New, Ultrafast PHP for up to 30% Faster Websites
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Speed is one of the pillars of our hosting services and wе’re constantly working on making our infrastructure faster and more reliable. One of the essentials for a fast loading speed is the way the PHP is handled on the web server and now, with our new Site Tools platform and without the constraints of the old system, our DevOps team got the opportunity to develop a new and ultrafast PHP setup that is up to 30% faster and as secure as everything we do.
Ultrafast, yet Super Secure PHP Setup
On its own, running a fast PHP is not a difficult task. However, if you want a fast, stable, and secure PHP while supporting Apache and the variety of .htaccess rules defined by users and apps, things get complicated. We wanted to solve these problems and at the same time increase the page loading speed and improve the server stability during traffic spikes. So once we released the new Client area and Site Tools and got rid of major constraints that our old platform was putting on us, modifying our PHP setup became one of the priorities of our DevOps team.
After several iterations, we managed to overcome the biggest “speed over security” challenge and delivered a fast PHP with our WAF and account isolation integrated, thus getting better performance results without compromising with security. The new implementation is super fast, secure, and efficient.
Our Ultrafast PHP vs Our Standard PHP
While the new, ultrafast PHP setup is faster and is recommended for websites with a lot of traffic, the standard PHP setup provides some extra flexibility for PHP versions and variables management.
Our Ultrafast PHP – Recommended for Well-visited Sites
The websites that will benefit most from the ultrafast PHP are those that get solid traffic and may be experiencing resource deficit on the current plan they use. Based on the preliminary statistics we have run, we see the following raw data:
- Faster page response: up to 50% drop in the TTFB (time to first byte), which will make your pages load faster than before.
- Increased server capacity: the host node will be able to process about 20-30% more requests, which means it will be able to handle traffic spikes even better than before.
- Lower server memory usage: up to 15% drop in the memory usage, which again vacates server resources for handling more of your traffic faster.
- Expected overall performance improvement: currently the new, ultrafast PHP averages at being 30% faster than the old setup.
Note: the numbers above are average and are based on internal tests. Results may vary per site.
The new PHP setup is available for websites hosted on GrowBig, GoGeek and Cloud plans, as these plans usually host the type of sites that are most likely to benefit from the performance improvements it brings. It’s important to point out that it works for sites running on PHP 7.3 or higher and is not compatible with older versions. Furthermore, when using the ultrafast PHP service, all subdomains under your site will inherit the PHP version and variables settings from the site’s primary domain.
Our Standard PHP Allows Different PHP Settings for Each Subdomain
The standard PHP setup is the one all StartUp accounts use. It is also available as an alternative to the ultrafast PHP setup on Site Tools-based GrowBig, GoGeek and Cloud accounts. Its performance is excellent for small and standard sites. Its biggest advantage is that it enables you to manage the PHP versions and variables separately for every subdomain in your site.
As the standard PHP gives more flexibility for experiments, all staging sites are set up with it too. So if you need to use an older PHP than 7.3 or you need a setup with different PHP versions and variables per subdomain, the standard PHP setup is the one for you.
How to Switch to the Ultrafast PHP?
- All new sites created on Site Tools-based GrowBig, GoGeek or Cloud plan come with the new, ultrafast PHP switched on by default.
- For existing sites hosted on Site Tools-based GrowBig, GoGeek and Cloud Plans, the ultrafast PHP is now available in Site Tools > PHP Manager and clients can instantly enable it from there.
- If you are a SiteGround client and have a Site Tools-based StartUp plan, you may upgrade it to a higher plan to get access to the ultrafast PHP setup.