As the first shared hosting provider in Europe to do so, we are happy to announce our immediate support of PHP 5.5.0
PHP 5.5 was released by the PHP development team earlier today, and is now available on every Gigahost account. The new version of PHP brings a number of nice features, such as:
Write small functions that retain their local state, even between runs. Use the new
yield keyword to “return” the next value that the function generates. Makes a lot of code more compact and neat!
New API for password hashing and salting
In order to store passwords securely, they need not only be one-way-encrypted (hashed), but also use a strong salt, so that the hashed version of the password cannot be looked up in big databases (rainbow tables). Some hashing functions are furthermore slow on purpose, as to limit the number of attempts that a computer can try to look up the passwords. However, hashing algorithms sometimes change and become more advanced as computing power increases.
In PHP 5.5, you get a new set of functions that simplifies this process, and allows you to easily change the hashing algorithm used in your application.
Send emails with cURL
cURL is now able to send emails directly through an SMTP server. Useful if you e.g. need to send email through an external mail server, such as your corporate server or Gmail.
(And, yes, cURL is built-in to the PHP versions we run on Gigahost!)
Finally … “finally”!
A language construct that many other object-oriented languages have had for a while is
finally, allowing you to run clean-up procedures that always trigger, no matter if an exception was caught or not.
finally has now made its way to PHP as well, so, go ahead and use it.
Should I upgrade?
At the moment, developers of various systems are still tweaking their program code to make sure it works with PHP 5.5. If you have no issues running PHP 5.3 or 5.4, it doesn't hurt to keep using those versions. If you are developing your own systems, you may want to choose PHP 5.5 so you are sure your sites work with the newest PHP version. However, if you are still running PHP 5.2 we do recommend you to upgrade to any newer version, since 5.2 is outdated and no longer being kept up-to-date with the newest security updates.
You can choose PHP 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, and PHP 5.5 in the Control Center for each web site you have. This way, you can keep one site running an old and well-proven version, while you develop or test on e.g. a sub-domain running PHP 5.5.
P.S: Some of you may already have seen PHP 5.5 in the Control Center for several months. That's because we offered the previous beta versions and “release candidates” as soon as they came out!