How a software upgrade can make you more money

2019/01/13

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My work involves clients coming to me looking for a server tune-up. One of the things I can do is to look at the software they’re currently running and look at upgrading it to the latest version.

A common example here is PHP. I often see people still running 5.6 or 7.0 (both of which are now unsupported) and I strongly advise people upgrade to later versions. Not only will security updates still be applied but there are several performance benefits to be gained.

I would just like to share some case studies and how they helped my clients.

This recent upgrade was from PHP 7.0 to 7.2. The site saw a drop in time-to-first-byte (TTFB) of more than 58% (902ms -> 376ms) and a reduction of just over 1 second in total load time. The opportunity is now there to reduce their server requirements and save money on hosting.

One of my most public pieces of work was upgrading Nomad List and Remote OK to PHP 7.2 from PHP 5.6. The tweet below speaks for itself.

Upgraded https://t.co/VbTTH3D4Nq from PHP5 to PHP7 two weeks ago

Results:
✅ CPU 50% down
✅ 2x faster load times pic.twitter.com/75VL2vDd3w

— levelsio (@levelsio) June 16, 2016

The site below was another high traffic WordPress site running on PHP 7.0, hosted at Digital Ocean. After I safely upgraded their PHP version, the CPU dropped in usage:

The upgrade not only reduced their resource requirements, so they could downgrade their server and save money, but decreased their total load time causing Google to rank them higher. This resulted in more views and more money.

Upgrading the PHP version is not without its risks, especially on legacy frameworks but proper planning can mitigate many of the potential issues.

This is just one thing I can do to increase site performance but something that produces dramatic results for my clients. A less resource-intensive site can reduce your server requirements and cut your costs. A more performant site will rank higher on Google, getting you more views, and offers a better experience to the user.

I speed up websites every day so email me at [email protected]!


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