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How to Deal with WordPress Permalinks Not Working? – The Reasons and Solutions

How to Deal with WordPress Permalinks Not Working? – The Reasons and Solutions

Permalinks, the abbreviation of permanent links (or URLs), are the part of your website address, which come after a domain name and point to certain posts/pages. In another word, a permalink is what a site visitor uses to link to a post/page on your website. In this way, this kind of ever-changed link works to leave first impression on your readers, and more importantly, make search engines crawl your website.

In addition to that, pretty permalinks have a positive effect on boosting community engagement so as to improve rankings in search engine results. However, there is a plethora of people still have no any ideas when faced with those not-working permalink. To be frank, to deal with the permalink not working issue is a major undertaking, and we would like to explain the mystery behind it based on our rich experiences on fixing those link-building mistakes.

Why Permalinks Not Working & How to Fix It?

WordPress Permalinks Not WorkingAs is often the case, not-working permalinks usually result in “404 Page Not Found” errors, which directly brings down referral traffic and search engine traffic considerably. So, what are the factors doomed to cause the permalink not work on earth? As is showed in the below, we make a list of some frequently-occurred mistakes that will lead to this kind of embarrassing situation along with related plausible solutions.

Check Your .htaccess File

As is known, the .htaccess (also hypertext access) file, as a directory-level configuration file, works to permit decentralized web server configurations. In the further, it is very central for webmasters to change permalink structure down the road. Hence, if you have 404 page errors, chances are that you don’t have the .htaccess file or you have changed permalink structure without adding necessary code to the .htaccess file.

Solution: In terms of the absence of .htaccess file, you’d better create it manually or ask your hosting provider for help. On the other hand, to make your newly-updated permalink structure work, you should firstly add a series of code to the .htaccess file or make it writable. If you have little knowledge of coding stuff, you can also choose to add 301 redirect page so as to tell any browser that uses old permalink structure to visit your site where the real content is.

Enable Your mod_rewrite Module

A mod_rewrite module helps to modify the appearance of a website URL and locates on a web server. More than that, this kind of modification can also rewrite your permalinks in order to generate content-relevant and SEO-friendly links (known as pretty, fancy or short URLs) on a webpage. In some cases you have the correctly-updated .htaccess file but still have “Internal Server Error(500)” error, it is likely that the mod_rewrite rule is not working on your server.

Solution: To fix this problem is not difficult, and you only need to copy the following script codes to your .htaccess file. Alternatively, if you happen to a technical novice, you will need to contact your web host so as to get this challenging issue iron out.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
ErrorDocument 404 /index.php?error=404

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

Update Your Web Server Version

Update Web ServerWordPress, as a customizable content management system, is developed on the basis of PHP coding language that allows for both Apache and CGI modules. Given that you run the .htaccess file under the Apache module, your website will be well-protected by the built-in TLS (Transport Layer Security) support and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. But on the other hand, if done incorrectly, you will also encounter some permalink problems. If this is the case, you may refer to our practical suggestions in below.

Solution: For a start, you will need to check your Apache web server version, and in the meantime, make sure whether it has been updated on the current WordPress site. If this is not the case, you can try enabling the rewrites_module by going to the related modules section and find out the very rewirtes_module file. If done, don’t forget to restart you Apache server at last. By the way, you can also get more detailed guidance by consulting related technical experts.

In Conclusion – Trustworthy WordPress Hosting Solutions

To sum up, there are many reasons that bring about permalink problems, such as the absence of .htaccess file or mod_rewrite rule. In any of these cases, it is recommendable to choose a trustworthy WordPress hosting solution that is responsible for helping you out of various technical issues, be simple or intricate. In this case, we recommend you to go with the following recommendable hosting companies that are incomparable especially in tech support.


Joyce is a professional writer & SEOer who loves trying new things and sharing the experience through blogging. She loves clean design, playing with different WordPress themes, SEO, etc. Very often, you could find her in various WordPress event as invited speakers.