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Performance is undoubtedly the biggest reason why Ricochet will be upgrading our servers by the middle of 2016. The core refactoring introduced by PHP 7 is going to make it run exceedingly fast. The official benchmarks are VERY impressive: most real world applications running on PHP 5.4 - PHP 5.6 will run at least twice as fast on PHP 7 (and sometimes up to 3 times as fast, depending on the application!).
The unfortuante side of the PHP 7 release is that in brings with it what are known as 'breaking changes' that may affect your website if it is running a Content Management System, such as Craft, WordPress or ExpressionEngine. If your are running a version of any of those systems that is over 3 months old, your website will be affected once we upgrade to PHP 7 in mid 2016. (Please note: As of version 2.4.2697, Craft is ready for PHP 7. The latest release of WordPress also plans to support PHP 7. As of today, December 3rd, 2015, ExpressionEngine's latest version of 3.0.5 does NOT yet support PHP 7.)
When Will Ricochet Upgrade to PHP 7?
We don't have a firm date at this time, but you should plan to be ready by May of 2016. We'll let the first few releases of PHP 7 take place, wherein many bugs will be identified and patche based on real world use. Once we feel the release branch is stable, we'll detail out our upgrade plans.
What Happens Next?
Unless you have one of the CMS systems noted above, you've most likely no need for concern. You might notice the benefit of your website getingt faster when the PHP 7 upgrade is complete, though! (Depending on how extensively it uses PHP). If you do have one of the systems noted above, or another PHP-based application that drives some or all of your current website, now is the time to make sure you start getting your upgrade plans set. Please contact your developer if you don't handle this yourself and start making plans NOW! Don't wait until the last minute, as again this upgrade could render your site unusable if you are using legacy software.
If you have any questions or concerns about PHP 7 and your website, please don't hesitate to open a support ticket where we can assist you further.