How To Fix Error 404 Page Not Found In WordPress?

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How to fix WordPress error 404 page not found

WordPress 404 Error – Page Not Found

There can be multiple case scenarios like:

  • Is your WordPress showing 404 page not found error?
  • Showing 404 error after publishing or changing permalinks?
  • WordPress permalinks not working showing 404 error?

404 not found error in WordPress depicts that the server fails to locate the requested posts or pages in your site. Such errors may arise unpredictably or can occur after certain adjustments or improvements that are made to the WordPress site. Those improvements can be a theme change, changed permalinks, missing file or directory in WordPress etc.

In this article, you will learn about how to solve the 404 page not found error on your wordpress site and make website content accessible to you. Simply follow the steps mentioned below 🙂

These error messages can arise from many reasons. Often, a WordPress page returning 404 error occur due to the management of the site such as the deletion of a page or an article without any redirection.

The probability of such issues is maximum during the migration or redesign of the website.

This can also happen during the migration or redesigning of a site. In this case, the URLs may have changed or been rewritten and have not been correctly redirected to the new URLs.

Like the 500 internal server error or error establishing database connection. WordPress showing a Error 404 Not Found is another common problem that most WordPress users face at some point.

Other Common WordPress errors


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What is the Error 404 Not Found?

Who has never faced this problem? You do a search on the Internet from your favorite search engine, Google, Bing, and trust it as to the site on which you will land; or else click on a link from a site you are currently looking at hoping to continue reading or benefit from a product or service and there it is, drama!

The browser displays one of the messages that we saw above or another of the same style: Error 404 page not found or 404 Page Not Found.

What Causes A WordPress 404 Error?

Some common causes of 404 errors.

  • A mistyped URL.
  • Caching problems.
  • An issue with your Domain Name Server (DNS) settings.
  • WordPress compatibility issues.

If you happen to get this error on the entire site’s content, it is generally because of a problem in WordPress site’s permalinks. Whereas, if you find it on some specific pages, it is most often a result of changing some part of the content’s slug without fixing a redirect.

When this is the case for a page on a website (or any document), it means that the content accessible at the Web address URL you have just accessed does not exist or no longer exists. The difference between the two can sometimes help a user find the right URL if they use common sense.

Let’s take an example, to show that if the message corresponds to content that does not exist – if you really want to access the content – sometimes get there all the same. A few days ago, I was browsing a website that linked to another one (or rather thought it was).

Unfortunately, this link (which would have been much appreciated for the site that received it) started in the following way: http : // www  . In this case (this is not always true) the webmaster was most likely well-intentioned, except that he went too fast.

Result of the webmaster’s mistake, when clicking on the link, the site was obviously inaccessible. Frustrating for the user (in this case here, me) and the webmaster of the site who would have received the link if the latter had been inserted correctly.

As a webmaster, you went too fast in making internal link and in a case like this, you need to correct the link as soon as possible because it may risk losing a very large majority of visitors (and sales who go with it) who are not necessarily going to bother doing what we just mentioned or trying to access your product page (or blog article or other) by another means.

The consequences can be very unfortunate for both the traffic on the site and for the turnover of an online store, you must be vigilant and watch this closely to correct the error 404 as soon as it occurs.

To be able to monitor all this, the Google Search Console will be ideal, and to save time in corrective actions, we strongly advise you to use 404 broken link finder tools mentioned below in this article.

Error 404 Not Found Variations

Because each web browser displays error messages differently, you might see a different message for this error. Other common variations include:

  • Error 404
  • 404 Not Found
  • HTTP Error 404
  • 404 – file or directory not found. wordpress
  • ERROR 404. PAGE NOT FOUND On WordPress site
  • The requested URL was not found on this server.
  • The page cannot be found
  • We can’t find the page you’re looking for.
  •  the requested url was not found on this server. wordpress

The Error 404 not found message is treated suitably by many sites that fetch a custom page to cover the error and not just show one of the typical messages above.

Therefore, a visitor may not experience the error message at all since many sites rather deploy interesting or creative 404 pages.

404 error is problematic for your users’ experience but also harmful for your SEO positioning.

Negative Impact Of 404 Errors

More specifically, where a permalink issue is causing sitewide 404 errors, Google crawlers’ wont be able to penetrate through and index the site’s content. Consequently, one should immediately resolve 404 errors. There are a lot of experts out there stating that 404s will ruin your rankings and that you should fix them as soon as possible.

In addition to losing visitors who do not find what they are looking for, are giving negative signals to Google. First, it slows down Google robots, which then give less importance to your site.

