Recently I had a client on Dreamhost come to me with a problem where the wordpress files would download to their computer. I know this problem well, usually it’s a php handling error, basically php is not parsing the file and the file is being served as a download. The first place to look for something like this is the .htaccess (the client was running apache). I found the following code in the htaccess
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php70 .php
So removing this piece of code brought the site back up, but how did it get there?
After a bit of research and digging around I found that there was a plugin created by bluehost called Endurance PHP, I asked my client if the site in question was previously on bluehost and they confirmed. So the client built the site on Bluehost then transferred it to Dreamhost and a trigger of the permalink rewrite added the “AddHandler” code into the htaccess.
So to fix the issue all I had to do was remove the 3 files from
The files in question area
After removing the files you need to also delete .htaccess file and then go settings and save permalinks (generating a new .htaccess file)
This is why I always recommend a reputable host like Liquidweb!