The Best Fixes for WordPress Permalinks Not Working Problem

The Best Fixes for WordPress Permalinks Not Working Problem

userPosted by Mason Lava

The problem of broken permalink is also known as the ‘404 error.’ This problem is commonly faced by people owning WordPress websites. It is the outcome of various reasons, all of which you can fix. Obviously, nobody would like to see the sight of the error message ‘404 Page Not Found‘ on their screens. It is especially true for those who have an eCommerce store on WordPress. They may start to panic as it can lead to much inconvenience for their visitors. The error also means that you are facing a problem of a link to another site designed to stay unchanged. Before you understand how to fix WordPress permalinks not working, it’s important to know its causes. It will allow you to gain a clearer view of this error, and then you can start fixing it properly.


What Does WordPress Permalinks Mean?

Permalinks, as the name suggests, are a page’s permanent URLs. They can be either the URLs of a specific page or a blog post on your WordPress website. They are also known by the name of pretty links. The WordPress URLs, by default, utilize the query string format that appears like this:

But you can easily alter the settings and make these strings more readable for your audience. You can navigate to ‘Settings’ and then go to the page of ‘Permalinks’ and change the query strings. The above-mentioned example can be turned into the following:

You are not bounded by a single format. There are multiple formats that you can make use of. It includes name and day, month and name, numeric, and many more. A format that isn’t the default is optimized for the search engine. After that, it only boils down to what you prefer.


What are the Reasons Behind WordPress Permalinks Not Working?

Permalinks are the URLs of your page’s categories and posts. They facilitate Google and other visitors to access your page content effortlessly. There are a couple of possibilities behind non-functional permalinks. They are given below.


1. Installation of New Plugins

WordPress gives users the capacity to eliminate or add features to it. Plugins, although helpful, can result in incompatibility problems in WordPress. They can come into conflict with other themes, WordPress itself, as well as other plugins. New plugins may also consist of bugs. So, they should always be downloaded from verified sites. If you have installed new plugins, they can directly modify or edit the .htaccess file and lead permalinks to break.


2. Updates

Updates are quite fragile. So, if you update WordPress plugins, themes, and files at some point, there may always be the likelihood of a version confliction. If the current WordPress version is incompatible with older themes or plugins, you can encounter broken plugins.


3. Migration of WordPress to a New Server or Domain

It’s normal for permalinks to break when you migrate your site. When you migrate to another environment, you’ll have to fix the permalinks that are broken. In their absence, you’ll not be able to access your site’s content. SSL implementation can result in URL problems, which can, in turn, lead to permalinks breaking.


4. Restoration of WordPress Backup

Restoration of WordPress backup will result in the breaking of permalinks. It, in turn, will make you face many ‘404 Page Not Found errors.


5. Modifications in .htaccess file

.htaccess file controls numerous commands. That’s why the process of fixing the issue of WordPress permalinks not working starts with checking this file. Certain plugins can apply changes to .htaccess file. It results in many problems, including the breaking of the website’s permalinks. If you have mistakenly deleted this file, then also you may encounter the permalinks not working problem.


What are the Fixes for WordPress Permalinks Not Working problem?

Don’t worry if you are seeing the 404 error on your webpage. Here are the effective fixes for it. They are given in a stepwise manner to help you understand the procedure well.


1. Reset Your Permalinks Settings

It is a very obvious solution yet one which people frequently forget. Check your permalinks settings and if you find a glitch in them, change them. Issues can occur in the settings while updating the software version or during the file migration process. Resetting the permalinks settings is very simple. Follow these steps.

  • Sign in to the WordPress Dashboard.
  • Tap ‘Permalinks Settings.’ After that, modify the standard settings. For example, you can change it to ‘numeric.’
  • After that, choose a ‘standard-setting.’
  • Save your changes.
  • Navigate to your WordPress website and check that specific site page.
  • Your permalink might have been fixed.


reset your permalinks settings


2. Check and replace the .htaccess File

The .htaccess file executes many essential tasks on a website. There is a high chance of this file getting changed in any way. It may lead you to encounter a 404 error. Follow the instructions below to replace this file with a default code.


3. Choose the option of ‘File Manager’ via the Cpanel.

  • Now, choose the domain you’re making use of and tap on ‘Go to File Manager.’
  • Now choose the folder of ‘public_html’ and choose ‘.htaccess file.’
  • Right-click on it and give it another name.
  • After renaming the file, choose the icon of ‘New File’ and name it ‘.htaccess.’
  • Type the below-given code in the new .htaccess file.

# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On

RewriteBase /

RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

# END WordPress

Tap ‘Save.’


4. Resolve the Problem of Conflicting Plugins

Another effective method for fixing the WordPress permalinks not working issue is to sort your website’s conflicting plugins. Start by disabling the plugin you have recently installed. If it doesn’t solve your problem, then disable all the plugins on your website. Do it as follow.

  • Navigate to your WordPress dashboard and then go to the ‘Plugins’ menu.
  • Click ‘Installed Plugins.’
  • After that, click the button ‘Deactivate.’ It is beside the plugin’s name.
  • After that, go about resetting the permalinks structure.

Note that this issue could be a result of two conflicting plugins. If these plugins are installed individually, then you won’t face this problem. If you find that a specific plugin is needed to run your WordPress website, activate it after you have deactivated all the others. But if it’s not, disable it, as it can conflict with other plugins.



5. Disable the mod_security Apache Module

It is a security module for sites that run on Apache servers. It safeguards the website from malicious activities. But if the site executes custom post requests, this module can interrupt your WordPress feature and lead to 404 errors. If you face this scenario, the best course of action will be to disable this module from the c Panel. If you cannot find the module, ask the web host to disable it. After disabling the mod_security Apache module, clear the site cache and check if your permalinks are operating as you want them to.


6. Problems Created by Broken Permalinks

Now you know all about the various fixes for the WordPress permalinks not working problem. These broken permalinks can cause a lot of problems on your website. Given below are the two major issues that the user faces due to them.


7. Problems with the Button of Add to Cart

If you are an eCommerce store owner on WordPress, then non-functional WordPress permalinks can result in conflicts with the Add to Cart button on your shop or specific product pages. You must already be aware of the fact that the Add to Cart button is an integral component of every WooCommerce shop. Hence, in case of any problems with the permalinks, you should waste any time fixing them.

If, by chance, the button of Add to Cart is not working, modify the permalink structure. Then save the new structure. After that, go back to your desired structure and save the new settings one more time. In this manner, you can easily resolve most problems.


8. WooCommerce Shop Page won’t Display Your Products.

The problem of WordPress permalinks not working may lead to your WooCommerce shop page not displaying any products. The shop page is important, as it is here that customers discover the products they can buy. If it does not operate properly, your sales will suffer.

In this case, reconfiguring the permalinks will solve the problem. Navigate to ‘Settings’ and then to ‘Permalinks.’ Create a change here and then save the changes you’ve made. Choose your permalink structure and then save it again. You can then check your page.


Wrapping up

You can now effectively resolve the issue of WordPress permalinks not working. From new plugins to WordPress plugin updates, many issues can cause this problem. Fortunately, as you noticed, there are many fixes for it. You can reset your permalinks settings by signing into your WP dashboard or replacing the .htaccess file with a default code. You can also sort the conflicting plugins on your website. The non-functional permalinks can cause many problems. You can face issues with the Add to Cart button or find that your WooCommerce shop page won’t display your products. So, it’s best to fix this issue immediately. Contact WordPress customer care support if you’re unable to manage this problem.

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