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How Fast PHP & MySQL Can Boost Website Speed (Beginner’s Guide)

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Have you ever wondered what the impact of PHP and MySQL is on your website speed?

WordPress is written in the PHP programming language and uses MySQL as the database. Both programs run on your web server, thus impacting your overall performance.

In this article, we will discuss how fast PHP and MySQL can boost website speed. We will also talk about how to enable it for your website.

Improving website speed with faster PHP and MySQL

How Faster PHP + MySQL Affects WordPress Performance

WordPress is mainly written in PHP, a programming language that runs on your web server. It stores your website content in a MySQL database.

Both PHP and MySQL run on your web server as an application. When more users visit your website, PHP and MySQL use more server resources.

Most websites address this by using a WordPress caching plugin. However, processes like .htaccess rules, PHP extensions, and SQL queries can still increase server load.

Faster PHP and MySQL optimize these regular processes to improve performance and speed.

The more traffic your website gets, the more of a performance improvement you’ll see.

This is where Ultrafast PHP can help.

What Is Ultrafast PHP?

Ultrafast PHP is an optimized version of PHP that is built by the team at SiteGround. Since WPBeginner is hosted on SiteGround’s Enterprise hosting plan, we were one of the first websites to try it and see the speed benefits.

Now, SiteGround has made this feature available to all their customers on their GrowBig, GoGeek, and Cloud hosting plans.

For high-traffic websites, Ultrafast PHP can increase performance by up to 30% and reduce TTFB (time to first byte) by 50%.

Ultrafast PHP stats by SiteGround

Your server load will also be reduced, and it will be able to run up to 20-30% more processes while consuming 15% less memory (RAM).

SiteGround is one of the best WordPress hosting companies on the market. They are known for their high-performance hosting services and excellent customer support.

Since they use Google Cloud Platform for their servers, this allowed them the flexibility to work on an optimized PHP setup (Ultrafast PHP) for their customers’ needs.

Related: Take a look at our detailed SiteGround review with pros and cons analysis and the performance testing results.

Who Needs Ultrafast PHP?

If you have a medium-sized WordPress website or an online store, you need Ultrafast PHP to help you boost performance.

Ultrafast PHP is available to users on the GrowBig, GoGeek, and Cloud plans. Usually, these users with busier websites often end up hitting server resource limitations.

If your website is super small, then you may not notice much difference. We recommend that you use a caching plugin like WP Rocket or SiteGround’s own SG Optimizer plugin.

If you have a small business website or new blog with little traffic yet, you may not need Ultrafast PHP because the latest version of PHP is already optimized for performance. So, make sure you use the latest PHP version for your website.

This feature is not available to users using the old control panel on SiteGround.

However, if your hosting account dashboard is using SiteGround’s new client area and Site Tools control panel, then you can turn on Ultrafast PHP. We’ll show you how below.

SiteGround control panel

How to Enable Ultrafast PHP on SiteGround

It is super-easy to enable Ultrafast PHP for your WordPress website on SiteGround. Your hosting account should meet the following criteria:

  • Your sites are hosted on SiteGround’s GrowBig, GoGeek, or Cloud plans.
  • Your account is using the new client area and site tools control panel.

Simply log in to your account and click on the ‘Websites’ menu on the top. After that, click on the ‘Site Tools’ button next to the website where you want to enable Ultrafast PHP.

SiteGround site tools

This will bring you to the site management area in your SiteGround account.

From here, you need to click on the ‘PHP Manager’ menu located under the Dev tab in the left column.

SiteGround PHP manager

Now, you need to click on the ‘Standard PHP’ option to change it.

This will bring up a popup where you can switch to Ultrafast PHP.

Switch PHP to Ultrafast PHP

Click on the ‘Confirm’ button to continue.

You will now see a success message informing you that Ultrafast PHP is now enabled for your website.

Success message

Testing Your Website Speed after Enabling Ultrafast PHP

You can use Google Pagespeed Insights or any other website speed testing tool to test your performance.

Page speed insights test

Take a look at metrics like first input delay and time to the first byte to gauge the performance of your website.

We hope this article helped you learn how fast PHP and MySQL can boost website speed.

You may also want to see our complete WordPress performance optimization guide for more tips to speed up your website and check out the best email marketing services for small businesses.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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