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How to Fix Wordpress' "Not Found" Error

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wordpress-not-found-error-fix

Are you getting a "not found" error when visiting pages during the setup of your Wordpress site? It's a simple thing to fix...don't worry! This brief guide shows you how easy it is.

Get your Wordpress site's admin panel open, navigate over to "Settings" and let's get started.

Is This the Error You're Seeing?

Not Found

The requested URL /my-category/my-page was not found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

About the Wordpress "Not Found" Error

If you're reading this, you must have gotten it!

One of the scariest things a webmaster or blogger could see on their Wordpress blog is the dreaded "Not Found" error. If it shows up, it appears when visiting any non-home page area of your site. Don't worry, though - it's a simple, stupid issue that takes seconds to fix :)

The Cause

Why did this happen in the first place?

This error is most likely due to the fact that you've changed your Wordpress permalink structure. The settings for your permanlink structure are found in your Admin panel, under Settings » Permalinks. Basically, it lets you choose how the URLs of your Wordpress site will look.

wordpress-not-found-error-fix

The default is always the first radio button, which says "http://www.mysite.com/?p=123". However, if you're like me - you'd rather have something more search engine friendly like "http://www.mysite.com/category/page" -- and you probably selected the last option which says "Custom Structure," then saved the change. This is where the error occurs!

Here's the reason why: by default, your .htaccess file is CHMODded to 644: disallowing Wordpress to successfully edit it. You'll even see the message in your admin panel under "Permalinks" that says this:

If your .htaccess file were writable, we could do this automatically, but it isn't so these are the mod_rewrite rules you should have in your .htaccess file. Click in the field and press CTRL + a to select all.

It is very easy to look past this message due to the fact that it's at the bottom of the screen, appearing in italics, and nearly blending in with the box above it. Anyway - in order to successfully change your permalink structure, you would have had to make the permission settings of your .htaccess file more lenient, so that Wordpress can be able to write changes within it.

wordpress-not-found-error-fix

If you see the "If your .htaccess file were writeable..." message, that's root of your problem! Read below for the simple fix :)

How to Fix the Error - Don't worry, it's super easy...and quick

  1. Get into your website's FTP space, and look for the .htaccess file
  2. Highlight the .htaccess file in your FTP program, and open its CHMOD settings. It's probably set to 644. Change it to 666.
  3. Go back into your Wordpress site's admin section, and navigate to Settings » Permalinks.
  4. Edit the link structure to whatever you originally wanted, and then save it. You should no longer see a "grayed out" .htaccess box on this page, saying that the file is not writable.
  5. Visit any page of your site, refresh, and confirm that the error no longer occurs.
  6. Finally, as a security measure, go back to your FTP space and change your .htaccess file from 666 back to 644 (for security purposes) since you probably will never have to edit it through the Wordpress admin panel ever again.

Comments/Questions?

Yo Patel from India on March 28, 2020:

I had a similar problem with my site https://appleiphonetips.us. I came to your site from Google search and read your article fully. After I applied these fixes, I found that the problem is now gone.

Thank a lot.

Yogesh Khetani on February 14, 2020:

It's was a pretty common error with my blog https://blucellphones.us/ when using a low cost hosting but ever since I have moved to Cloudways, the error is gone.

certsout on September 25, 2019:

Awesome blog. I would love to see true life prepared to walk, so please share more informative updates. Great work keeps it up. https://www.certsout.com/1z0-1060-test.html

BeingWp on August 21, 2019:

thank you you have been a great help

Niyazahmad on July 04, 2019:

Fast finaces jhuta firod he kiya

Maria on June 29, 2019:

Totally Worked! Thank you!

Roozbeh on May 09, 2019:

thank you. very useful

Lauryn Emery on March 16, 2019:

Stop sending me message

Remove my number from there website

maltruant on December 07, 2018:

thank you for this www.technicalbud.com

ANUDEV C K on November 21, 2018:

please give a video solution for this.

Claudio on September 29, 2018:

Thank you

Bikash on September 11, 2018:

How to find my website's FTP space? Please

Jay on August 23, 2018:

Thanks

Ahmad awad on July 12, 2018:

Thank you very much, I think it is very big problem but it is very small

you are awsome , you saved my time

Shawn on June 14, 2018:

Thank you very much. This was very helpful!

Marta on June 07, 2018:

Thanks, very helpful!

