Most of the web runs on a programming language called PHP, including all WordPress sites, which is what Aboundant is built on. We are pleased to announce that we just updated to PHP 7! This, along with other features, makes Aboundant faster than your average church website.
Upgrading your PHP version is not something most people can do for themselves, because your webhost has to upgrade the software on their servers. There are a lot of reasons why some haven’t upgraded yet. There are a lot of compatibility concerns both on the server and on the website. The software in both places has a to work with the newest version of PHP. Aboundant went through the hard work of verifying that all our software is compatible with PHP7. Our sites are now seeing amazing speed increases.
How important is your site speed, even for a church website, you ask? Other than the general convenience site speed has two important effects:
1. Reduces your “Bounce Rate”
You “bounce rate” is the percentage of visitors who leave your site before they actually interact with it. The most common reason users leave is because the site is taking too long to load. This is especially true on mobile devices.
2. Increases your Search Rankings (Search Engine Optimization)
Google is moving towards docking sites that load too slow, particularly for mobile devices. This means that if you want to stay on the first page of church results in your town, your site needs to be fast.
By the way, if you’re a) not on Aboundant and b) are unsure what version of PHP your site is running and c) are using WordPress, there is an easy way to find out. Install this handy plugin to find out: Display PHP Version.