WordPress with PHP 7 Performance Benchmarks on Cloudways

PHP is perhaps one of the top languages used for web development. The language was originally introduced in  1995 and quickly became the favorite of top developers all over the world. Then, Content Management Systems came along and really put PHP on the development map.

WordPress – the most widely used content management system is also a PHP based platform. In many respects, the success of WordPress is an important indicator of the robustness and versatility of PHP.  the success of the platform was also an important factor in the release of the latest major version of PHP (PHP7) in December 2015.

There was much hype in WordPress community about PHP7, even when the version was being developed. WordPress core development teams also tested every element of PHP7 to ensure compatibility with the platform. The Internet is now filled with reports of the impressive performance of PHP7. We went ahead and tested WordPress with PHP7 on Cloud.

We have tested WordPress with PHP7 on Cloudways – A Managed WordPress Hosting. And here are the results.

By default, Cloudways has PHP 5.6. But you can easily switch to PHP7 in just a few clicks. Before switching to PHP7, conduct these compatible checks and make sure you have latest backups of your WordPress site.

  1. Your WordPress version is compatible with PHP7. WordPress 4.4 and later versions are compatible with PHP7.
  2. Theme and Plugins should also be compatible with PHP7.
  3. Any custom PHP code should also compatible with PHp7.

Testing WordPress with PHP7

We tested PHP7 on WordPress in a strictly controlled environment. The server was hit 37,378 times with 0 errors and 0 timeouts. Average response time was 4ms on WordPress Vanilla with caching. Below are the stats.



Aren’t these impressive?

If you compare results with the previous version, you will observe remarkable improvements in performance and average response time. In PHP 5.5, the server was hit 24,731 times with 0 errors and 0 timeouts with the average response time of 208 ms.

Recommended Method for Switching to PHP7


Before upgrading WordPress on PHP7, create a new server and clone your application there. Upgrade to PHP7 and check all compatibilities, plugins, theme etc. If everything is in order, you could use WordPress with PHP7.

Create a Server

Login to your Cloudways account. At the top right corner, hover on “+” button and select “Add Server”.



Clone Application

After creating the server, go to your application on the old server. At the bottom right corner, click on the orange “Edit” button and select “Clone App”.


It then asks you to select a  server where you want to clone the application. Select your newly created server.


Still confused? Don’t worry! Here are the detailed steps on How do I clone an application on my server?

Upgrade to PHP7

In few minutes, (depending upon the application), a copy of your application will be created on the new server, ready for testing. Under the “Server Management” tab, go to “Settings & Packages” and select “PHP 7.0” besides the PHP label (consult the following image).


Your WordPress application is ready for testing with PHP7. Test your WordPress, plugins, themes, custom PHP codes etc with PHP7. If everything works fine, you can upgrade your WordPress application to PHP7. If you’ve any query. Feel free to ask by using the comment section below.

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WordPress with PHP 7 Performance Benchmarks on Cloudways
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  • Michel

    Amazing results. But I have a few questions:
    Cloudways implement varnish, which obviously improves perf. Was it switched off ?
    Also, what kind of test did you run ? In order to assess the impact of the PHP version, it would seem important to disable caching (so that actual PHP is used). Or use logged in users, which increase the PHP load.


  • Hi Michel,

    The results are with caching enabled. We did that because we wanted to show the performance of WordPress on our stack, that is, Nginx, Varnish, Apache, PHP-FPM, Memcached, MySQL, PHP 7.

    There are many benchmarks already available on the web comparing PHP 5.x with PHP 7.