Clarence on June 04, 2018:

Great... worked for me. Thanks alot

INeedADollar on May 25, 2018:

Changing the permissions to 666 worked. Thank you.

Deshan Walallawita on February 28, 2018:

Thank you very much sit, your help was really kind and appreciated

Alex on February 14, 2018:

Thank you! it works

Obi KenObi on January 25, 2018:

It works for me Thanks a lot

Brill on January 21, 2018:

Brill! Worked a treat i swapped my website from a different server then kept getting "NOT FOUND" on all links.

Niels Thomas on December 28, 2017:

thanks a lot!

I did default first. Saved and everything worked again. The changed it back again to "Post Name" and everything was fine. Might be a quicker way to do it.

Awesome post!

thanks on December 27, 2017:

you help me sir, thanks......100%

Vahid on December 22, 2017:

Great! my problem solved by changing permalink to default and all your comment done for security. Thanks alot

you are professional

Jim on November 28, 2017:

Super! Thank you for solution!

olusola on November 26, 2017:

thanks bro. problem solved by changing the permalink to plain/default.

Rajan malik on November 20, 2017:

Thanks dear, It's done with your help. Great!

pradeep on October 30, 2017:

thanks superb solution

jarvis on October 23, 2017:

Thanks for the simple and elegant solution. Much appreciated. God bless your brains.. more

Daniel on October 13, 2017:

Thanks for the simple and elegant solution. Much appreciated.

wibill on October 08, 2017:

I had this issue after transferring my site to a new host using a wordpress plugin to make the transfer. None of my pages would work. I tried the fix but it still didn't work but information from this post at least got the site running again. Thank you! I ended up changing the permalink structure to PLAIN and now at least you can navigate to the posts. I still can't get it to change to a custom or page title structure but at least it works. The really weird thing is that they work using PLAIN by not any other structure. I changed .htaccess to 666, and it was indeed 644, but for some reason that didn't help. Anyway, thanks for the tip and if anyone discovers why this happened or has encountered and solved it, please post.

joe on September 30, 2017:

first time i read something and it works first try....

justin on August 20, 2017:

Thanks soo much - worked perfectly!

DonDuke on August 18, 2017:

Thanks... it works!

Daniel Valdez on July 27, 2017:

Thank you for your help, I'll sleep easy tonight. Greetings and luck!

Juliance89 on July 17, 2017:

Thank you very much for your help!

Sergio From Brazil on July 17, 2017:

Thanks man. Works fine!

Murali on July 01, 2017:

Fantastic, I wasted time to find out the way out and I could simply do with your post. Really your post living even now

sid on May 17, 2017:

Hi,Thank you it is working fine !

David on May 13, 2017:

Sadly, the information in this page is flat wrong and 14 years out of date and dangerous making some really bad assumptions.

Before 2004 and in long obsolete Apache module bases PHP where scripts are not run under owner permissions, (an extreme minority today incidentally), then the permissions and information given would be partially correct but that is not the case officially since 2004 not with the vast overwhelming various server deployments in existence today and the person who wrote this post should know better than to write something that inept or without making the proper caveats and informational notations that would prevent most people from actually making the problem far worse.

644 permissions means both Writable and Readable in most every type of commonly used deployment today and is the correct permission for .htaccess which would allow scripts to write to the file.

666 on the other hand would only be applicable in very long obsolete instances where PHP is deployed as antiquated mod_php without any current owner based deployment such as suphp, fastcgi, fcgi, or any of the many others in use today or even the also obsolete phpsuexec either.

Even worse, both 777 and 666 are special exception permission masks which literally mean NO ACCESS at all in most modern systems and instead of making the file writable as the poster wrote, it would do the exact inverse opposite and render the file unable to be accessed by any of the scripts whatsoever and block write access instead of enabling it.

The original pre-2004 versions of PHP which were highly insecure used the EVERYONE global bit or in the case of a permission setting with three numbers, it was using back then the 3rd digit so in 644, the permission used back then was the final "4" only so when you changed to 666 on those old systems then the 3rd digit changed to a "6" making the file readable and writable which the author of the post ignorantly assumes is what everyone is using blindly the way they wrote their post which is a dangerous and largely wrong assumption to make as those were replaced many times since then and by far the minority today and technically shouldn't be in use at all anymore!

Meanwhile, in contrast today's systems using the FIRST number only so in the case of 644, the only number used is the "6" which already makes the file both readable and writable and today's 644 is the exact same identical permission of what 666 used to be way back years ago prior to 2004.

