Custom Permalinks Return 404 Errors

18/12/2018

If you are getting 404 error when accessing pages, please see the information below.

Symptoms

I just setup my WordPress installation and my awesome new Avada theme. I went into WP Admin > Settings > Permalinks and selected something other than the default option. But now when I try and navigate to a page, it just returns a generic "404 Error - Page not found" message. What gives?

Likely Causes

Firstly, this is not a theme issue. The problem involves your core WordPress installation, or your web server configuration. That said, there a few things that can cause this to happen:

  • Apache II mod_rewrite module is not being loaded by your web server.
  • Your WordPress .htaccess file is missing or not writeable by the web server.
  • Apache II is configured to disallow overrides by your .htaccess file.

Solutions

There are several solutions to this issue. Please see the bulleted list below.

  • First make sure that mod_rewrite is installed and enabled on your Apache II web server, and also make sure that the webserver allows your .htaccess file to override the server directory configuration.
  • Make sure that your WordPress .htaccess file is present in your WordPress installation. If it is not, simply create a blank file called .htaccess and upload it to your WordPress installation folder.
  • Set permissions on your .htaccess file that allows your web server to write to the file - CHMOD 666.
  • Go back and set your permalinks option to the "default" option and save the change. Then, set it to something other than the default and save the change.
  • If your .htaccess file is writeable by the web server, it will contain new directives that sets rewrite rules for your custom permalink option.
  • If it is not writeable, you will see a message below your permalinks screen that contains the rule set you need to add manually into your .htaccess file, save it, and upload it back to the WordPress installation folder.
  • Check to see if you can navigate from your front page menu links without error.
  • If the issue persists, contact your web host support team for further assistance.
For additional information on working with permalinks in Wordpress, visit the WordPress Codex.