404 Error After Changing Permalink Settings to /%postname%/

how to set up 404 error page

I suddenly recalled about a new webhosting account I purchased almost a month ago. I got a free domain name with the account, but I forgot about it thereafter. So, I came back to it and started fiddling with the control panel and set up wordpress for the primary domain. Now, this ought to be a piece of cake as this is not the first time I’ve done this.

Sure enough, everything was a breeze until I came to the ‘Permalink Settings’ where, as I’ve always done with all my sites, I changed from ‘Default ‘ to ‘Custom Structure’ – /%postname%/. On checking the result of my tweaking, I was met with a 404 error page on the post I made. What the…? This has never happened to me before… well, at least in my other webhosting account. Is this a webhost thingy?

Searching google, I realized this is something not uncommon among wordpress users. There were a few who offered solutions. I also noticed some who suggested that I look into the htaccess file. Not very conversant about this file, I tried to evade the issue and searched for more non-geeky solutions. On finding none, I got back to the ‘Permalink Settings’ section in my wp dashboard and found that indeed, there was a “You should update your .htaccess now.” notice right below the ‘Permalink Settings’ heading. And on the bottom of the page was the suggested code block to use.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

Well, knowing that my wp site is new and there’s not much to lose anyway should my htaccess attempt goes haywire, I proceeded with creating the htaccess file and uploaded it to my new site. Voila! As most of us would say, it ‘worked like a charm’.

Why, after so many wp updates, can’t the wordpress developers just make the ‘/%postname%/’ structure the default, inasmuch as many seo-savvy wordpress users use this structure anyway? I got this feeling that this has actually been overlooked by the the wp developers. The ‘/%postname%/’ structure is easy for both newbie and ace and all others in between. And it’s a proven fact that search engines prefer this structure.

What do you think?

How to Set Up a 404 Error Page