I use GoDaddy as my primary host for this site, and they finally released PHP 7.0 as an option on their cPanel hosting plans. Bloggers all over the internet have been saying just how much of an improvement in speed and performance 7.0 can offer WordPress users, so let’s find out!
If you’re looking to find out how to enable PHP 7.0 on your cPanel hosting account, check out this article here.
To get a baseline in performance I ran two speed tests from different vendors. The first from GT Metrix and the second from Pingdom. These are the two most popular and free website speed testing tools around. First up is GT Metrix:
GT Metrix – PHP 5.6
GT Metrix reported a full site load speed of 2.6 seconds under PHP 5.6. Because the only server available for free testing is located in Canada, your tests on their site will most likely be a little higher if you’re in the United States.
GT Metrix – PHP 7.0
Now with PHP 7.0 enabled and no other changes I am seeing 900ms, or almost a full second shaved off! That is an amazing result for less than 5 minutes of work and literally zero added cost.
Pingdom – PHP 5.6
The much lower load time of 1.85 seconds on PHP 5.6 through Pingdom is most likely because of the server location. As I mentioned above, Vancouver is roughly 1,600 miles away compared to the 735 miles to San Jose (pingdoms test server I chose).
Pingdom – PHP 7.0
Although much less impressive, an almost 200ms decrease in load speed is fantastic. In an age where Google is now using site speed as an SEO metric, the faster you can get your site to load the better.
If you are looking for an easy to implement and free solution to speed up your WordPress site, definitely look into an upgrade if available.
*Important Note* At the time of this writing (and during the tests) I am not using a caching plug-in or CDN. I expect the total load times to go down even more once I’ve worked a bit more on optimization and implementing one of the mention solutions.