A 404 error in WordPress is a standard HTTP status code which means that the page you were trying to reach could not be found on the server. It’s a client-side error, meaning either the page has been removed or moved and the URL was not changed accordingly, or the page doesn’t exist. Here’s how you can fix a 404 error in WordPress.
Step 1: Check for Incorrect Permalink Structure
Sometimes the 404 error can be caused by a problem with your site’s permalink structure. To check this:
- Go to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Settings > Permalinks.
- Without making any changes, simply click on the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page. This will flush your rewrite rules and could fix the 404 error.
Step 2: Revert Changes to the .htaccess File
The .htaccess file in your WordPress install is a crucial configuration file that can be used to override certain server configurations. If this file becomes corrupt, it can cause a 404 error.
- Connect to your server via FTP or File Manager in cPanel.
- Look for the .htaccess file in the root directory.
- Make a backup of this file (just in case) and then delete it from your server.
- Go back to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Settings > Permalinks.
- Click on Save Changes to generate a new .htaccess file.
Step 3: Deactivate Plugins and Themes
If none of the above methods have worked, then the issue might be caused by a plugin or theme. To check this:
- Deactivate all of your plugins. If this resolves the issue, reactivate your plugins one by one until you find the one causing the problem.
- If it wasn’t a plugin, switch to a default WordPress theme like Twenty Twenty-One. If this fixes the issue, the problem was your theme.
Step 4: Consult Your Host or a Professional
If you’ve tried everything above and the 404 error persists, it might be time to contact your web host’s support. They may be able to help you identify and fix the problem.
While 404 errors can be frustrating, they are often easily fixable with a little troubleshooting. By checking the permalink structure, reverting changes to the .htaccess file, and checking plugins and themes, you can usually identify and fix the problem causing the error. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to reach out to your web host for assistance.