Top 4 ways to fix WordPress Permalinks Not Working Errors

A WordPress Permalinks error is an albeit-easy issue to resolve which can crop up at times due to some setting issues or plugin conflicts in your WordPress site.

Top 4 ways to fix WordPress Permalinks Not Working Errors

A WordPress Permalinks error is an albeit-easy issue to resolve which can crop up at times due to some setting issues or plugin conflicts in your WordPress site. To fix the problem and understand if permalinks in your WordPress are not working, you must be well-versed beforehand in WordPress, what permalinks are, what breaks them, what are the symptoms, and lastly how you can fix them on your own. So, without any further wait, let’s dive straight in to understand and do some diagnostic job.

The term Permalinks is the combination of two words; 'Permanent' and 'Links'. It is defined as URLs of posts, WebPages, weblog postings, and categories, which allow the users or readers to access the web content easily. It is a permanent link or URL which another weblogger uses to link to another weblog post on the WordPress site. In short, a reader has to simply enter a permalink of his/her desired page into the address bar of the web browser to access the content on the Internet.  


Permalinks in WordPress connect the content of the webpage to the readers by using URLs on search engines. For instance, if you have a page named Writer’shunt, then the WordPress permalink of your website would be www.writer’ Every permalink has a domain name at the end of the link which is called Slug. Here, in the above example, the domain name or ‘Slug’ of your webpage would be “literary aesthetics.” 

Universal Resource Locator abbreviated as URL is the web address of a page on a website.

There are three types of WordPress permalinks:

This type of permalinks is also known as 'ugly permalinks' because they do not state what the content of a specific page is about. They may look like

This type of permalinks states the title of the webpage in their domain name (end part of the link) or what you call as ‘Slug’ which may look like

Almost Pretty Permalinks are SEO-friendly and readable links that consist of useful information regarding the post, the date of the post, title, and other necessary information. They may look like

Some solid possibilities of your broken WordPress permalinks might be that you have:

Installed New Plugins

Plugins that are available by default in WordPress are functionally awesome. However, they can cause severe headaches because they are the center of many issues in WordPress due to their incompatibility. If you install new plugins in your WordPress, they can conflict with other plugins already available or with the core or themes of WordPress.    

Updated Your WordPress

The reason why permalinks are not working in your WordPress may be the core updates which sometimes prove to be buggy. Also, not keeping your site up-to-date may be the reason your new WordPress updates result in serious version conflict. As a result, your site might end up with broken permalinks. 

Migrated WordPress to New Domain

Domain or site migrations may also be one of the reasons for broken permalinks. It usually happens when beginners move from one host to another to move their website successfully, but they do not know where to start. Migrating or switching domain names disrupts the URL structure of the website. So, they end up with broken permalinks.

Restored WordPress Backup

Implementation of SSL or HTTPS while moving from one domain name to another leads the website to restore the backup. This migration or backing up might end up with broken permalinks that do not work when a reader tries to access your content on your web page.

Changed or Deleted .htaccess File

Changing or deleting the .htaccess file could also be another reason your permalinks are broken. The deletion of the .htaccess file accidentally just because you have touched the file daily which might corrupt the file can break the permalinks. 

What is a .htaccess File?

This .htaccess file acts as a gatekeeper in WordPress and indulges in several tasks including redirecting the page, setting up permalinks, etc. It is a hidden file that sometimes caused it to be deleted without letting you know that it does not exist on your server anymore.

Some of the indicators on your weblog posting which can tell you about your broken permalinks are:

  • Link cannot lead you to your desired page
  • WordPress 404 Error
  • Extremely Sorry, No Post Matches Your Desired Criteria
  • Page is broken

A user who visits your website and could not find the content on the page might be annoyed. This would be termed as a bad user experience online. Furthermore, broken WordPress permalinks can affect the SEO badly which can affect the traffic of your website afterward.  

Here are the four ways to guide you step-by-step to fix it!

Take the following steps to implement this method.

  1. Log in to the Dashboard of WordPress.
  2. Click Permalinks in Settings.
  3. Change your permalink to any available option such as day, name, or date.
  4. Click on the Save Changes button.
  5. Reload your website.
  6. Check if you can access your article or not.

Take these simple and easy steps to implement this method.

  1. Navigate to Settings.
  2. Access Permalinks in WordPress Admin.
  3. Choose a different permalink structure you desire.
  4. Save changes.
  5. Select previous original permalink.
  6. Click Save Changes again.

Troubleshoot Conflicting Plugins

Here is the step-by-step process to do it.

  1. Delete the existing plugin.
  2. Let the developer know that the plugin is buggy.
  3. Ask the developer which plugin is compatible with your WordPress version.
  4. Update your system.
  5. Install another compatible plugin and reset the permalinks.
  6. Restore your WordPress posts’ backup.

Disable .htaccess File

If the .htaccess file is the root cause of permalinks not working, then you first need to disable this file. For this, you need to:

  1. Right, Click on the .htaccess file.
  2. Choose Rename.
  3. Rename your file as .htaccess_old.
  4. Click Save Changes.

Congratulations! It is done! It was that easy. If you are still facing this problem, shoot us a message and we will respond!

About Author

Hameed Aslam

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Hameed Aslam is a website design and development expert, as well as an SEO and content strategist. He is the founder of DCreato and many other online ventures. Hameed's skills with web design, development, SEO, and content marketing have helped him achieve success in online business. He loves to help others learn about these topics so that they can also be successful online.

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