Not everybody knows this, but when you use the MODX Package Manager, it sends along some information about the site to the package provider. The provider uses this to determine if a package can be used, based on the database engine used or version of MODX. For premium providers like modmore and modstore, the information can also be used to identify a specific site or user, to make sure it has a license available.

Since MODX Revolution 2.4 this information also includes the PHP version on the site, which we've been tracking at modmore. As this information could also be interesting to others, without further ado, here's what PHP version our users run on their servers as of December 2nd, 2016.

Pie chart showing the distribution of different PHP versions used on sites from modmore clients.
Pie chart showing the distribution of different PHP versions used on sites from modmore clients.

From the top middle going clockwise:

  • PHP 5.3.x: 251 sites (red)
  • PHP 5.4.x: 505 sites (green-blue-ish)
  • PHP 5.5.x: 695 sites (orange)
  • PHP 5.6.x: 1687 sites (dark blue-gray-ish)
  • PHP 7.0.x: 427 sites (light blue-gray-ish)

This represents a total sample of 3565 unique MODX sites running at least version 2.4.0 of MODX that have (or had) one of our extras installed.

If you take this data to see what percentages we're talking about, you get a table like this.

PHP Version Count % On Version % On Version or Up
PHP 5.3.x 251 7,0% 100%
PHP 5.4.x 505 14,2% 92,9%
PHP 5.5.x 695 19,5% 78,7%
PHP 5.6.x 1687 47,3% 59,2%
PHP 7.0.x 427 11,9% 11,9%

(Note: the percentages don't add up to exactly 100% due to rounding)

There are some caveats to these statistics. For example, if someone updates their server to a new PHP version without also checking for package updates, we don't get to see the new PHP version, and they're still included with the lower bracket. Similarly, someone updating MODX from before 2.4, without also checking the package manager, will not show up in this sample at all. The sample also includes development sites that may not exist anymore, and servers running a PHP version older than 5.3 wont show up in the sample, because MODX 2.4 requires PHP 5.3 or up.

Even when taking the accuracy of this data with a pinch of salt, it gives an interesting look into the PHP version distribution among the MODX community. Personally I didn't expect 78,7% of the sites to be on 5.5.x or higher, so that's quite promising for adopting newer PHP features in the future.