Faster WordPress & Drupal 8 sites with PHP 7.3 by Default

Greg Anderson, Open Source Contributor Reading estimate: 1 minutes

Today we’re happy to announce PHP 7.3 is the default version for new WordPress and Drupal 8 sites! Speed up your existing site by applying the 1-click update from your Pantheon site dashboard. You can update with confidence using Pantheon’s Dev, Test, Live workflow because PHP version is managed in version control and deployed along with the rest of your code. If for some reason you want to keep using a different version, you can override via pantheon.yml. Also, see Upgrading PHP versions in the Pantheon documentation.

PHP 7.3 -- Fastest PHP yet

PHP 7.3 pushes the performance envelope even farther, with more performance gains over previous versions of PHP. Phoronix’s benchmarking shows the following speedups with PHP 7.3:

  • ~10% faster than PHP 7.2

  • 31% faster than PHP 7.0

  • Nearly 3x faster than PHP 5.6!

Of course, PHP is only one element of the stack running your Drupal or WordPress site. Anonymous cached requests hitting the Global CDN don’t touch PHP at all, but speedups at this level mean any uncached request will be faster, which is especially important for authenticated users.

WordPress and Drupal 8 recommend PHP 7.3

It’s official: not only is PHP 7.3 supported by WordPress, but it’s now the recommended minimum version. Same goes for Drupal 8, which recommends PHP 7.2 and 7.3. Core and most third-party code, such as Drupal modules and WordPress plugins, should continue to work just fine with the latest version of PHP. If you find a module or plugin doesn't work correctly, you can always revert back to PHP 7.1 by updating pantheon.yml.

Upgrade and Go!

Visit the dashboard for your site and try out the new PHP recommendation today, and take advantage of the performance gains.

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