WordPress site was downloading file while trying to access-SOLVED

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My client WordPress site was trying to download a file while we access the site. Even Admin login page wasn’t working.

I spent a few hours for fixing it. Even Google couldn’t give me full fix.

 1. I wasn’t able to access the admin login page even. After renaming the plugins folder, even the wp-login.php wasn’t working.  But I found that contractorsvoice.in/readme.html was working. I got a little relief after that. Reinstalled wordpress plugin from Softaculous inside cpanel by doing ‘upgrade plugin’ option. Also I clicked on ‘upgrade theme’ option in softaculous Active installation section. Clicked on Save settings to rewrite the wp-config file.

2. Added define homepage and define URL lines without HTTPS in wp-config file. Also copy pasted the contents from github’s repository index.php file (just to make sure that site’s index.php is untouched). Then I was able to login at Admin area. Then I deleted .htaccess and went to Permalink and clicked on Save to recreate .htaccess file.

3. Site inner pages started to work without HTTPS. Still homepage with HTTPS wasn’t working. It was still showing the download file option. Cleared cache several times. Even uninstalled LS cache. Removed homepage menu item. Created a new page and added it as homepage. But nothing worked. I changed php version from 7.2 to 7 and tried 7.3 even. Tried lot of version changes. But the problem persist.

4. Atlast, i went back to file manager in cpanel and checked for php.ini files. But it was not there! After that I went to multi php Editor and clicked on Save. It created php.ini in both home and site’s folder. Voila. After that, my site started working. Changed php version to 7.3 and it’s working fine..


1. Check whether SSL is active or not. Try to load without HTTPS in browser bar.

2. Check whether yoursite.com/readme.html is working or not.

3. Rename plugins folder to plugins-old or something like that.

4. Try to login with Admin credentials.

5. Delete .htaccess and click on permalink Save.

6. Check for php.ini files in cpanel file manager. If those files are not there, just goto multiphp editor and click Save 

7. Add wphomepage and WpURL lines in wp-config file

Hope these steps will solve the problem of wordpress site downloading a file instead of showing site content.

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Webmaster of Wayanad.net, Wayanad.co.in, Ethwebs.net etc. Hailing from Wayanad, Kerala, India.