To prevent laziness in security and forcing people to stop making the mistakes of the past, both 666 and 777 were now hardcoded into script systems and Linux security to instead be a special exception under certain uses like scripts to instead now mean 000 or rather NO ACCESS AT ALL.

Instead of telling you to make your htaccess file writable, the fool who wrote this post instead blindly told most of you to do precisely the exact opposite and take your already writable file and make it not accessible! Major oops!

A few out of sheer dumb luck and improper poorly managed servers with no security may be lucky and it work for you only because you are not running what you should be running and are wide open to be hacked among other problems and these few fools are the only ones who might benefit from the fool who wrote this post. The rest of you, following any instructions given in this post will do you harm instead if help which kind if makes a statement to the competence of whoever wrote the post!

By the way, just for the record, recent FILE NOT FOUND for SEO rewritten links under WordPress has nothing whatsoever to do with htaccess as much as plugin incompatibilities with recent changes in both Apache and PHP which would have been better served the poster outlining those than making largely incorrect and obsolete statements regarding permissions which are not related to the issue at hand incidentally.

roquezam on May 02, 2017:

thanks for sharing

Mercy on April 25, 2017:

Thanks

maria on April 20, 2017:

How to fix this error .?

Not Found

Apologies, but the page you requested could not be found.Perhaps searching will help

This error always showed up everytime i open my website. Pls help me . Im using wordpress

Eliana on March 07, 2017:

Genius!!! Thanks a lot!!!

Swami on February 22, 2017:

Thanks Man, It Works...!!!

Santhosh Kumar S on January 27, 2017:

Wow... This is an amazing article. This is what i search for almost two days. Thanks.. It Works...

ali on January 10, 2017:

Hello,

I did exactly what you said above, however I am still receiving the 404 error! :( My website is: www.mallofpakistan.pk

Please help me out. I can even give you the admin access if you want.

Best,

Ali

iwmudika on January 04, 2017:

work great :), thank you for your great post its very helpful!

Yogesh Khetani on December 30, 2016:

Well, I got the similar error on http://yogeshkhetani.com/ and guess what I searched on Google and landed on your site. I followed what you said and my blog is working fine right now.

Nishesh patel on December 24, 2016:

Thanks Brother

Dan on December 08, 2016:

THANK YOU!!! You just saved my day :)

Ann810 from Sunny Cali on May 21, 2016:

I fix it, just select the "redirect" in the settings for the domain. And now your site should show in search engines.

Ann810 from Sunny Cali on March 09, 2016:

Hi, how do you fix this same error for a Blogger . com website?

Rodney from Canada on February 24, 2016:

Excellent article with such a simple to fix.

Eron Rodrigues on November 09, 2015:

Thanks!

anonymous on August 19, 2013:

s

mariacarbonara on May 31, 2013:

I usually change mine to postname as soon as I setup the blog and never change it again!

anonymous on April 03, 2013:

muchas gracias the lo agradezco!!!! thank you so much!!!

anonymous on February 17, 2013:

Hello Dear, after i install the wordpress plugin, i just found an error on my every post except homepage, The 404 msg is here which come on every post after opening, Please guide me. Thanks in advance.

Not Found

The requested URL /2013/02/rich-text-for-mail-1-2-4-by-ryan-petrich-has-minor-fixed-now/ was not found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Apache/2.2.23 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.23 OpenSSL/1.0.0-fips mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 Server at www.iphoneleaks.net Port 80

anonymous on January 28, 2013:

@anonymous: not working with me too :(

have you solved the problem?,, been searching but con't find :(

anonymous on January 06, 2013:

If after doing all that was suggested in this site and you still get the 404 error, then try editing the httpd.conf file under the apache config directory and set the following params:

Search for the word "mod_rewrite" (without quotes) and uncomment it.

Search for "AllowOverride" (without quotes) and delete None and type All

For more information read: codex [dot] wordpress [dot] org/Using_Permalinks

anonymous on December 28, 2012:

Not working. My wordpress site still get 404 error, all pages are not visitable except the home page.:(

anonymous on December 20, 2012:

Thank you! Uncomplicated fix too.

anonymous on December 15, 2012:

spotless !!

anonymous on December 06, 2012:

PERFECT! WOW THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

anonymous on December 05, 2012:

Ahhh omg this is so helpful, thank you!!! :)

anonymous on December 01, 2012:

@anonymous: YOU ROCK KERRYAMCLINA!

anonymous on November 27, 2012:

It must be simple, but to find the right problem??? Thanks

anonymous on November 19, 2012:

amazingly helpful. You saved me a fortune !!! it was just a 11th hour war-like situation for one client who was facing this issue and thanks to your blog, I could fix it!!!

