Innovate faster and cut risk with PHP experts from Zend Services.
Beginning to advanced PHP classes to learn and earn global certification.
Help me choose >
Submit support requests and browse self-service resources.
Community support ended for PHP 5.6 in December 2018. And PHP 7 releases provide security and performance enhancements as well as support. Yet many web-based applications still run on it.
According to Packagist logs, the footprint of those still remaining on PHP 5 is 21%. These results are subjective. Many companies and applications do not use Composer and Packagist, so they are not represented in these statistics.
A March 2019 study from W3Techs reveals that 70% of PHP users still run PHP 5.6. Even though the surveys provide different metrics, it's safe to say that a majority of PHP-based sites are no longer supported by bug fixes or security updates. This includes WordPress and other PHP-based commercial applications.
To understand why people are not upgrading PHP 5.6 to 7, I put out a Twitter poll. The responses provide a large enough sample group to make the following deductions.
Many companies believe that a PHP upgrade will be too costly. These respondents believe they will need to rewrite their entire codebase, which will:
This is unfortunate because oftentimes, upgrades are not as difficult as projected. It's important to consider that many organizations:
See here for more information.
About 25% of developers in the survey admit to avoiding the upgrade to PHP version 7 due to laziness. They are reluctant to rock the boat and introduce more work into their daily lives.
Please don't be too harsh on these folks. Followup revealed that many were not upgrading because they:
As such, they labeled themselves as "lazy," which is not accurate.
Of those that indicated there were other reasons, we found a mixture of responses. For example, some:
Only 10% of Twitter poll respondents put this down as the key reason for not moving forward with a PHP upgrade. After further investigation, we found lack of training should be closer to 80% instead of 10%. Here's why:
If your applications run PHP 5.6, you:
By upgrading to PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.1, you will:
And if you upgrade to PHP 7.4, you will:
The Twitter poll is not 100% conclusive. Yet, a larger sample of responses would likely yield similar results.
If you are running PHP 5.6 in production, we can help. Zend provides:
See PHP Support Options
This blog was originally published on March 20, 2019. It has been edited for clarity and completeness.