The much hyped PHP6 was proposed in 2010. However, its production never saw the light of the day. The main reason for its suspension was the difficulty developers faced in implementing its core features. This along with several other factors caused PHP6 to be suspended.
Many features that were part of PHP6 were back-ported to the PHP5.x branch. Php.net developers chose to omit the PHP6 version as it was deemed to be a well-documented project. The PHP6 name could not further be used in the next version of PHP as it was different in many respects from the earlier one. The next version hence came to be called PHP7.
The PHP7 was released in the end of the year 2015. It was propagated to possess double speed, higher performance and improved server caching. When tested on various applications, frameworks and websites that were driven by PHP, the PHP7 gave valid proofs of its promised performance.
The operation of internal structures of PHP has significantly changed. This has resulted in more efficient hash tables and reduction in the size of data structures. These improvements have given rise to faster operation and lesser memory requirements. It also included a host of other advanced features like improved Zend Engine, 64bit Windows support, accurate type declarations, anonymous classes and many more.
In spite of all the latest features, the PHP7 is only used by a meager 1.3% websites that use PHP. 81.9% of the total websites make used of PHP as the server side language. The statistics are intriguing as with its remarkable features, it was expected that more websites would make use of it. However, in reality, most PHP Development India developers make use of its deprecated versions. The main reason for this is the incompatibility of PHP7 with various plugins. Many applications, frameworks and websites still support the deprecated versions. Refactoring these may be time consuming and can prove to be an extremely complex task. The backwards compatibility may also be removed by switching to the new version. This may involve refactoring to a large extent which can prove to be a major hurdle.