This past year we've been working so much on back-end stuff that is silently making Spin Rewriter even better and faster that I sometimes struggle to tell you about all the updates we've been rolling out.

Remember my recent two posts about the Spin Rewriter website switching to HTTP/2 and about the huge code refactoring process that is currently underway?

Well, a significant part of our front-end (customer-facing) code that makes the Spin Rewriter website work is written in PHP. Yes, the same good old PHP that powers 79.1% of the web, including Wikipedia, Facebook, all WordPress websites, etc.

And recently, a new version of PHP was officially released. This brand new PHP 7.3 version makes the language more robust than ever, while — and this is equally as important! — making it incredibly fast.

Now, most times when there's an update to an already established programming language or an interpreter (which is the software that actually takes your PHP code and runs it), the improvements are absolutely minuscule.

But this recent upgrade to PHP 7.3 is vastly different. Who better to tell you all about it than the creator of PHP, Mr Rasmus Lerdorf, himself? Here's a short video that takes you from the beginnings of PHP to what makes the newest PHP 7.3 so special...

The takeaway is this: The PHP team worked extremely closely with Intel engineers to make the newest version of the language perform as well as it possibly can on modern CPUs, with their low-level caches, branch predictors, etc.

The results speak for themselves — just check out these benchmarks!

In most cases PHP 7.3 is 150-200% or even 300% faster than PHP 5.6 which was the standard up until very recently, and what the Spin Rewriter website was running on until last year.

And at last, this brings me to my final point: YES, if you noticed a significant speed-up when using Spin Rewriter about two months ago, that was because we've now been running the newest PHP 7.3 on our live (production) servers for quite some time!

It's this sort of behind-the-scenes work that makes a HUGE difference in the final user experience. And we're happy to keep up with the times for our amazing customers — which is you guys! 😃

Published on: May 7th, 2019

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