While the world was busy ushering the new year with parties and celebrations, the Gregorian calendar wasn't the only thing experiencing a transition. December 31, 2016 marked the end of active support for PHP 5.6, the final release of the PHP 5 branch. PHP 5.6 will continue to receive support for critical security issues only for the next two years, but now is as good a time as any to make the leap to PHP 7.

Due to the end of active support for PHP 5.6, Plank is announcing that all new projects will be written in PHP 7.0 or above. This means that our contracts have been updated to require our clients provide hosting with PHP 7.0 or PHP 7.1. As always, we are happy to consult with our clients to help them find hosting tailored to their needs or even perform the server set up ourselves.

We will continue to support existing maintenance projects on older versions of PHP, though we will be encouraging site owners to consider upgrading whenever significant changes are planned.

What's the Rush?

While it is true that with a full two years of security support still ahead of it, PHP 5.6 is far from unusable at this point, moving to PHP 7 comes with a large number of benefits.

These are only the features that most excited us, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. Find out about these features and a number of others on the official PHP 7.0 migration page.

What about PHP 7.1?

PHP 7.0 has been out for over a year now, so hopefully most of the above is already common knowledge. In fact, PHP 7.0 isn't even the newest version. In early December, PHP 7.1 was released, bringing with it a number of other exciting changes.

For the full list of features introduced in 7.1, see the PHP 7.1 migration page.

Plank is not requiring 7.1 in our contracts yet, but we always encourage our clients to use the most up-to-date software available. Whatever version you use, we look forward to crafting great websites with you using the best tools available!