How to Solve “Fatal error: Cannot call overloaded function for non-object in /home” Errors

Fatal error: Cannot call overloaded function

WordPress is a robust yet user friendly Content Management Solution. Once you setup your site on WordPress, you will just not switch to anything else. No wonder, why most blog today runs on WordPress. It is easy to install, easy to manage and easy to maintain.

But if you get stuck with a typical kind of an error, you might just want to be ready for a few sleepless nights. While there are numerous sites that provides solutions to a lot of these errors, a lot of times you just end up with nothing. Because none of these solutions really worked for you.

I was faced with a similar situation a few weeks back.

My blog was running on WordPress that was hosted on a Managed WordPress hosting with Godaddy. I was extremely happy with the hosting, the page load speeds, the features, the price and of course, the support (You can read my review here).

To my horror, when I tried to login to my dashboard one day, I saw this weird error that read – “Fatal error: Cannot call overloaded function for non-object in /home/“. My website was not loading. But on refreshing the site a couple of times, the error went away and the site loaded. But again after a couple of refreshes more, the same error returned.

I saw this exact same thing happening with another of my website which was also hosted with Godaddy.

I called the customer support and when I spoke to the representative, she said that she was unable to replicate the problem and that the site was loading fine for them. And when I checked again the site was loading fine for me as well.

The error looked some minor issue with the server and I assumed that it was rectified.

The next day again, when I tried to login to the site, I saw the same annoying error.

I knew I might end up with the same response again, if I call the support. And since I have a habit of trying to find solutions on my own, I thought it would be worthwhile to investigate on this issue.

And there started my search to find the cause of the error and a solution to it.

Cause of “Fatal error: Cannot call overloaded Function” error

There were numerous WordPress forums that were talking about this error. And most forums referred to one common thing. Everybody who saw this error was on Godaddy hosting. There were a hundred different solutions that people were recommending for this error. But most of them were out of bounds for a user who did not have root access to the hosting server. Some other solutions had no relevance and just did not work.

But the fact that all of the users were on Godaddy made one thing clear; it was a problem with Godaddy’s server.

If you are here, then I am assuming you are on Godaddy and you are facing a similar problem. Let me tell you..You are not alone!

A little further investigation into the cause revealed that this error was primarily due to the PHP version on the server because everybody who were seeing this error, had PHP version 5.4 installed on their servers.

So the solution was simple. Just change the PHP version to 5.5. All you had to do, if you have cPanel access was to login to cPanel and change the PHP version.

Now I was stuck with another problem. I was running Managed WordPress Blogs. And you don’t really get access to cPanel and the root, in the case of a Managed WordPress Blog. So the only option I was left with was to call customer support.

I called up the technical support for Godaddy and explained it to them. At first the agent refused that the PHP version was 5.4. But I verified and told him and he had no choice but to agree.

He did not listen to what I had to say. Instead he started troubleshooting. After spending about 30 minutes the error still persisted. And I grabbed my chance and explained in detail as to what the solution is. All I wanted was to upgrade the PHP version on the server.

“No sir. We cannot do that”. The response was quick.

I was surprised at how poor technical support can be. A few incapable agents can destroy the reputation of a company. Whatever said, it was still the fault of Godaddy, who couldn’t see what their customer’s were facing.

I knew what the solution was – Change hosts. And that is what I did. I switched over to Hostgator Managed WordPress.

So if you are on Godaddy and you are seeing this error, then follow the below steps.

  1. If you are on Linux hosting and have access to a cPanel, then login and change the PHP version to 5.5. Your site should work just fine.
  2. If you are on a Managed WordPress hosting plan, then change your host.
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