WordPress Website Is Downloading Instead of Loading

An increasing number of businesses are moving to wordpress platforms to power their websites. But for some reason, many of these sites are having a hard time getting past the initial load phase. What gives?

The Mysterious “Downloaded instead of Loaded” Error

If you’re experiencing an error message that states “The page you requested could not be loaded” or “The page you requested was downloaded rather than loaded,” you’re in luck. You’re not going crazy. You’re not the only one experiencing this issue either.

This is because quite a few websites around the world are having the same issue. In fact, it’s one of the most common error messages when it comes to wordpress websites Not all errors need to be fixed, however. Sometimes, the error can be helpful. So let’s take a closer look.

How to Fix the “Downloaded Instead of Loaded” Error

The “Downloaded instead of Loaded” error occurs when you try to access a page on a wordpress website and instead of loading the page, the browser downloads it. This is typically an unexpected error and can occur for a number of reasons. Let’s explore some of them.

Server Problems

One of the most frequent causes of this error is a problem with the server. For some reason, the server isn’t sending the requested page quickly enough. When the server responds, the page hasn’t yet loaded in the browser so the user gets an unexpected error. This is usually the result of a heavy website traffic on the server at the time or a site having a lot of requests.

Missing Files

Another common cause of the “Downloaded instead of Loaded” error is a missing file. The browser can’t render a page if it can’t read or access a required file. This can be a result of a number of issues. If you’re on a dedicated hosting plan, make sure that all the files are actually there and that you have the proper permissions. Sometimes, it’s necessary to contact the web host to have these files fixed. If the problem persists, consider upgrading your hosting plan.

Unexpected Ending

A very uncommon but possible cause of this error is an unexpected ending to a document. For example, you may have an html or asp page that ends with a

tag. Using these types of endings can cause problems for users when they’re using a different browser or a different operating system. In these instances, the browser has to ask the server to re-present the content in a way that it can understand. When that happens, the page actually loads but the text at the end is missing. To correct this, you need to remove the ending or replace it with the appropriate ending for the content. When in doubt, ask your web host for help.

Too Many Redirects

If you’ve ever visited a site that abruptly changes direction without warning or uses a lot of unnecessary redirects, your experience may have felt like you’ve been thrown off-track. While you could argue that redirects are useful in some instances, particularly for users that are trying to navigate a complicated site, too many redirects can cause all kinds of issues. If you do encounter this problem on a wordpress website, there’s usually a reason. Look for broken links, missing text or images and evaluate the usability of the site. If any of these are bad, you may want to fix them or find a different solution.

Too Many Middlemen

WordPress websites generally have a lot of third-party content or services integrated into them. These are typically “middlemen” that help power the site, provide security or allow for features like payments or mail deliveries. Sometimes, these third parties can cause problems. If you do encounter this issue, try going directly to the source and seeing if they can help or if you need to find another solution. Having too many middlemen in your stack increases the chance of having a poorly functioning site. Consider how much time it takes to directly reach the person you need to speak with, versus how much time it takes to go through one or more middlemen. This is also one of the main reasons why it’s important to choose a hosting plan that suits your needs. If you don’t have the resources to dedicate to maintenance, consider a free hosting plan or a shared hosting plan with limited resources. Don’t forget to backup your site regularly as well.


Malvertising is a type of advertising that exploits vulnerabilities in websites or apps to install malware on a user’s device. Sometimes, when you visit a website that is infected with malvertising, you’ll see an unexpected popup that looks like it’s from an independent source but is actually coming from a dodgy ad network. If you encounter this issue, it’s important to check your device for malware. You can also prevent malvertising by using reputable ad networks and being careful about which sites you visit.

Regardless of the cause, once you get past the “Downloaded instead of Loaded” error, you’ll see that the site is functioning properly. Just make sure that you can find a way to fix any errors that might arise in the future. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. In most cases, this issue can be easily resolved by following the steps mentioned above. If the problem persists, it might be a good idea to change hosting providers or webmasters. However, this should not be a necessary step as there may be other options available to you.