If you are using Hostgator hosting, you must have received an email from them notifying you about PHP version upgrade. Recently Hostgator upgraded all of it’s server PHP version to 5.4 to keep you updated with latest technology. Though this also created problem for many users like me who are using older version of WordPress themes or plugins, and many WordPress blog started showing error.
In my case, I was using WordPress 3.9.1 and using Thesis theme 1.8x which was showing error like “Warning: Illegal string offset ‘type'”. This wasn’t only me, as many of my blog readers mailed me asking a solution for this problem. Usually you will see this error when you are publishing a blog post or working on your admin dashboard. Here is a screenshot of the error screen.
If you are also one of those facing similar error, here is a solution for this.
Fix WordPress Illegal String offset problem by Downgrading PHP version:
This problem is most likely to happen due to PHP version of your web-server. If you are on Hostgator, you must have received an email from them notifying about the PHP upgrade, or if you on any other server and haven’t received any email, you can ping your tech support via live chat and ask about the PHP version of your server. Most likely it will be PHP 5.4 and quick work-around is to downgrade the PHP version to 5.3 or lower. In my case, I quickly logged into my hostgator cPanel and downgraded my server PHP handler to 5.3.
If you are on Hostgator, follow this quick DIY guide to downgrade your PHP handler to 5.3 or lower and your issue will be fixed.
Login to your hostgator cPanel and look out for PHP configuration under advance tab.
On the next page, select 5.3 from the drop-down and click on update.
As soon as you click on update, your server PHP will be handled by PHP 5.3 and you will not be seeing Illegal string offset ‘type’ error anymore on your WordPress blog. In my case, this quick fix solved the problem and I can blog again.
If you are not someone technically sound, you can always ask your webhosting company to downgrade your server PHP version to 5.3 or lower to fix this issue. Do let me know if you were able to fix this problem or faced any issue solving it.