In this tutorial, we will show you how to fix WordPress posts returning 404 Error. A lot of people come across this error on their WordPress site where it shows “404 Error”. It is a very common error. If you are also facing this error then there is no need to worry about it.

This is a complete guide where we will be describing the complete method by which you can fix this error and we will be also talking about its causes. Let us get started.

What causes the 404 Error in WordPress?

If you are getting this error then it means that you are trying to open a page that your browser is not able to find. If you are using the Chrome browser and it is not able to find the page that you requested then it will show, “404, That’s an error”. Just like this, the message may differ in the case of different browsers.

Common Reasons for getting 404 Error in WordPress

Cache Problems: When you are trying to open a page and it keeps showing this error then it is probably because your browser may have already cache that page.

Wrong URL: A simple mistyped URL can also cause this error.

An issue with DNS: Sometimes, your Domain name server may cause this error. It takes 24-48 hours for your domain to propagate to the Domain name server. If your domain hasn’t propagated to the DNS that you have added then it is possibly the cause of this error.

WordPress compatibility issues: You may also get this error is you are using a theme or plugin that is not compatible with WordPress.

Methods to fix the 404 Error on WordPress

We will recommend you to force-refresh your WordPress website before trying any of the methods mentioned below because sometimes this error could be caused by your hosting provider. If even that doesn’t help then you can try using these methods.

Reset your WordPress Permalinks

Resetting the WordPress Permalinks will solve the error for most people as it is the most common problem. WordPress gives you a few options for the formatting of your posts. For example, it lets you use plain numeric URLs or set the name of each and every post as its URL.

There are two methods by which one can reset the WordPress Permalinks. You can either do it through the dashboard or you can also use FTP.

We will be describing both of the methods one by one. If you do not have access to the dashboard then you can skip to the second method.

Reset the WordPress Permalinks through Dashboard

Go to the settings of your WordPress dashboard and then click on the Permalinks tab. Now, you will have to change your site structure temporarily in order to reset the Permalinks.

For this, you will have to click on the plain option which is there under the Common settings and then save your changes.

After that, go ahead and type your select your previous permalinks type. The page will reload and your permalinks will be reset.

Reset your WordPress .htaccess File

The changes that you make to the WordPress Permalinks get saved to this file called .htaccess. This file generates URLs for the pages on your WordPress site. You will have to edit this .htaccess file manually to reset the permalinks if you do not have access to your dashboard.

Firstly, you will have to access your website using FTP and then you will have to go to the Root directory. The root directory contains your WordPress installation. In most cases, it is named as www or public_html or it can be also named after your site’s name.

Open this folder, navigate to the .htaccess file and right-click on it. You will now get two options: View/Edit. Now, click on edit and replace it with the default .htsaccess code which is given below:

Full Guide: How to Create the Default WordPress .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 that, save your changes. This will successfully reset your WordPress Permalinks. Yes, it was that simple to manually reset your WordPress permalinks. In case resetting the permalinks does not help you then you can try the other method described below.

Disable your WordPress Plugins and Themes

We have discussed in the previous part that incompatible themes and plugins can also cause this error. You can try this method if both the methods mentioned above failed to fix the 404 error.

It is very simple to disable your WordPress plugins. Just follow the procedure described below:

Step 1: Go to the All Plugins section in the dashboard of your WordPress website.

Step 2: Select any plugin and click on the deactivate button below its name.

Step 3: Visit your website and check if the error is still there.

Step 4: If it is, then repeat the same procedure with the other plugins.

If disabling the plugins does not help you then you can also try disabling your WordPress theme. It is pretty simple. Just go to the Themes section of your WordPress panel and then switch your active theme with any other theme that you see in the suggestions.

After changing the theme, open your website in another tab and check if the error still exists. If it does not exists then it was your theme that was causing this error. Look for a better theme and replace it.

Conclusion

This was the complete guide to solve the “404 Error” in WordPress. We mentioned all the methods that you can use to fix this problem including Resetting your WordPress permalinks, Resetting your WordPress .htaccess file, Disabling your WordPress plugins and themes.

If you are unable to fix this error on your WordPress site even after following all these described methods then there is definitely something wrong with your hosting. You should contact your web hosting provider in that case.

In case you have any doubts or queries regarding these methods, then you can drop them in the comments section.

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