Are you getting a “Not found” error when visiting pages on your WordPress site? If so, it’s a simple thing to fix…don’t worry! This brief guide shows you how easy it is:
About the WordPress “Not Found” Error
One of the scariest things a webmaster or blogger could see with 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. The initial panic of seeing your page(s) not working is overwhelming…but don’t fear, this is a simple fix, and the cause of the error is (what else but) a simple, stupid issue that takes seconds to remedy!
The Error Statement:
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.
The Cause of a WordPress Not Found Error
This error is most likely due to the fact that you’ve changed your WordPress Permalink Structure. It’s found in your Admin panel, under Settings >> Permalinks, and lets you choose how your URLs look. The default is always the first radio button, which says “http://www.mysite.com/?p=123”. However, if you’re like me – you might have gone for something more search engine friendly, by selecting the last option which says “Custom Structure” and inputted “/%category%/%postname%”.
This is where the error occurs.
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: “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.” – however, it is very easy to look past this message, which is a common mistake most webmasters make!)
How to Fix It!
To remedy this problem, simply FTP into your website space and right click your .htaccess file. Change the settings or “file attributes” to 666. Go back to your Permalinks page, choose the link structure you want, and save it. Now, it works!
Don’t forget to go back to your FTP space and CHMOD your .htaccess file back to 644 – otherwise, it’s a major security risk! It’s that simple!
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