PHP FPM advantages – How it increases website speed?

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Websites that load within seconds is non-negotiable for internet users. Nothing is more exasperating than visiting a website that takes ages to load.

There are times when there is high traffic at the particular website, and where PHP handlers like mod_PHP may not be able to handle user requests efficiently.

Here, the role of PHP-FastCGI Process Manager (PHP-FPM) is crucial. It is an advanced & highly efficient processor. In fact, PHP FPM is 350 times more efficient than other PHP handlers as it uses a modern process-oriented approach.

At 1 onlyhost, we often get requests from our customers to increase the website speed by using PHP FPM as part of our Server Management Services.

Today, we’ll see how our Support Engineers discuss the benefits of PHP FPM & how they boost up website performance.



Let’s first have a quick look at the features of PHP FPM.

PHP FPM (FastCGI Process Manager) is an alternative to conventional PHP implementation.

Basically, it relies on the concept of pool management. Each pool of PHP-FPM works as a full instance of PHP, having a configuration, limit, and restrictions of its own.

The pool of PHP processes, also called workers, serve requests to execute PHP files from the web directory. Again, FPM can run multiple separate pools, each having its own identity.
By default, mod_PHP locks out processes and disrupts the performance of a website. This is a major drawback for conventional PHP websites. But, PHP FPM can easily overcome this problem.


Benefits of PHP FPM

Here, we take a look at the benefits of PHP FPM and how it helps improve website performance.

Some of the benefits that our Support Engineers see in PHP FPM are listed below.


1. A new way of process handling

PHP-FPM provides a new method of handling requests. It does that by maintaining pools, namely workers, that can respond to PHP requests. When the webserver has a request, the FastCGI connection forwards it to the PHP-FPM service.
PHP-FPM then compiles and executes the PHP script, sending the output back to the webserver and waits for new requests.
Therefore, processing PHP scripts in this way allow for much higher processing performance. In effect, it expedites the website loading.


2. Opcode caching

PHP FPM also has the ability to use opcode caching for PHP scripts.
It can serve higher traffic by enabling opcode caching. When a request comes for a PHP script, PHP-FPM quickly checks for cached copies and processes the request.

This method saves time and improves resource efficiency.


3. Do not overload

PHP-FPM is faster than traditional CGI-based methods, such as SUPHP, in multi-user PHP environments. It does not overload a system’s memory with PHP from Apache processes like ruid2+php-dso.
This method is useful when a user receives extra traffic that requires resources to process it.

This feature is a boon when your website receives a traffic spike after a particular marketing campaign. Remember, popular websites make use of this feature during any of their special events.


4. Additional security

Similarly, PHP-FPM provides additional security. To accomplish this, the server’s main PHP configuration file should have the following values set to true:

opcache.validate_root = true
opcache.validate_permission = true

These settings provide an additional layer of restriction that can prevent users from obtaining access to other users’ opcode caches.

These concerns apply primarily to multi-tenant hosting environments configured to provide a secure platform with PHP-FPM.


5. Highly configurable

Furthermore, PHP-FPM provides more configuration options than other PHP handlers. These configuration options can be set for each website on the server.

Proper configuration of PHP-FPM provides the best performance for website visitors also ensures a safe and secure environment.

For example, we can tune PHP-FPM settings in WHM’s MultiPHP Manager interface by navigating to WHM > Home > Software > MultiPHP Manager.

This is how it looks.



Here’s an example of PHP FPM status on one of the servers that we manage:

[root@xx ~]# service ea-php70-php-fpm.service status
Redirecting to /bin/systemctl status ea-php70-php-fpm.service
● ea-php70-php-fpm.service - The PHP FastCGI Process Manager
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/ea-php70-php-fpm.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
   Active: active (running) since Wed 2019-01-09 13:59:50 xxx; 2h 40min ago
 Main PID: 203156 (php-fpm)
   Status: "Processes active: 0, idle: 0, Requests: 16, slow: 0, Traffic: 0req/sec"
   CGroup: /system.slice/ea-php70-php-fpm.service
           └─203156 php-fpm: master process (/opt/cpanel/ea-php70/root/etc/php-fpm.conf)


[Having trouble with PHP-FPM settings? We’ll fix it for you.]



To be more precise, PHP-FPM is an alternative efficient method for websites with heavy traffic. Today, we discussed the PHP FPM advantages and how our 1 onlyhost Support Engineers tweak PHP FPM settings to increase website speed.

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