Discover the new elite features that PHP 7.3 has to offer.

Elite Features That PHP 7.3 Offers

The team at PHP gave a euphoric feeling to the PHP developers in the industry by giving them the Christmas gift of a new version of language PHP 7.3. The schedule of this new version was scheduled and deployed a number of times, but the release is worth the wait. It covers the list of all enhancements and functionalities that will boost up the PHP development.

It is worth to go through the completely new characteristics that are going to affect the PHP development.  The major areas where the changes are imparted are Syntax, Deprecation, New features inclusion and Other miscellaneous changes. You can hire dedicated PHP developer USA and enjoy the new look of your application.

One of the major improvement in this version is the support for Foreign Function Interface(FFI) which allows PHP programmers to write code in C even inside the PHP scripts. According to the Phoronix, the last release candidate of PHP 7.3 will bring almost 10% performance improvements and is 31% faster than 7.0. Let's explore more on the nuances that will help developers to write better codes.

Implementation of Heredoc and Nowdoc Syntaxes

It facilitates the creation of multiple lines of text, SQL queries, and HTML snippets for email webs without using newline characters. Heredoc is an update to propose 2 new changes:

  1. Closing marker for identing;
  2. Removal of new line requirement after the closing marker.

The new change has drawn the attention of many as earlier the code looked ugly but this will make the code look elegant and easily understandable. Earlier version code looks like:

print <<<EOT
Heredoc text behaves just like a double-quoted string, without the double quotes.

The new code looks like:

print <<<'EOT'
Nowdocs are to single-quoted strings what heredocs are to double-quoted strings.


The major concern the developers faced for a long time with PHP was to handle errors adequately. Only two functions json_encode() and json_decode() were available for parsing responses. Json_encode() throws only false error and json_decode() throw null. The ultimate method to know the error is to call json_last_error() or json_last_error_msg() which only returns the global error state.

This feature was requested by 23-0 vote shows how much important it was to have this. Let's have a look at an example:

json_last_error() === JSON_ERROR_NONE // the result is false
json_last_error_msg() // The result is "Syntax error"

It only shows that code has an error, but where? Is the question that remains.With the new flag of JSON_THROW_ON_ERROR, the code becomes:

use JsonException;

try {
   $json = json_encode("{", JSON_THROW_ON_ERROR);
   return base64_encode($json);
} catch (JsonException $e) {
   throw new EncryptException('Could not encrypt the data.', 0, $e);

This really helped developers to know where the problem in the code actually happened.


With the earlier versions of PHP, it was difficult to count objects that are not countable. It throws a warning. A countable element in the code may vary, it can be a variable with an array format or an object whose class implements the Countable interface.

The new version has is_countable function introduced that returns true if the given value is an array type one.

if (is_array($foo) || $foo instanceof Countable) {
   // $foo is countable

The new update code looks like:

if (is_countable($foo)) {
   // $foo is countable

Isn’t the code looking sleek and easy to remember? You can even use this function in a ternary conditional operator.

array_key_first(), array_key_last()

The last PHP version had 75 built-in functions which belonged to arrays category. Earlier, if we want to retrieve the first or the last key of an array, we have to get all the keys first and then go for first or the last value. By using end() or reset(), was the other way by which you can get the keys. The new version proposed to introduce four new methods namely:

  • array_key_first()
  • array_key_last()
  • array_value_first()
  • array_value_last()

Here is an example how the new code will look like:

// usage of an associative array
$array = ['a' => 1, 'b' => 2, 'c' => 3];

$firstKey = array_key_first($array);
$lastKey = array_key_last($array);

assert($firstKey === 'a');
assert($lastKey === 'c');

// usage of a numeric array
$array = [1 => 'a', 2 => 'b', 3 => 'c'];

$firstKey = array_key_first($array);
$lastKey = array_key_last($array);

assert($firstKey === 1);
assert($lastKey === 3);

Some other new introduced features are:

  • Allowing a trailing comma in the function calls;
  • List() reference assignments;
  • Easy communication of Json with WordPress;
  • Same site cookie.

Above are the syntax and the new features that are introduced in the latest version, Let’s have a look at some of the functions that are deprecated from PHP.

Case-Insensitive Constants

Case-insensitive contents created a bit of complexity in using. PHP 7.3 deprecated calling define() with the third parameter value. It has also deprecated accessing case-insensitive constant that has casing different from the declaration site. The constants like true, false and null are not considered in this.


The function image2wbmp() returned the WBMP or a bit image format. Another function imagewbmp() is supposed to handle the required monochrome conversion. This led to the duplication of the function and hence image2wbmp() is removed in the new version. If used by mistake, will give deprecated warning or would raise a fatal error. Other features that are removed are:

  • Undocumented mbstring functions aliases;
  • String search functions with integer needle;
  • fgetss() function and string.strip_stags stream filter

This open source scripting language is highly recommended to the developers to make your site faster and error free. It is compatible with almost every server and database standards. The platform also allows to collect data and send emails to the users. Popular sites like Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia, WordPress, Joomla and Magento are empowered by PHP and it’s CMS. To update this new version is vital owing to the unmatchable benefits that a PHP web development company in USA will get.

You can check the current PHP version. Developers can get the new version from the official site. There you will also get detailed information about everything. We have listed some of the explicit features about PHP 7.3, now it’s your turn to avail the advantages.

Harshal Shah has countless experience in the field of Information Technology. Also, he is the CEO of Elsner Technologies Pvt Ltd. that offers various PHP Web Development services to the clients across the globe Mr. Harshal is a huge tech enthusiastic person who has written major & genuine articles as well as blogs on topics that are relevant to various CMS platforms. He is an expert in guiding the readers to acknowledge new practices about app development and also they can learn new ideas to build & optimize an application online using multiple app development tools & techniques.