The official stable release of PHP 7 shipped right before the release of WordPress 4.4. Kinsta, a hosting company, ran a test with PHP 5.6, PHP 7, and HHVM and found that HHVM handles the most transactions per second. Though the results leaned in HHVM’s favor, speed isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a scripting language.
After a four-day test, their findings pointed to HHVM as the faster scripting language. The test was run on a bare metal server, and while some details of the test sites were shared, the entry didn’t account for any other plugins or themes running on the sites.
Kinsta ran the test with WordPress 4.4, WordPress 4.3.1, Drupal 8, Magento2.0 CE, OctoberCMS build 309, PyroCMS v3 beta2, and Flarum v0.1.0-beta.4.
You really can’t go wrong with PHP 7 or HHVM — both will create a faster website for developers and users. Though speed is obviously an important factor, PHP 7 offers other benefits such as predictability and familiarity. For example, PHP 7 is maintained by the PHP Group while HHVM is maintained by Facebook whose business interests can change at any moment.
Working with HHVM may be problematic moving forward simply because it is newer and unpredictable. Developers have to work around it sometimes to do things that just already will work in PHP 7. A seasoned PHP developer already knows how to setup and configure PHP 7 and may not have the time or experience to make the switch to HHVM.
What do you think about this test? Do you prefer PHP or HHVM? Let us know in the comments.