Troubleshooting WordPress 404 Error: Practical Solutions for Effective Website Management

Welcome to my blog, where I share practical solutions for effective website management, specifically focusing on troubleshooting the WordPress 404 Error. As a professional website designer specializing in WordPress solutions for small businesses, I understand the frustration that comes with encountering this error and the impact it can have on your website’s user experience and search engine rankings. In this blog post, I will provide you with a comprehensive guide to troubleshooting the WordPress 404 Error, offering practical solutions to help you resolve this issue and ensure smooth website management. So, let’s dive in and discover how to tackle this problem head-on!

Understanding the WordPress 404 Error

Before we delve into the troubleshooting solutions, it’s essential to understand what the WordPress 404 Error actually means. So, what exactly is a 404 Error? In simple terms, it occurs when a user tries to access a page on your website that doesn’t exist. This can happen due to various reasons, such as broken links, incorrect permalinks, or deleted pages.

When a visitor encounters a 404 Error, it can leave a negative impression and make them question the credibility of your website. Additionally, search engines like Google consider 404 Errors as broken links, impacting your website’s overall SEO performance.

Common Causes of WordPress 404 Error

To effectively troubleshoot the WordPress 404 Error, it’s crucial to identify the common causes behind it. By understanding the root causes, you can implement the appropriate solutions and prevent the error from occurring in the future. Here are some common causes:

  1. Broken Links: Broken links are one of the primary causes of the WordPress 404 Error. These are links that lead to non-existent or moved pages on your website. It could be due to a mistyped URL, improper redirection, or a deleted page.

  2. Incorrect Permalink Settings: WordPress allows you to customize your website’s permalink structure. If the permalink structure is incorrectly set up or modified, it can result in 404 Errors.

  3. Plugin or Theme Conflicts: Sometimes, conflicts between plugins or themes can lead to the WordPress 404 Error. It can occur when a plugin or theme interferes with the proper functioning of your website’s URLs and routing.

  4. Server Configuration Issues: In some cases, the server configuration can contribute to the WordPress 404 Error. This can happen due to misconfigured server settings or inadequate rewrite rules.

Now that we have a better understanding of the causes behind the WordPress 404 Error, let’s move on to the practical solutions for troubleshooting this issue and ensuring effective website management.

Troubleshooting Solutions for WordPress 404 Error

Solution 1: Checking for Broken Links

One of the primary steps in troubleshooting the WordPress 404 Error is to identify and fix broken links. Broken links can be detrimental to user experience and SEO, so it’s crucial to address them promptly. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Use a Broken Link Checker Plugin: WordPress offers several plugins that can automatically scan your website for broken links. Install and activate a reliable plugin like "Broken Link Checker" to identify broken links.

  2. Manually Inspect Internal Links: If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can manually inspect your website’s internal links. Go through each page and post, clicking on the links to ensure they lead to the intended destination.

  3. Monitor External Links: External links can also contribute to broken links if the linked page no longer exists. Regularly check the external links on your website and update or remove them as necessary.

Once you have identified the broken links on your website, take the necessary steps to fix them. You can either update the links to lead to the correct page or remove them altogether. This will help prevent the 404 Error and enhance user experience.

Solution 2: Correcting Permalink Settings

Another common cause of the WordPress 404 Error is incorrect permalink settings. Permalinks play a crucial role in defining the structure of your website’s URLs. To correct permalink settings, follow these steps:

  1. Access Permalink Settings: In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to "Settings" and click on "Permalinks." Here, you’ll find various options to choose from.

  2. Select a Suitable Permalink Structure: Choose a permalink structure that aligns with your website’s content and SEO goals. The "Post name" structure is often recommended as it creates user-friendly URLs.

  3. Save Changes: After selecting the desired permalink structure, click on "Save Changes" to update your website’s permalink settings.

By correctly configuring your permalink settings, you can eliminate the WordPress 404 Error caused by incorrect URLs. Remember to test your website’s pages and posts after making the changes to ensure they are accessible without encountering any errors.

