We are now running PHP 7.3 on wp.cool and are happy about it

PHP 7.3 Speed Gain
PHP 7.3 Speed Gain

It seems relatively painless to upgrade WordPress to the new PHP 7.3 version on the server-side. WordPress ist often criticized these days, there were some disruptions caused by page builders and the new Gutenberg editor. But one thing which is just as important is that as a WordPress site owner, you are able to always upgrade to the newest PHP versions.

It is unbelievable that many, many owners of WordPress sites do not give a shit about keeping their technical base up to date. I wrote about this in October, 2018. At that time, 61.8 percent of the websites worldwide ran based on PHP version 5. This is hard to believe. By the end of this year, the fixing of security issues with PHP 5 will have ended. Many websites worldwide will be running based on an unsecured PHP website.

So please, if you are reading this, get your stuff done and enjoy an upgrade by changing your PHP version. You will be both safer and enjoying more speed. If you cannot do it yourself, ask somebody!

PHP 7.3 is able to speed up your WordPress site

Upgrading to the newest PHP (7.3 in this case) does not only guarantee that you have more security. Upgrading also means that you get more performance.

We are hosting many WordPress sites. And we are always striving to keep them, technically, up to date. By using tools like InfiniteWP and the Plesk WordPress Toolkit, we ensure that they always have the newest version of the WordPress core, the themes and all those plugins. Many of our own and our client’s site are making extensive use of plugins.

Keep your WordPress assets up to date

This is why it is important to always update them in order to be sure that possible security holes are closed as soon as possible.

PHP 7.3 became publically available in the beginning of December. wp.cool is a website with a relatively complex setup, just as my agency website lotsofways.de which I have also migrated to PHP 7.3 some days ago – nothing to regret. These were the first two websites I decided to upgrade to PHP 7.3 – and nothing happened – despite of getting more speed.

And PHP 7.3 seems to deliver some serious speed-up. Take a look at this benchmarking table:

PHP and Database

Req/s PHP 5.6 PHP 7.0 PHP 7.1 PHP 7.2 PHP 7.3 PHP 7.3 v2 PHP 7.3 v3
PHP 5.6 74
PHP 7.0 177 239.19%
PHP 7.1 183 247.30% 103.39%
PHP 7.2 192 259.46% 108.47% 104.92%
PHP 7.3 221 298.65% 124.86% 120.77% 115.10%
7.3 v2 221 298.65% 124.86% 120.77% 115.10% 100.00%
7.3 v3 223 301.35% 125.99% 121.86% 116.15% 100.90% 100.90%
7.3 FINAL 224 302.70% 126.55% 122.40% 116.67% 101.36% 101.36% 100.45%


This test was performed by Servebolt, and their statement on the results is:

The results were consistent with very small variation. WordPress with WooCommerce running PHP 7.3 outperforms PHP 7.2 by 16.67%. So what are you waiting for? It is time to get that extra performance boost. Upgrade your site to be PHP 7.3 compatible today, and get the 10-17% extra performance boost!

I think this should really justify upgrading right now. Give it a try – our experiences were great.

Written by
Bernhard has been working as a tech editor for 10 years, then became a communications specialist. In 2011, he founded his own agency Lots of Ways. He is blogging and working with WordPress since 2006.

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