Live Q&A with Bruno Škvorc on PHP Environments - Feb 4, 1PM (PST)

###Happening right here in this thread, Feb 4, 1PM (PST). Check out what time this is for you.

Have you wondered if you have the right PHP set-up?

Bruno Škvorc (@swader) ; a PHP developer, SitePoint editor and author has witnessed the different PHP environments from many developers. Afterwards Bruno discovered that this is an area aspiring developers grapple with, he decided to take action and write Jump Start PHP Environment.

Whether you have or haven’t read the book, now is your chance to jump ahead of the curve and have your set-up questions answered.

Join us on February 4th at 1pm (PST) as Bruno will be right here on the forums to answer your questions!

A little about Bruno, he’s the PHP channel editor at SitePoint. When Bruno isn’t editing (or writing) excellent PHP articles for you, he’s busy being a dev evangelist for One thing you should know about him — he avoids legacy code like the plague and when picking projects, they have to be cutting edge. Yes, Bruno knows his PHP!

What if I can’t make the event?
We’re sure you’ll have many questions for Bruno but if you don’t know whether you can join the chat, feel free to jump the queue and leave your questions here ahead of the event. You’ll have to log into your SitePoint forums account to be a part of the written discussion - these are not the same as the your SitePoint Premium account. Alternatively, leave your questions on Twitter using #BrunoChatsPHP.

When is this happening in your timezone?
This link should help. Now that you have that in your schedule, type up your questions below. Bruno will get around to them during the event.

Need some help with the SitePoint forums? No problem, here’s an FAQ about our Q&A’s.

See you there!


I am a reader
I would like to see (and ask now) a chapter (in next edition) about VPS (old) migrate to new VPS (new) or Cloud Hosting? considerations, PHP version to look for or upgrade the PHP on server to, before start migration…etc…?
prior buy VPS
after buy
prior migrate
after migrate

In your book you use Vagrant Homestead. Are there other Vagrant setups you would recommend and/or any Vagrant tutorials to watch/follow?


The most popular general Vagrant setup for PHP devs is Puphpet.


I am going to start enterprise php application for yoga courses online with user registration, participation and track the events with payment gateway integrated. What is the best hosting , deployment related things to be considered ?

If I have Prestashop installation [PHP 5.3 old VPS] - how migrate this in new VPS with 5.6 or 7 PHP…?
I have to install and install current plugins + update/migrate DB after upgrate the Presta shop install…true/false??

I have a concern with PHP’s dependency management that has come along in the last few years. (I’ve had my head down in the sand in Drupal 7 development which did not use it, thus Composer is new to me.)

How does one manage updates for composer provided packages? It seems like there is no useful way to alert a site owner who is using a particular package that there is an update. Are sites supposed to run composer update as part of a nightly build process to check it any updates are available? This seems a bit extreme. The main concern here is knowing there is a security update for some package that I maybe have pulled into my project.

What is best PHP 5.6 or PHP 7 VPS …? Migrate from 5.3 PHP…?

My concern is about security and best practices. I think that it is an area that we ofthen overlooked

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Welcome everyone to our first Q&A for 2016! Just before the the year ended @swader had written his latest book Jump Start PHP Environments! I hope you’ve all had time to read it, because now is your chance to join us for a chat with Bruno himself!

Welcome @swader!


Bruno - what are your thoughts on using Docker to deploy PHP applications? Do you use it, and in what context?

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Hi all, as Angela said in the topic intro, I’m the senior PHP editor here at SitePoint, so I’m in charge of all PHP content (excluding WordPress). There’s little else to say that hasn’t already been mentioned in the intro - I’m a fan of treadmill desks, I work from home (Croatia), and I love my job(s). Curious about anything? Just ask - doesn’t even have to be related to the book or PHP.


Hi @lsepolis123,

thanks for reading the book!

I’ve noted your request and will add some more hosting providers in the future. In essence, it really doesn’t matter where you’re hosted - it’s all really identical in procedure. Just upload the files via Git, point your web server to the public folder, and you should be good to go. Of course, the scenario varies per app, but in a nutshell, there’s nothing to it. Any specific hosts you’re curious about?

As for what to be mindful of - make sure you get full server access so you can install your own software. It’s important to have root abilities if you’re renting a VPS, or if you’re using cloud hosting like Heroku or AWS, that they have the latest PHP installed (PHP 7) - the only thing that matters, really, is that you can have your app running on PHP 7. If the host doesn’t support it, don’t give them your money.

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Hi @msharp,

thanks for the question.

Yes, actually, there’s quite a few alternatives. In fact, this post lists a couple of good ones. I’ve used all of them to some extent, but prefer Homestead Improved because it’s easiest to set up, closest to my live servers in terms of software, and by far the simplest to teach people to use, error-free, which is important for tutorials. But yeah, any of those in the post are fine - though maybe I’d go with Phansible because it uses Ansible, arguably the simplest of the provisioners, or Vaprobash, because it uses bash scripts for provisioning, so it’s the simplest to customize.

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Hi @loganathan,

thanks for the question!

I always say there is no such thing as “best”. Best is really the environment in which you’ll need the least amount of time, money and effort to get to a minimum viable product. So if you’re not comfy with server management, maybe even shared hosting would do fine. If you are comfy, I’d definitely recommend the setup I follow in my book - a VPS, and deploy via a service like Deploybot ( or Forge (

In any case, make sure you use PHP 7 - there is NO reason not to, now. :slight_smile:


Which tools are best for debugging and troubleshoot? I confess that I always used the famous PHP plugin Firebug but maybe I’m missing a whole word of tools that will make debugging easier…



regarding Prestashop, I’m afraid I have no experience with it so I have no specific advice, but it looks like ordinary ecommerce software so you should be able to simply re-install it on a VPS as usual. I’m sure Prestashop has a way to dump a database, or if not, you can do it with mysqladmin and just re-import on a new VPS running PHP 7.

But if you’re already running a VPS and have full root access - have you considered just upgrading your PHP version to 7? Then you don’t have to migrate the DB or re-install anything.

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Are there custom desk attachments to set up my own treadmill desk? I think I read somewhere you just put a board across the treadmill… I think what I really want is a picture of the setup.


I was trying to think of an artful way to ask about treadmill desk setups myself :smiley:


Is really upgrade from PHP 5.3 to 7 able - I think may broke all sites/domains i have on server? may work only in PHP 5.4 and below for example… I think buying a new VPS and migrate each Site, along testing is better solution… Less down time… what you think?

e-com , wp cms and the like are all compatible with PHP 7…?

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