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5 Simple Ways to Fix WordPress Posts Returning 404 Error

  • By Nauman Hawlader Russell
  • 21 Apr, 2021
  • Guide
  • 11 Min Read
Last Update: 28 Jul, 2022

You’ve come here because the posts on your WordPress return a 404 error.

Don’t panic!

Because we’ve got just what you need. WordPress is a widely used platform for managing content. However, if you do not maintain your website properly, chances are your page’s visitors will get redirected to a 404 error page.

— Some of the most common ways of tackling such WordPress error occurs are:

  • 404 Error caused due to WordPress Permalinks from the Admin Dashboard
  • Errors caused due to the .htaccess files Fixing or Resetting the corrupted WordPress .htaccess File
  • Fixing error of the local server
  • Disabling your WordPress Themes and Plugins

Along the course of this article, we shall discuss ways of fixing WordPress posts that return 404 errors.

What causes WordPress 404 Errors?

This error is caused when you try to open a page on your browser but cannot find it. Keep in mind that this error differs for browsers.

Some very common reasons why you might get a 404 error in WordPress

1. Problems with cache – Your browser may have already cached that 404 page.

2. Wrong URL – Simply a mistyped URL may also result in causing a 404 error.

3. Issue with DNS – This error may be caused by your Domain Name Server. You should keep in mind that it will take around 24 to 48 hours to propagate to the DNS. Given that your domain did not propagate to the DNS which you’ve added, in that case, this error might be caused.

4. Issues with WordPress compatibility – You might encounter this error:

  • if you are either using a plugin that doesn’t support your WordPress website.
  • OR a theme that doesn’t support your WordPress website.

What are WordPress 404 Errors?

The WordPress 404 implies an error that results when the posts on your WordPress website isn’t located within your server.

It is the type of error that you will see appearing spontaneously as you make necessary changes within your WordPress site, so this results in creating the broken links of the posts.

— You may notice that the error message that’s shown varies depending on the browser you’re using:

For Chrome – “404. That’s an error”

how to fix WordPress posts returning 404 error

For Firefox – “404 Not Found.”

404 not Found

What should I do before Troubleshooting WordPress 404 Errors?

As you edit files that are sensitive, in WordPress:

  • Always keep in mind to backup your website, beforehand.
  • Download and follow the steps of setting up a File Transfer Protocol client, preferably FileZilla.

5 ways: How to Fix WordPress posts returning 404 error

1. 404 Error caused due to WordPress Permalinks from the Admin Dashboard

For 404 error, it is rather specific to posts as opposed to site wide. Meaning, as you login to the WP admin area, it should remain unaffected. The error that you’ll notice here would say that the post has somehow disappeared. In such a scenario, do not panic. Because nothing exactly gets lost within WordPress.

— Your first stop here should be troubleshooting the site’s permalinks screen.

For fixing the WordPress 404 error from the WordPress website, go to:

  • WordPress Admin Dashboard
  • Then go to Settings ► Permalink
Permalink settings

Click on the save changes button within the permalink window

When you click on this, this will cause rewriting the newer changes to .htaccess file

2. Errors caused due to the .htaccess files

Here, you’ll be required to edit the designated .htaccess file if the aforementioned fix isn’t possible.

You will need to access the WordPress admin area for this fix.

The steps you need to follow are:

  • Begin with logging into your WordPress site’s cPanel account.
  • Click on the File Manager icon within the ‘Files’ window.
File Manager
  • Open your File Manager of the cPanel within a new tab.
  • Next up, click on the public_html folder within the left hand side column.
  • Proceed with right clicking the .htaccess file within the column on the right hand side.
  • Choose the change permission option.
  • Next step for you would be to check the boxes within the Write row by changing it to 666 from 644.
  • Make sure to click on the change permission on the bottom right hand to make necessary changes.
Change Permission
  • Next, you’ll need to go back to the WordPress permalink settings window and click on the Save Changes button, again.
Save Changes
  • You need to remember to change the .htaccess file permissions back to 644, irrespective of the result.
  • The next step for you would be to right click on the right hand side column.
  • Then click on the change permission button.
  • Next up, you need to uncheck both the World and Group boxes row.
  • This action will result in changing the file’s permission to 644 from 666.
  • Lastly, to save the necessary changes, you need to click on the change permission button.
Change Permission Indicator

