PHP 7.4 Now Available On RunCloud

With each release of PHP, RunCloud is always looking forward to the latest and greatest versions of PHP in development and is happy to announce that PHP 7.4 is now available. On November 28, 2019, PHP 7.4 was officially released. While we do not automatically update your PHP version, we offer the option for you to upgrade or downgrade your PHP version.

There are always good things happening with PHP, as it still remains the dominant language of the Internet, is ever-evolving, and with each new release, contains new features, loses a few old features, and somehow always seems to be faster than its previous version. To put it bluntly, PHP 7.0 is the slowest, while PHP 7.4 is the fastest. PHP 7.2 is faster than PHP 7.1 which is slower than PHP 7.3.  While we will not get into every single change, we did notice some cool neat features, as well as the loss of a few as well.

PHP Changes

Deprecated in PHP 7.4 are:

  • Nested ternary operators without explicit parentheses
  • Array and string offset access using curly braces
  • Extensions moved to PECL and are no more part of the PHP distribution: Firebird/Interbase, Recode, and WDDX

Additions to PHP 7.4 are:

  • Typed Properties
  • Arrow Functions
  • Limited return type covariance and argument type contravariance
  • Null coalescing assignment operator
  • Unpacking inside arrays
  • Numeric literal separator
  • cURL feature updates including support for stream wrappers and plain filenames
  • Additional Filters
  • GD improvements
  • New FFI extension
  • More Hashes
  • Multibyte Strings
  • Opcache Preloading
  • And more!

For more details on all of these new features implemented into PHP 7.4, refer to: PHP 7 ChangeLog.

Changing the PHP version with RunCloud

An upgrade of PHP for your web application should not cause any errors or issues, as there does not seem to be anything that is backward-incompatible. If you do encounter any errors during your PHP transition, do not hesitate to reach out to support. We are excited about the release of PHP 7.4 and hope you have a great experience and an even faster website after upgrading your PHP version to the latest and greatest!

  1. Navigate to Web Application on the menu
  2. Click into your Web Application
  3. Select Settings on the menu
  4. Select your desired PHP version
  5. Click Update PHP

Your screen to change the PHP version should look like this:

Upon making a selection, you should see PHP 7.x including PHP 7.0, PHP 7.1, PHP 7.2, and PHP 7.3. In addition, you should now also see the latest version of PHP in the dropdown menu as well, PHP 7.4.

The changes should be immediate and you may not notice any difference at all on your website. As you use your website, you may notice an increase in a speed difference, which often is the case for each PHP version, but as a precaution, you may want to set up a WordPress Stage and make your changes on the Staging environment beforehand. You may debug by simply using your website, navigating all of your plugins, and ensuring that everything is working, as each PHP version adds or removes features and is not always backward-compatible.

If you do not set up a WordPress Staging environment, you can still test everything on your Production website, and should you encounter an error, you can always revert the PHP version to its previous state. You may have to wait for authors to update the plugins and release new versions, or you may make changes within those plugins yourself if you know what you are doing. RunCloud support can assist you in the update should you need any additional help, although RunCloud cannot offer any support for individual plugins that may be experiencing a conflict with the new PHP 7.4 version.

Along with PHP 7.4, we have also pushed some other important updates & fixes. Check our changelog for more details.

Categories: Features

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