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PHP 7 and Drupal 8 Can Help Improve Website Speed

Design & Development

Drupal 8, the latest release of the open source CMS, has already proven to have many new and improved functionalities and capabilities. One of the main advantages of investing in an upgrade to Drupal 8, is the compatibility with the newest PHP release, PHP 7. The newest PHP version also brings a lot of major improvements to the table that will benefit your website or web application immensely whether you’re a developer or a site owner.

Website Speed is Critical

As a Developer, one of the main benefits that I personally find the most significant is the ability to improve website speed. Upgrading PHP gives you an incredible boost in overall web performance. In fact, benchmarks taken last year by PHP founder, Rasmus Lerdorf, shows that PHP 7 is almost twice as fast as PHP 5 versions in regards to requests/second.

Drupal 8 and PHP 7

While at DrupalCon New Orleans, I attended a session by Larry Garfield called “PHP 7: The New New PHP” and he boldly stated, “Upgrading your site to PHP 7 [and therefore Drupal 8] is the most important improvement you can make to your website today.”

The reason the latest PHP version is much faster than versions such as PHP 5 is mainly due to the improvements in its underlying engine written in C. C language is a highly performant, highly complicated language that is used a lot in embedded systems where performance is crucial. Larry also touched on the fact that some companies were able to shed as much as half of their clusters (collections of computers that form a server aggregate), which alone is pretty impressive!

Every Second Counts

Believe it or not, users don’t like to wait for your website pages to load, and are even less impatient on a mobile device. In fact, research shows that 64% of smartphone users expect pages to load in less than 4 seconds. Take a minute and count to 4. That is a pretty short window of time, right? Well think about 3 seconds. According to Kissmetrics, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load!

The bottom line is a slow website load time impacts visitors, overall user experience, and ultimately, the bottom line. With the improved speed enhancements of Drupal and PHP, the happier your users will be and the less likely they will abandon your website. So how fast is the latest PHP version? Well according to Larry, “PHP 7 is FAST...really, really fast.”

Drupal and PHP are ready to help improve your website speed. How about you?

Check out Larry’s full session here and my colleague's article from DrupalCon New Orleans on "Beautiful Websites Might Actually Be Hurting UX." 


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