What is PHP and why do we need PHP Engine?

PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. It is very popular server side programming language. Today it is being extensively used to create professional web applications. It is also used as a general purpose programming language. Millions of websites and servers today are using PHP. Using PHP one can create dynamic websites and web pages that can in certain ways interact with the visitor that comes clicking. PHP is open source and free. PHP is very easily understood as it is surprisingly simple.

If you need to work with PHP then it is required that you install PHP Engine on your server. It is an easy task and can be done in few simple steps.

What is HHVM and how does it compare with PHP?

HHVM or Hip Hop Virtual Machine was developed by Facebook to save on resources on its servers. It is an open source PHP runtime engine. It was a PHP virtual machine which had JIT compilers. Also it had embedded interpreter. HHVM can execute programs written in Hack and PHP. It is becoming really popular because it scores over PHP in certain areas. There is a growing number of developers and hosting service providers who are taking up HHVM for achieving superior performance. It has been found by WP Engine which is the WordPress Hosting website that as compared to PHP, HHVM can execute a PHP command at a 5.6 times higher speed . It also had an advantage that its byte code survived a server restart.

Why did Facebook feel the need to develop HHVM?

The world had PHP and was happy and then something happened with Facebook that compelled it to create HHVM. What was it? And why was PHP not good enough for it? Let us take a look at what happened. In the year 2008 the count of active members of Facebook Crossed a hundred million! It was growing at an enormous rate and felt a very pressing need to have more servers and to increase its page load speed. When they took a closer look at what exactly causing the slow page load speed and what exactly had to be fixed, it was highlighted that the problem was with PHP. They had to fasten it or else be ready for grave consequences. They worked on it for a couple of years and somewhere around 2010 they came up with HipHop for PHP. This was further improved and hence HHVM came into existence. Thus one can say that to improve its website performance and page load speed, Facebook came up with HHVM originally. PHP was dragging it and was slow. HHVM helped Facebook with a staggering reduction in CPU usage which was almost ten times reduced. Also there was seen a memory reduction of five times.

WP Engine adopts HHVM

WordPress is probably the largest content management platform that has millions of important website being powered by it. It is open source and is built on PHP.

WP Engine is a premier hosting service provider that specializes in providing WordPress Hosting service. They have recently adopted HHVM and have come up with next generation platform with the name, Mercury.

WP Engine claims that by adopting HHVM, instead of the traditional PHP setup, they have been able to accelerate things by a whooping percentage of 560!

We see that HHVM is very positively influencing the PHP world. There is a lot of excitement regarding its strengths. It is compatible with a number of frameworks and is improving by the day and is being developed quite actively.