RIP HHVM. The time has come to bid farewell to HHVM with regards to powering your WordPress websites. We can now not be supporting or providing HHVM at Kinsta. It used to be by no means formally supported and the staff over at WordPress stopped checking out it over a yr in the past. Because of expanding compatibility problems and function degradation, it’s now not a viable possibility for manufacturing WordPress websites. Due to this fact, we can be phasing out HHVM as of August twentieth, 2018, for all shoppers. So mark your calendars! ?

When you’re recently the use of HHVM for your websites, take a look at extra main points underneath referring to how this modification affects you and what you wish to have to do. We additionally talk about why this isn’t a destructive trade.

Background of HHVM

Earlier than we dive into why HHVM goes away, let’s take a handy guide a rough take a look at why Kinsta began providing it within the first position.

It began with slightly (or what was once little) web site referred to as Fb. ? It used to be firstly written in PHP and when the web site began to take off the computational energy that used to be had to serve all of the requests used to be off the charts. This used to be basically because of the inefficiencies of PHP execution engines that have been to be had at the moment. So the engineers and builders over at Fb got here up with an excellent concept. As an alternative of merely purchasing extra servers, why no longer clear up the issue at a instrument degree?

So that they created a PHP to C++ compiler named HPHPc. The unique PHP code used to be compiled into executable binaries (occasionally document sizes attaining up to a gigabyte!) and it used to be run as a substitute of being compiled to opcodes and interpreted.

This led to about six instances the efficiency, which is massive! Six instances quicker won’t sound like so much, however for those who take a look at it the next manner, it could assist put it in point of view. As an alternative of getting to shop for 600 servers to energy a internet provider you best want 100. That’s lovely fantastic financial savings merely because of the truth that you merely modified the best way you run the code.

Then again, as you’ll be able to consider, operating and keeping up separate developer and debugger variations of HipHop (referred to as HPHPi and HPHPd, respectively), plus distributing gigabytes of executables to each and every system after simply a few adjustments within the code (suppose computer virus fixes), briefly was tiresome and difficult.

So in 2013 Fb determined to deprecate HPHPc, however recycle the code and the reviews they received from having it in manufacturing for a minimum of 3 years and release the HipHop Digital Gadget (HHVM). This engine transformed PHP to bytecode which is then transformed into 64bit system code at runtime by means of a just-in-time (JIT) compiler. This, in flip, led to even larger efficiency features! ?

HHVM logo


Many challenging and high-traffic websites at Kinsta have applied HHVM through the years and feature observed fantastic decreases in load instances. HHVM additionally allows object caching, which is an inner caching machine that used to be presented by means of WordPress to retailer knowledge from the database in PHP reminiscence. This will increase database potency by means of lowering the collection of database calls and hurries up PHP execution instances. Which means HHVM has at all times been nice for extra dynamic websites that experience a large number of uncacheable content material.

However sadly, with all that being mentioned, HHVM has run its route with regards to WordPress. We’ll dive into why underneath.

HHVM is No Longer an Possibility for WordPress

Listed below are simply some of the many explanation why HHVM is now not an appropriate era for WordPress or Kinsta shoppers.

First off, it’s essential to notice that HHVM if truth be told, used to be by no means formally supported by means of WordPress. It used to be made appropriate thank you to a couple individuals of the WordPress core staff who have been obsessive about velocity (#27881). Some WordPress internet hosting suppliers, akin to Kinsta, then made this to be had (we launched it in 2016) to shoppers to benefit from the extra efficiency features.

WordPress in truth stopped including HHVM as a part of its core checking out infrastructure as of Would possibly 2017 (over a yr in the past). Here’s what John Blackbourn, a WordPress Core Developer needed to say about it:

When you’re operating a WordPress web page on HHVM, you must believe switching to PHP 7+ which is way more extensively supported and examined, and gives all the reminiscence and function advantages that HHVM driven ahead.

Because of HHVM now not being examined by means of individuals of the WordPress core staff, insects and compatibility problems have began to emerge. Many of those we’ve witnessed first-hand (#8194). What began as a trickle of disasters just about a yr in the past has transform a gradual circulate of disasters with the newest model of HHVM, and they’re now affecting the capability of common third-party WordPress plugins and issues. Due to this fact, HHVM is now not a strong or appropriate resolution for WordPress websites.

Past fortify for HHVM internet hosting, our PHP vs HHVM benchmarks have proven that PHP 7.2 in truth plays quicker than HHVM. For the primary time ever, PHP took the trophy in all of the exams; which incorporated a standalone WordPress web site, WooCommerce, and Simple Virtual Downloads. ?

WordPress benchmarks (PHP vs HHVM)

WordPress benchmarks (PHP vs HHVM)

Due to this fact we propose the use of PHP 7.2 for the most efficient efficiency. We recently be offering PHP 5.6, 7.0, 7.1 and 7.2 within the MyKinsta dashboard. You’ll simply transfer between PHP engines with a unmarried click on.

Change WordPress PHP version

Exchange WordPress PHP model

HHVM Finish-of-Existence (EOL)

Under are all of the main points and time limits with regard to our phasing out of HHVM.

  • As of June fifteenth, 2018, switching to HHVM will now not be to be had from the MyKinsta dashboard. Vital: When you transfer clear of HHVM after this date you’re going to no longer have the ability to transfer again.
  • On August twentieth, 2018, we can segment out HHVM totally. Which means all HHVM websites will likely be switched to PHP 5.6+ and HHVM will likely be totally got rid of from the MyKinsta dashboard.

Shifting From HHVM to PHP

Kinsta automatically upgrades server-side instrument to stay issues up-to-date, no longer just for probably the most elementary reason why of safety but in addition for efficiency.

As with all piece of instrument, PHP has a liberate lifecycle which it has to stick to so as to stay pushing issues ahead and making enhancements. Each and every primary liberate of PHP is normally absolutely supported for two years after its liberate. All through that point, insects and safety problems are fastened and patched regularly.

Supported PHP Versions for WordPress

Supported PHP Variations for WordPress

As you’ll be able to see above, PHP 5.6 and seven.0 will likely be phased out in a similar way towards the tip of the yr. This is why we extremely counsel transferring to the next model of PHP once conceivable, ideally PHP 7.1 or 7.2.

To assist along with your transition, we’ve put in combination an instructional on the right way to test and move your site properly from HHVM to PHP. Take into accout, some plugins or issues may are compatible problems with more moderen variations of PHP, so that you must apply the stairs we’ve defined to verify a easy transition with out downtime. That also is one more reason why we’re supplying you with a heads up! To take a look at earlier than the cut-off date.


WordPress has had a excellent run with HHVM and for lots of of you it has equipped blazing speedy speeds! However to not concern, you must see similiar efficiency on PHP 7.2, and in a large number of instances, even quicker speeds. Ultimately, we’re interested by this modification. For one, it way not more confusion between which PHP engine you can use to your web site. It additionally way extra time will likely be spent making improvements to the core PHP language in the case of efficiency at the WordPress platform.

When you’ve got any ideas or considerations about us phasing out HHVM, please be happy to succeed in out to our fortify staff 24×7. We’d additionally love to listen to your comments underneath with regard to creating the transfer to PHP.

The publish RIP HHVM – We’ve Had a Good Run gave the impression first on Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.

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