3 Easy Ways To Fix 404 Error on WordPress Posts And Pages

The 404 error message can be a frustrating experience for visitors as well as website owners. However, you do not need to hire WordPress experts to resolve the issue. This simple tutorial explains three simple ways to fix 404 error on WordPress posts or pages. The open source CMS is one of the most user-friendly and robust website building tools available. Some minor adjustments or glitches can cause interfaces made with the platform to malfunction. However, resolving these issues is also pretty simple and most of them do not require users to possess high levels of technical knowledge. The following methods are also not difficult and will help you in fixing 404 errors.

What Is 404 Error?

The 404 error is a standard HTTP response code communicating that the page being accessed is unavailable on the server. It means that while the server remains accessible to visitors, the server could not locate the requested page. Websites set up custom 404 error pages so that users understand that only the specific page is unreachable. This issue can be caused by a number of reasons. A visitor’s browser may have cached the page in question. This will mean the error code will be flashed only on that specific person’s browser. The page will be working perfectly fine on all other browsers. This bug also surfaces when people incorrectly type the URL in their browser address bars. Moreover, the error will appear In case the domain has not propagated to the DNS being used. In WordPress interfaces, a malfunctioning plugin or theme can affect the manner in which the CMS generates URLs and permalinks. This can also cause a post or page to become inaccessible.

How Can WordPress Users Fix The 404 Error?

The failure code can also appear because of issues with the website hosting service. In such cases, the message disappears by itself after some time. It is advised to wait for a few minutes and then force-refresh the interface. If the problem persists, try out the solutions listed below. Users must create a backup of the website before beginning the process of troubleshooting.

  • Re-configuring The Permalink Settings

WordPress users may face this issue because of the way the open source CMS generates permalinks. The platform provides the facility of structuring the URLs through various options. In fact, there are 10 structure tags that can be used for formatting permalinks. They help website owners to optimize URLs by inserting relevant keywords. An efficient structure which explains the nature of the content of a post/page also helps visitors. An optimized permalink format is valuable as it helps in attracting organic traffic to the interface. However, when the 404 code shows up, it is time to reset the permalink settings.

You can do so by accessing the admin dashboard of your WordPress installation. Locate “Settings” in the menu and go to “Permalinks. ” A new screen titled “Permalink Settings” will open. Locate the “Save Changes” tab at the bottom of the screen.

Hit this button to update your settings. This will flush the rewrite rules. Check whether the page is working or not. Move to the next solution in case the problem is persisting.

  • Modifying The .htaccess File

The second method to fix 404 error on WordPress posts requires the modification of the interfaces’ .htaccess file. This is the file dictating WordPress’ interaction with the server and how it generates URLs of web pages. This file resides in the root directory of your website. You will have to use an FTP client to connect to your website and access the root folder. The root directory is usually called public_html or www. It can also be named after your interface. Once you have found the folder, open it and look for the .htaccess file. In order to modify it, you will have to first download it on your system. Right click on the file and choose the option called “View/ Edit”. This will open the file in the text editor of your system. We will now replace this file with a basic version so that all permalink modifications are removed. Create a backup of the file before replacing it with the following code:

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L] RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L] </IfModule>
# END WordPress

Save the changes and upload the file again. The problem will have resolved. You can remodify the permalink settings through the admin panel.

  • Disabling The Website’s Themes And Plugins

As mentioned before, in some cases WordPress themes can also be the culprit. You must disable and re-activate the plugins to identify the one causing the issue. Go to the dashboard and access “Plugins”. Open the “All Plugins” option and hit the deactivate link below the first entry. Now check the page in the browser. Keep repeating the process until you find the culprit.

If the failure code is still visible, go back to the dashboard and switch to your default theme. In case the template was causing the issue, you will have to find a new theme for the website.


These simple methods to fix 404 error on WordPress posts or pages will help you in easily resolving the issue. However, if you are not confident about your technical skills you must contact a professional WordPress company.

Author Bio

Jacob Graves is a Sr. WordPress Developer at HireWPGeeks Ltd, a company that convert current website to wordpress in a convenient manner. He is a passionate writer and loves to share WordPress and SEO related tutorials.