PHP 5 to PHP 7 Migration

As a popular scripting language, PHP is used by most of the website developers to enhance the functions and appearance of the website. Despite the fact that PHP 7 and its versions are released, but many PHP applications still running on PHP 5.x, not ready to take the awesome features that PHP7 offers.
Majority of developers have not made the switch because of certain fears of compatibility issues, migration challenges and the strange awkward feeling that migrating will take away a big chunk of their time. In this blog, we are discussing about the easy PHP migration steps, codes changes, testing phases and its advantages.

How to migrate from PHP 5 to PHP 7

Three main things are there while doing the upgrade. They are,

  • Choosing IDE
  • Code upgrade process
  • Testing phase

Choosing IDE
During the upgrade process, it is hard to know about all the deprecated and removed functions manually, hence, a smart IDE (JetBrains, NetBeans, Eclipse, Visual Studio Code, etc.) will help to solve this issue.

  • Choose a smart IDE.
  • Open your entire project in IDE and check for the errors and suggestions given by IDE to refactor the code.
  • If possible do refactoring in local host rather than in development server connected via SSH.
  • Doing it in local host will help us in saving the development time and also we can keenly monitor the deprecated and removed functions.

Code to upgrade from PHP 5 to PHP 7
Resolve all errors including notice errors and deprecated errors in PHP 5.x to run your code in PHP 7.x version.

  • Set error reporting to E_ALL as below. Eg: error_reporting(E_ALL ^ E_STRICT);
  • Solve all the errors including notice errors and deprecated errors.
  • If the code base is large, resolve the errors to make it work in PHP 7.x. Post that, you can rewrite your code module by module based on your feasibility.
  • If possible, use the new features to simplify the code.

List of removed extensions and functions in PHP 7.x and alternate extensions and functions in it.

Removed extensions and functions in PHP 7.x Alternate functions and modules
mysql extension is removed. We can’t use mysql_* functions. Eg: mysql_query(); Have to use pdo or mysqli functions to handle the database operations.
$HTTP_RAW_POST_DATA is removed. file_get_contents(“php://input”);
ereg_* is removed. preg_* functions can be used as alternate.
Mssql, sybase_ct PDO might be alternative extension.
split(); function removed in 5.4 itself. Alternative functions are explode(), str_split();
__autoload() (7.2) function removed. spl_autoload_register(); can be used as alternate.
$php_errormsg(variable) is removed. error_get_last(); this function can be used as alternate.
each() (7.2) function is removed Most of the mcrypt_* functions are deprecated and removed in PHP7.* versions.
Removed short hand syntax.
<? ?>,
this syntax will be the standard one.

Testing Phase
There are a quite few PHP code check tools (PHPCompatibility, rector) you can run on your code to verify it is compatible with the latest PHP version along with manual checking.
It gives you the most comprehensive help in finding deprecated features and syntax in your code.
Why should you move to PHP 7?

  • By PHP 7, scripting languages run more efficiently.
  • Environment friendly compared to PHP 5.6 – less energy is required to power servers running PHP 7 applications.
  • High Performance
  • Improved features
  • Simplifies Error Handling

PHP 7 is going to play a key role in the future of Web Development. Many popular websites developing platforms such as WordPress allows its users to easily upgrade to the new PHP version to experience much better services. Migration from PHP5 to PHP7 will improve your site performance with good quality.
Do you own a website or application in PHP? Are you facing any issue in PHP migration? We are ready to help you. Please contact us on [email protected] or on social media (twitter/facebook)