Thanx a million

anonymous on November 06, 2012:

Before going crazy and rewriting all codes, first make sure you have the "rewrite_module" checked, in Apache > Apache modules > check rewrite_module. Hope it helps :)

TOPTENGAMERS on November 01, 2012:

Thanks It was really very helpful. OnPage SEO Factors

anonymous on November 01, 2012:

fgsdghhkhlhfdsfdfdsfsdfds

anonymous on October 27, 2012:

Awesome, thanks! Perfect solution for this problem that I encountered when moving my site to another server.

anonymous on October 25, 2012:

When I try to login to my site Admin I am getting redirected to a 'not found' page so I can't get in the permalink section to update it. Can you help?!

anonymous on October 21, 2012:

thanks helped out a lot

anonymous on October 20, 2012:

worked great right from my dashboard, didn't need to create any new files. Thanks so much!

anonymous on October 12, 2012:

Thanks!! Was the exact problem. You can also just copy and paste that code into your .htaccess file yourself if you want to avoid messing with the chmod settings!

anonymous on October 08, 2012:

Thanks for sharing this solution you saved my day

anonymous on October 05, 2012:

Thanks so much. The fix worked like a gem. Of course I had to create and add a .htaccess file first, but after that, everything was as you said.

anonymous on September 28, 2012:

This help me. Many thanks.

anonymous on September 07, 2012:

Thank you for this ! I was able to solve my problem really quickly (I was very worried so thank you so much)

anonymous on September 02, 2012:

Hi, In my google webmaster tools it says " The target URL does not exist and your server is not returning a 404 (file not found) error". Can someone tell me how to fix this please? Thanks / Tissy

anonymous on September 01, 2012:

Changing ,htaccess file permissions worked a treat. Thank you

anonymous on August 16, 2012:

Thanks a lot ;-))

anonymous on August 12, 2012:

no website, no letting me in the WP area...Wordpress SUCKS

anonymous on August 08, 2012:

Thanks this helped me to fix the wordpress issue on my site http://www.jobstoday.com.ng

anonymous on August 08, 2012:

Thanks this helped me to fix the wordpress issue on my site http://www.jobstoday.com.ng

raicabogdan on August 08, 2012:

@anonymous: Its the same thing really, either edit the .htaccess or just reset the permalinks inside your admin section and it will edit the .htaccess for you.

anonymous on August 02, 2012:

I hadn't changed the permalink settings but changing the .htaccess settings resolved it just the same.

Thanks for the tip.

anonymous on July 28, 2012:

hey, thanks for the info ... its works well in my web...

fthiesen on July 20, 2012:

Nice tip! I had this problem before and spent days trying to solve it.

syauqy on July 19, 2012:

Hey, thanks for the information! i never know the solution was pretty easy:)

anonymous on July 18, 2012:

I am running wordpress eCommerce site using woocommerce, but my product categories are not working, and this method did not help fix it. My site works fine with the buttons next and previous on www.ethiopianclothing.net/shop but the problem is on www.ethiopianclothing.net/shop/ethiopian-womens-clothing/ after displaying the products on this category when you click next to go to www.ethiopianclothing.net/shop/ethiopian-womens-clothing/2/ it returns error 404 message Please help me with this

anonymous on June 30, 2012:

I've just changed common settings in the Permalink Settings to "Day and name" and it all worked for me :)) the Thank you very much for your very helpful information !!!

anonymous on June 27, 2012:

Thanks so much for your very helpful information.

anonymous on June 26, 2012:

I don't know why, but the categories wouldn't work, then i saw your post and i change the permalink from "date and name", to "post name" and its working now! (: You point me to the solution, the permalinks, so thanks a lot!

anonymous on June 24, 2012:

great, helped me too. Good post...thank you! Keep the good job

anonymous on June 20, 2012:

Nice blog. Read More @ NAIJA SOFTWARE CHEATS www.naijasoftwarecheats.com and softwarecheats.blogspot.com

anonymous on June 20, 2012:

Thanks for the post. Read more @ www.naijasoftwarecheats.com and softwarecheats.blogspot.com