🐘 New PHP Runners Are Built In Go Language

Tom Smykowski
3 min readNov 14, 2023

The new wave of PHP runners offer speed and async processing with the help of Go

As Mark Shust writes in a post that became his yearly tradition PHP is still dead running over 70% of all websites.

PHP actually grown over the years to be a stable and robust language to build apps. A language that is really safe.

Trends known from other language fandoms don’t miss PHP. While the language doesn’t change so much as other, younger ones, PHP is actively developed, but mostly with only bugfixes. A sign PHP language is so ready for production.

But it doesn’t mean nothing happens in the PHP ecosystem. One of the interesting trend is a set of new runners that try to offer an alternative for classical runners and PHP servers.

In this article I’ll tell you about four interesting PHP runners worth checking out.


Franken PHP is built on top of Caddy, offers compression and HTTP/2 and /3.

It’s written on Go, and may work as a worker. It doesn’t use PHP-FPM.

FrankenPHP comes as a single binary or a virtualization image for Kubernetes, Docker etc.

It comes with an alternative for WebSockets called Mercure to enable realtime communication between the server and browser.

What’s also interesting is that it supports response code 103 known as early hints, where server responds before preparing everything. That way server can tell browser to load external CSS or JS while the response is baked.

I like that it supports modern performance solutions and realtime communication.



The logo of RoadRunner is a combination of a seal and a duck. Can’t make up my mind if I like it more or less than…



Tom Smykowski

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