In addition, if a page receives good quality external links and it no longer exists, all the popularity of the links is no longer transmitted correctly to the entire site. 404s have an impact on rankings. But not the rankings of a whole site. If a page returns a 404 error code, it means it doesn’t exist, so Google and other search engines will not index it. Pretty simple, right?

Do 404s Hurt SEO and Rankings of a Website?

You can discover 404 errors in Google Search Console or by installing a third-party plugin like Redirection which lists 404 errors.

If a user arrives on a page of a site with a 404 error via an internal link, an external link or even via social networks, he will be frustrated not being able to access the content he wanted to see.

This can give an unprofessional image to a brand and cause a future rejection on the part of the Internet user who will remember this bad experience.

How to Fix Error 404 Page Not Found in WordPress?

Because this error discloses inconsistency with a link, it can typically resolve the same by properly configuring and saving WordPress permalinks. You should also correct the linking structure using a .htaccess file.

1. Save Permalinks

It is a simple solution to fix 404 error in WordPress by saving WordPress permalinks. This will update .htaccess file with the correct configurations for WordPress website.

To save permalinks, login to WP dashboard and go to Settings > Permalinks.

how to fix wordpress posts returning 404 error

Then, scroll down and click on Save Changes.

fix error 404 not found on wordpress site

Now try accessing the posts to see if the 404 error is fixed.

2. Manually Reset Permalinks

If saving the permalinks did not solve the 404 issues, then you can manually reset permalinks by editing the .htaccess file.

To do this, access WordPress files using FTP. When connected via FTP, locate .htaccess file and edit it.

wordpress 404 error after changing permalinksAdd in one of the following codes, save, and upload the updated file to your server:

A) When WordPress Site in the Main Domain

If site is on the main domain, e.g. www.yoursite.com, add this code to .htaccess file:

# 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

After editing and uploading a new file, refresh your site and access posts/pages to see if this fixes the 404 issues.

B) If WordPress Site in a Subdomain

If your site is installed in a subdomain, such as blog.yoursite.com, use this code instead.

RewriteEngine On
 RewriteBase /
 RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
 RewriteRule ^wp-admin$ wp-admin/ [R=301,L]
 RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
 RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
 RewriteRule ^ - [L]
 RewriteRule ^(wp-(content|admin|includes).*) $1 [L]
 RewriteRule ^(.*\.php)$ $1 [L]
 RewriteRule . index.php [L]

C) When WordPress in subdirectory

If your site is on a subdirectory, such as www.yoursite.com/blog, edit .htaccess to include this code instead.

RewriteEngine On
 RewriteBase /
 RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
 RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?wp-admin$ $1wp-admin/ [R=301,L]
 RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
 RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
 RewriteRule ^ - [L]
 RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(wp-(content|admin|includes).*) $2 [L]
 RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(.*\.php)$ $2 [L]
 RewriteRule . index.php [L]

3. Set Up 301 Redirects for Moved or Renamed Content

The 301 redirect is the most effective solution for correcting 404 errors on your site. However, it must be done correctly, making sure to redirect to the right pages as appropriate:

  • The page with error 404 has been replaced on the site by a new page which has a different URL: We are redirecting directly to this new page.
  • The page with error 404 has not been replaced on the site: We are redirecting to a page with similar content. If no similar content exists, it is also possible to redirect to the category page of the old content. As a last resort, redirect to the home page (Do not do this systematically).
  • Before deleting a page and redirecting, be sure to check if it has backlinks (external links), visits and if it is still well-positioned in Google.

To begin, you can take the help of a free Redirection plugin to fix redirects from your WordPress dashboard. After installing and configuring the plugin, visit the “Tools” menu and select “Redirection” and then type the 404 page URL in the “Source URL” box and the new working URL in the “Target URL” box.

how to fix wordpress error 404 page not found

If you use a CMS like WordPress, it is possible to use a plugin like this one. It allows automatic redirection by indicating the old and the new URL without going through the .htaccess file.

Implementing 301 Redirects Manually

Manually in the .htaccess of your hosting panel, using the piece of code:

  • To 301 Redirect a Page:

RedirectPermanent /old-file.html http:// www.domain.com/new-file.html

  • To 301 Redirect an Entire Domain:

RedirectPermanent / http:// www.new-domain.com/

Once you have inserted the commands to 301 redirect your pages, you need to make sure that there is a blank line at the end of the file. Your server will read the .htaccess file line by line, which means you need to throw an “end line” character to signify that you’re finished. An easy way to do this is to put a blank line at the bottom of the file.

Now that you’ve cleaned up your 404 errors, you can now anticipate this type of problem by creating a well-designed custom 404 page. You can in particular take inspiration from Google which offers creations all more original than the others.

