Some well-known Web companies, including WordPress and Box, are now using Facebook’s Hip Hop Virtual Machine (HHVM), an alternative PHP runtine engine that is available under an open source license. According to Facebook, HHVM is 5.6 times faster than a standard PHP interpreter.
WordPress and Box are reporting substantial performance improvements with the new tool. “PHP, compared to HHVM, is wicked slow,” said Tomas Puig, WP Engine’s director of labs. “So I saw an opportunity for us to use HHVM to drive WordPress.”
Similarly, Box engineer Joseph Marrama said, “The performance gains we’re seeing with HHVM exceeded all expectations,” wrote Box engineer Joseph Marrama, in a blog post announcing Box’s use of HHVM. “Almost every request that touches Box goes through our PHP codebase, so the speed increase is felt almost everywhere.”