PHP 7 and WordPress: How to FIX unexpected ‘new’ (T_NEW) error


after I’ve upgraded my PHP to version 7 I found the following error being displayed for one plugin I was using:

Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error.

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘new’ (T_NEW) in /var/www/vhosts/wp-content/plugins/smilies-themer/smilies-themer.php on line 80

The solution was pretty easy. Just open an editor on the file and line PHP tells you. Now you should see something like

$this->smilies =& new smilies_package($this->current_smilies);

Here they made some changes in PHP 7. You can’t assign classes with a & symbol anymore. So just remove that & symbol and the plugin will work fine again (search for multiple occurences).

Here you go, have fun with very fast working new PHP 7 and your (old) WordPress !

Leave a comment ?


  1. thanks. works for me (so far)

  2. Thanks that was a great help about removing the & from &new when using php 7.0.

    Regards: Graeme

  3. Thanks, i’m examining some old plugins and this really helped me!

  4. Thanks dude, to thepoint and correct!

  5. :twisted: Awesome, thanks for the easy fix.

  6. Great!! Thank you. I have fixed a WEBSVN issue using diff

  7. Thanks, it was helpfull.

  8. Sweet, exactly what I needed :D

  9. Thanks! Checked many sites and yours was the only solution that actually worked!!

  10. Thank you, it’s work

  11. Removing the ‘&’ in the php file worked.
    Thank you!

  12. Thanks for the & thing. Worked for me. (so far :cool: )

  13. thanks a ton. works like a charm. :D

  14. Thanks man. Works like a charm

  15. Thank you! This sorted a lot of problems for me. Excellent.

  16. THANK YOU FOR POSTING! This could have wasted hours. Much appreciated!

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    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However I am having problems with your RSS.
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  18. Thanks a lot! You just saved my life (and my wife’s Website). :)

  19. Thanks. For those wanting to search for files where this might be a problem, here is a decent grep: grep -rn -i –include \*.php ‘= &new’ .

  20. Thank you so much for this easy solution..

  21. Brilliant, helped me solve and fix a site search issue I was having. Thanks for this!

  22. Worked for me too – Thanks!

  23. Thanks! That fixed it.

  24. :*
    Thanks!!!! Big Help

  25. Thanks – perfect solution

  26. THANKS!!!

  27. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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