3 Fixing or Resetting the corrupted WordPress .htaccess File

  • Login to your WordPress website using a FTP client such as FileZilla.
  • Next up, go to your WordPress root folder containing the installation files.
  • Then, lookup for the .htaccess file.
  • However, you may not find this file within cPanel.
  • To solve this issue, go to cPanel settings ► Show hidden files.
  • Once this appears, right click the .htaccess file and choose the Edit option.
htaccess File Edit
  • This file will open on your default text editor.
  • Once opened, you will be required to replace the code given below with the previous code of .htaccess file.

# BEGIN WordPress

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

# END WordPres
  • Make sure to save changes using the save option.
  • Once you’re done saving this, you need to close this file and FileZilla as well.
  • This should do the trick and solve the 404 error, when you open WordPress again.

4. Fixing error of the local server

There are times when the aforementioned ways may not help you in fixing the error.

The reason behind this might be because:

  • Various web developers, as well as designers, end up installing WordPress within a local server
  • Then they end up mitigating the WordPress site onto a newer server from a local server.

However, you should keep in mind that customized permalinks would not necessarily change these rules. This will result in giving you a “404 Not Found” error.

For fixing the error, of the local serve:

Open up the apache configuration




Next, enable the rewrite_module. This will result in the custom permalinks working effectively that weren’t accessible beforehand.

5. Disabling your WordPress Themes and Plugins:

You need to keep in mind that themes and plugins that are incompatible can result in causing this error. This can be considered as the last resort if the two aforementioned methods fail in fixing your WordPress site’s 404 error. It should be relatively straightforward for you to disable WordPress plugins. All you need to do is simply follow the steps below:

Step 1. Proceed to the All Plugins section within the Dashboard of your site.

Step 2. Choose your desired plugin and next up click the deactivate button, right below the name.

Deactivate WordPress Plugins

Step 3. For the next step, you’ll need to visit your site and cross check if the error still remains.

Step 4. If it still persists, in that case, you’ll need to carry out the same steps for the other plugins as well.

Word of adviceUpon disabling the plugins, if it doesn’t help solve your problem, then we suggest you to disable the WordPress theme.

For this –

  • Go to the themes section within the WordPress panel.
  • Alternate your active theme with another theme that you see within the suggestions.
  • Once you’re done changing the theme, make sure to open the website on another tab and see if the error still persists.
  • If not, then you’ll know for sure that the theme was causing the error.
Theme section

How do I Enable Custom Permalinks in WordPress?

One of the easiest ways you should follow for fixing WordPress posts from returning a 404 is to prevent it entirely.

To do this, you need to:

  • Click on the WAMP icon within the icon tray of the taskbar.
  • Navigate to Apache & then onto Apache modules.
  • Next up, you need to enable the rewrie_module, from the chosen drop down list.
  • This enables the designated permalink structure and works flawlessly
  • Otherwise, you would see a ‘Page not found’ message.

How can I possibly re-save permalinks?

– 404 Page not found Follow the steps below to re-save permalinks

  • Go to WordPress Dashboard.
  • Next go to Settings ►Permalinks proceed with clicking on “Save Changes”.
  • The next step for you would be to click on the link of that page, this should work from the “Edit Page” of the given page.

Related Article: How To Fix WordPress Syntax Error

What are the steps that I should follow for fixing 404 errors in WordPress posts?

– A complete video tutorial

Final Thoughts:

You may find that the WordPress 404 errors to be quite simple, however; you should keep in mind that, it can

Do a lot of damage!

If your target audience cannot find pages they are looking for then, they will search at other competitor sites to fulfill their requirements.

This equates to your traffic being lost!

— It also potentially means lesser conversions. But you should not feel hard done by this. Some of the ways of fixing WordPress posts 404 errors that we discussed along the course of this article

Russell Hawlader

Hi! This is Russell Hawlader, Since a very easy stage of my life, I grow a deep fondness for technology. Technology has led me to become passionate about themes and plugins. I spend most of my leisure researching the trending technologies and traveling. My blogs are the medium of sharing and spreading my knowledge to the whole world.