Solution 3: Resolving Plugin or Theme Conflicts

Conflicts between plugins or themes can also trigger the WordPress 404 Error. To identify and resolve these conflicts, follow these steps:

  1. Deactivate Plugins: Start by deactivating all plugins on your website. This will help determine if any specific plugin is causing the 404 Error. After deactivating the plugins, test your website to see if the issue persists.

  2. Activate Default Theme: If deactivating the plugins didn’t resolve the error, switch to a default WordPress theme like "Twenty Twenty-One." If the error disappears, it indicates a conflict with your previous theme.

  3. Identify and Resolve Conflicts: If deactivating plugins or changing the theme resolved the error, you can narrow down the cause by reactivating each plugin/theme one by one. This way, you can identify the conflicting element and take appropriate action, such as updating the plugin/theme or seeking alternatives.

Resolving conflicts between plugins or themes can help eliminate the WordPress 404 Error and ensure seamless website management. It’s essential to keep your plugins and themes updated to minimize compatibility issues and maintain a smooth functioning website.

Solution 4: Checking Server Configuration

In some cases, server configuration issues can contribute to the WordPress 404 Error. To check and resolve server configuration problems, consider the following steps:

  1. Contact Your Web Hosting Provider: If you suspect server configuration issues, it’s best to get in touch with your web hosting provider. They can offer insights into your server settings and troubleshoot any misconfigurations.

  2. Check Rewrite Rules: Misconfigured rewrite rules can lead to the WordPress 404 Error. Ensure that your rewrite rules are correctly set up in the server configuration files. This can be done by accessing the .htaccess file or using server management tools provided by your hosting company.

  3. Consider Cache and CDN: If you are using caching or content delivery network (CDN) plugins, ensure they are properly configured. Improper cache settings or CDN configurations can interfere with your website’s URLs and result in 404 Errors.

By addressing server configuration issues, you can eliminate any underlying causes of the WordPress 404 Error and optimize your website’s performance.


Encountering the WordPress 404 Error can be frustrating, but with the right troubleshooting solutions, you can effectively manage and resolve this issue. By understanding the causes behind the error, such as broken links, incorrect permalink settings, plugin or theme conflicts, and server configuration problems, you can implement the appropriate solutions and prevent the error from impacting your website’s user experience and SEO.

Remember to regularly check for broken links, correct permalink settings, resolve conflicts between plugins or themes, and ensure proper server configuration. By taking proactive measures and promptly addressing the WordPress 404 Error, you can maintain a seamless website and provide an excellent browsing experience for your visitors.

If you have any further questions or need assistance in troubleshooting the WordPress 404 Error, feel free to check out our FAQ section below. Happy website management!


Q1. How can I prevent broken links on my WordPress website?

A1. To prevent broken links, regularly monitor and update internal and external links on your website. You can also use plugins like "Broken Link Checker" to automate the process of identifying and fixing broken links.

Q2. Can I customize my website’s permalink structure after publishing content?

A2. Yes, you can customize your website’s permalink structure even after publishing content. However, it’s essential to set up proper redirects to ensure that existing URLs are redirected to the new structure, preventing any 404 Errors.

Q3. What should I do if I suspect a plugin or theme conflict?

A3. If you suspect a plugin or theme conflict, start by deactivating all plugins and switching to a default WordPress theme. Then, reactivate each plugin/theme one by one to identify the conflicting element. Update or replace the conflicting element to resolve the issue.

Q4. How can I resolve server configuration issues?

A4. To resolve server configuration issues, get in touch with your web hosting provider. They can provide insights into your server settings and assist in troubleshooting any misconfigurations. Additionally, ensure that rewrite rules, caching, and CDN configurations are appropriately set up.

Q5. Are there any plugins to automate the resolution of the WordPress 404 Error?

A5. While there are plugins available to help identify broken links and manage permalink settings, it’s important to manually resolve the causes of the WordPress 404 Error. Plugins can assist in the identification process, but the actual resolution often requires manual intervention.

Remember, proper website management involves staying vigilant, regularly monitoring your website, and promptly addressing any issues that arise. By doing so, you can provide an exceptional user experience and maintain a well-functioning WordPress website.