Edit .htaccess

You need to edit the .htaccess file (and add a snippet of code at the top) which can be done in a number of ways. You can either get it done through an FTP program’s edit mode or edit the file on your PC and then upload it to the server via FTP or you can do this via cPanel >> File Manager.

This is the code:

# BEGIN WordPress

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

# End WordPress

WordPress 404 Error – Internet Explorer Cannot Display The Webpage

Sometimes your WordPress website works fine on other web browsers, except Internet Explorer. Indeed, IE ignores the 404 conditions since the dawn of IE.

However, a few weeks ago, Microsoft introduced a system update for IE7 and IE8 which can cause the 404 error to stop immediately on your website, even if your website returns valid content.

troubleshoot-and-fix-wordpress-404-error

The solution is simple. You will have to put the code in header.php which is located in your theme folder.

header(‘HTTP/1.1 200 OK’);

“The requested URL was not found on this server

Changing and Update WordPress Url in Database

Let’s assume you encounter the below error on your WordPress website.

“The requested URL was not found on this server. If you entered the URL manually, please check your spelling and try again.”

wordpress 404 page not showing

In such a scenario, visit your PHPMyAdmin, then locate your database name and select wp-option, e.g. blog → wp-option.

404 file or directory not found wordpress

Now change the URL like your website URL is https://www.abc.com/blog/ replace it to http://localhost/blog.

wordpress page not found but it exists

Related Read How to Backup WordPress Database Manually?

Fix WordPress 404 Not Found Error on Local Server

At the staging level, quite a few developers and designers install WordPress on their desktops and laptops by running a local server. To that effect, a general problem arises with using WordPress on a local server is that they find it difficult to get permalink rewrite rules to give desired results.

Despite fixing fix the permalinks for posts and pages, the website still shows the “404 Not Found” error.

error 404 not found - what does it mean & how to fix it

In this situation, you need to turn on the rewrite module in your WAMP, XAMPP, or MAMP installation.

Navigate to the taskbar and find the WAMP icon. After that navigate to Apache → Apache modules.

what is error 404 not found

It will enable a long list of modules that you can toggle on and off. Find the one called “rewrite_module” and click it so that it is checked.

how to fix 404 page not found error in wordpress

Then check out your permalinks again.

How to Create Your Own Error 404 Not Found Page

While you can do your best to prevent 404 errors by following the tips above, it’s impossible to entirely eliminate 404 errors because some things are just plain outside your control. It’s not uncommon for small WordPress sites to have thousands of 404 errors every month.

To provide a more user-friendly error page, you can use one of the many 404 page plugins. For example, the free 404 page plugin lets you set up a custom 404 error page with:

  • A search box
  • Important links
  • Contact information

But remember, keep your 404 page light for better performance.

Related Read – List Of WordPress Website Maintenance Tasks

Tools to Check/Monitor 404 Errors WordPress?

Adopting a foresighted approach, it’s crucial to analyze which requests are resulting in 404 errors at your site. This helps you in:

  • Find broken links that are directing visitors to a page or a site that is unavailable. Eventually, you can take all remedial steps to fix such broken links.
  • Understand which pages or pieces of content have difficulty, coming in the preview of Google crawlers. Then you can make necessary corrections primarily by setting up a redirect.
  • Troubleshoot issues and improve performance with regard to 404 errors.

Use WordPress Plugin

If you want to use a WordPress plugin, the aforementioned Redirection plugin can help you monitor for 404 errors from your WordPress dashboard.

 Use 404 error broken link checking Tools

You can also use a third-party audit tool like Ahrefs to monitor for 404 errors on your WordPress site. You can even set this up to run on a schedule.

Check every link on your website to determine whether the link leads to a 404 error using tools for checking broken links is the broken link crawl (or scan) tool.

Crawl tools:

Use Analytics Tools

For example, you could trigger the following event onload of the error page:

ga('send', 'event', 'error', '404', location.pathname);

With the help of Google Analytics, you can set up a custom report to track 404 errors from external links.

Use Free broken link checker / dead links tools

Find 404 error pages using search console google

Google Search Console is often used less. However, lastly, you can track 404 errors along with other important information about your site and its referencing is indicated there. Just go to Crawl → Crawl Errors, -Not found, to view a list of 404 errors that Google has encountered. This can also in particular help you to improve the user experience and the visibility of your website.

Find-404-pages-using-search-console-google

In most cases these solutions will fix the WordPress posts 404 error. However, if it does not work for you, then you may probably need help.


Get in touch with our team of WordPress Experts To Solve Errors on Your WordPress Site.


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