Web Hosting and SEO
PHP 7 offers significant performance and memory advantages over PHP 5.x.

Converting to PHP 7

PHP 7 was released on December 3, 2015, but was not fully available to WHM/Cpanel Users on my hosting service until WHM 60, which formally supported Easy Apache 4 (at least at my hosting firm.) A couple of weeks ago, my hosting firm moved everyone to WHM 60, and after a lot of backups, I migrated from EasyApache 3 to EasyApache 4, and then switched my sites from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.0. PHP 7 is supposed to reduce memory use and is claimed to be twice as fast as PHP 5.6.

EasyApache 4 was available in WHM 58, but my hosting firm did not support it at that time.

I have not benchmarked it, but all of my sites are noticably more responsive. I’ve got one problem with rendering social media icons in Opera, but I’m not sure that this is related to PHP 7, or if it was already there.

Joomla 3.5 is the first release of Joomla to support PHP 7v. Releases of Wordpress after November of last year should support PHP 7.

Testing

You should check to make sure that your PHP configuration supports you CMS and other software, especially if you need to support multiple languages. The default settings on my WHM installation, did not include iconv, and mbstring, both of which are necessary for Piwik.

Joomla

In Joomla, you can look at the PHP and other system settings via System->System Information; the PHP Settings tab contains all of the information on relevant PHP settings but does not flag settings that are problematic.

Figure 1. Joomla System Information dialog.
Joomla System Information dialog showing PHP and MySQL software levels.
Figure 2. Joomla System Information dialog PHP tab
Joomla System Information dialog showing PHP configuration settings.

Piwik

To check the PHP settings for your Piwik installation, go to the admin panel and select the System Check option under the Diagnostic heading. It will check all settings and tell you of any problems as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Piwik System Check dialog showing PHP and other configuration problems
Piwik System Check dialog showing PHP and other configuration settings.

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