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PHP 8.0 now available: what’s new in this update

The logo in dark blue superimposed over the PHP 8 logo (a stylized figure 8 in black and white), on a neon green background

PHP Version 8.0 is now available on new Gandi Simple Hosting instances!

This new version is a major update with some key improvements. Let’s check in on the main changes in PHP 8.0.

On-the-fly compiling with JIT (Just In Time)

This is the biggest—and long-anticipated—update. If PHP is, from the beginning, an interpreted language (and therefore not complicated), the introduction of JIT compilers lets you compile certain parts of the code during execution in order to cache it. This allows for non-negligible improvements in execution speed for certain web applications.

While benchmarks are very promising, gains for real applications (WordPress fore example) remain to be verified.

Other updates introduced with PHP 8.0

In addition to the JIT compiler, PHP 8 also brings a series of other updates, including:

  • Union types 2.0: allowing you to define multiple choice types
  • Attributes v2: adding metadata in order to specify the properties of objects, elements, or files
  • WeakMaps: letting you economize resources when you manipulate objects
  • The comma at the end of a list of parameters, including functions, methods, and closures
  • The throw expression: converts this delcaration into an expression that can be used in a context in which it is authorized
  • Class syntax extended to objects: retrieves the name of a given object’s class with ::class.

The complete list of PHP 8.0 updates is online on the official PHP site.

Test out PHP 8.0 on a Gandi Simple Hosting web hosting instance

Note: It is not yet possible to upgrade to PHP 8.0 on existing Simple Hosting instances. We will make this option available in the coming weeks.

End of PHP 7.2 support

The arrival of this new version also signals the end of support for PHP version 7.2 (since November 30, 2020). So this is the moment to verify which version of PHP your site uses.

If you have version 7.2 or earlier, it’s time to plan an update (while backing up your site first of course!).

To update your PHP, feel free to check the guide available in our documentation.

N.B.: if you use Prestashop on your Simple Hosting instance, only version 7.3 is compatible with Prestashop for the moment.