In the search for all the things that will make your WordPress powered website go faster, there is no other option with the greatest return than updating your website’s PHP version to PHP 7.
Over 82% of the web runs on PHP, the programming language that runs WordPress. And recently, PHP released version 7, packed full with new features and very much needed optimizations to the language. PHP 7 was released in early December, so when my favorite hosting company WPEngine announced they were doing site upgrades to PHP 7, I jumped on the opportunity for the easy win.
The WPEngine crew handled the upgrade from my PHP 5.6.30 to PHP 7 within a day and it was seamless. The site we upgraded is a Woocommerce based site that receives about 50k in traffic a month. Myself and office staff immediately saw a big difference in the responsiveness of WordPress, especially in the admin where many of our performance upgrades don’t affect. I would say we had about a 30% decrease in load time. For a site like ours, this was huge!