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WP Engine Unveils Web’s First WordPress PHP 7 Compatibility Checker

JULY 7, 2016 – London, UK: WP Engine, a company that powers amazing digital experiences for websites and applications built on WordPress, today is announcing PHP Compatibility Checker plugin, the web’s first tool to verify PHP 7 compatibility on WordPress websites. Available beginning June 29, 2016 on the WordPress Plugin Repository, the checker can be used to test WordPress website code conformance and whether an existing codebase is compatible when upgrading to PHP 7, the fastest and latest version of the most popular web development language in the world. PHP 7 environments will be available for all WP Engine customers in Fall 2016.

PHP, an open source general-purpose scripting language, powers approximately 84 percent of the web. PHP 7 reflects some of the most pivotal changes to the platform since the release of PHP 5 in 2004. Key benefits of this new version are its speed, drastically reduced memory consumption, and security improvements with most performance benchmarks, showing WordPress sites are more than twice as fast, with 50 percent better memory consumption.

WP Engine Labs and engineering have been testing and evaluating PHP 7 for its customers since it was announced on Dec. 3, 2015. When implementing any new technology, WP Engine ensures it is enterprise grade and works at scale for all its 50,000-plus customers. As part of the company’s work on PHP 7, WP Engine developed a tool, PHP Compatibility Checker plugin, to help assess the developer work needed to refactor a site or help make a plugin or theme compatible. WP Engine is making this tool available to the community so anyone with a WordPress website can check their site(s) and then work to fix any incompatibilities so they can enjoy the extreme performance improvements of PHP 7. In addition to the plugin, WP Engine is also sponsoring the update of the open source PHP Compatibility library which can be used by any PHP project.

“WP Engine has been working on PHP 7 since it was released. Today, only 1.7 percent of WordPress websites worldwide run PHP 7. More should enjoy the benefits of this new PHP 7 series. However, before that can happen, there’s a lot of work to be done on popular themes and plugins before they are ready,” said Taylor McCaslin, Product Manager at WP Engine. “During our work with PHP 7 we developed a tool to help us evaluate compatibility, the ‘PHP Compatibility Checker’ plugin, which we are making available to everyone, to help drive adoption of PHP 7 and bring the promise of dramatically faster WordPress websites and web services to users across the web,” said McCaslin.

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