with version 5.6 released it was decided that PHP needed significant changes to perform in today’s web-centric world.
First introduced in 2015, PHP 7 is a significant leap forward from PHP 5. As such, it significantly changes how websites are processed. Old features have been removed, while new features and techniques have been added. The result is that sites running on PHP 7 are significantly faster and more efficient than those running on PHP 5. In addition, PHP 7 it inherently more secure.
PHP 7 is faster, it will offer you much faster performance than PHP 5.6 and that has to be a good thing for your website and those who are using it. On the security front, it is worth remembering that it will not be possible for previous versions of PHP to receive security fixes forever. Each version of PHP receives full support for two years, and after this they get an additional year of support during which only critical security updates are available. After this point, the support is no longer available as it moves to supporting the new version of PHP. PHP 5.6 ceased to receive active support last January and the security updates will end in December 2018.