How to Regenerate Permalinks in WordPress

Written by WordPress Expert

January 21, 2023
How to Regenerate Permalinks in WordPress

Regenerate permalinks? You’re probably wondering what that’s all about. However, in some rare cases, it might be necessary, which is why tutorials like this one are around. In this article, you’ll learn a little bit about what a permalink is, and how to regenerate permalinks in WordPress.

What is a permalink?

Permalinks are known as permanent URLs in WordPress. For the most part, your permalink structure should rarely be changed. The reason for this, is because other bloggers are using those to link back to your site or share on social networks. Additionally, if you’re using internal linking, which is linking from one post or page of your website, to another post or page.

With WordPress, there’s a few types of permalinks:

  • Ugly or plain permalinks
  • Pretty Permalinks
  • Semi or almost permalinks

Ugly or plain permalinks

Plain permalinks pretty much use your domain’s base for the URL and for each page, has a simple parameter and number. The number correlates with the post’s number that was assigned by the database, also known as the post ID, when you created a new post or page. An ugly permalink looks like:

The p is the parameter and the number 1 is the post’s ID.

Pretty Permalinks

wordpress permalink settings

Pretty permalinks are SEO-friendly and memorable URLs. They aren’t pretty like a person, but pretty because they are much easier to decipher what the post or page may be about. By default, WordPress is set to the post-name, which is the SEO-friendliest permalink structure for the CMS.

Semi or almost permalinks

Almost all permalinks are somewhat similar to pretty permalinks, but they don’t have the simplicity that is better with pretty permalinks. These types of permalinks are best for blogs that rely on the day and post name or month and post name name, or a mix of both day, and month with the name of the post.



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Why would you need to regenerate permalinks in WordPress?

Well, there’s a couple reasons why you might need to regenerate permalinks in WordPress:

  • Your posts or pages suddenly show a 404 Not found error.
  • You’ve moved your site from one web host to another.

Your posts or pages suddenly show a 404 Not found error.

Some things hiccup in WordPress, like any other piece of technology. There may be a time or two that you or your visitors click on a page, and are given a 404 or page not found message. As long as you can get into your WordPress backend, then you should be able to solve this problem.

You’ve moved your site from one web host to another.

When you move WordPress from your old web host to a new one, occasionally you may need to refresh your permalinks, otherwise it’s a possibility you may get the 404 page not found error. Once you have, the issue shouldn’t happen again, or at least it should rarely happen.

How to Regenerate Permalinks in WordPress

When you need to regenerate permalinks in WordPress, you’ll need to be able to access your WordPress admin area. If you can’t, you might need to troubleshoot why this is occurring, so you can get into the backend of your site.

  • Navigate to Settings, and then the subpage labeled Permalinks.
  • Check your permalink settings.
  • Click on the blue Save Changes button.

Navigate to Settings, and then the subpage labeled Permalinks.

wordpress permalink settings menu

In your WordPress admin area, in the left sidebar menu, scroll to the Settings section. Under that section, you’ll click on Permalinks.

Check your permalink settings.

wordpress permalink setting

When on the Permalinks settings page, make sure your settings are correct. In most cases, unless you have a unique permalink structure, you’ll want to select Post name.

Click on the blue Save Changes button.

Once you’ve checked to see if the right permalink structure has been selected, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the button that says Save Changes. In most cases, this should regenerate permalinks in WordPress. When you’ve saved the changes, the page will give you a message at the top, that the permalinks have been changed.

Once you’ve done this, navigate to the front of your website and check your pages to make sure that they are working properly. So simple, right?

What to do if refreshing or regenerating your permalinks didn’t work?

In the case that the permalinks in WordPress didn’t regenerate, you’ll have to do a little troubleshooting. When this occurs, it is possible that you may have updated a plugin, theme, or WordPress core files, and something may have made your permalinks stop working correctly.

To check for a plugin conflict:

Before checking, make sure you’ve got a backup of WordPress. If not, you need to backup your WordPress site. To check for a plugin conflict, you’ll want to shut off your plugins, and then reactivate them one-by-one. Before reactivating, you’ll want to check the front of your website to see if your pages turn up a 404 error, or a page not found message.

To shut off the plugins, as long as you have WordPress admin access, go to your Plugins section. Check the box next to each plugin, and then select the Deactivate option. When doing this, please note that the site might not look right. However, that’s temporary and will come back when you’ve reactivated your plugins.

The plugin that is creating the 404 error will be the one you just reactivated. When you’ve encountered it, deactivate it. You may need to keep it that way until you replace it with one that works right, or when the plugin’s developer updates. Make sure to submit a support ticket with the plugin developer so they’re aware of the error that their plugin may be causing.

To check for a theme conflict:

Before checking, make sure to backup your site. Theme conflict checks are simple. Just go to the Themes area under Appearance, in your WordPress admin, and activate a default WordPress theme like Twenty Twenty-Two. You will not lose your settings from your preferred theme, and should be able to switch back without having to set anything back up again.

Once you’ve set a default WordPress theme as the active theme, check the frontend of your website. Click on any post or page. If they are working correctly, then it was your theme.

To check to see if WordPress was the problem:

There’s not much to do, other than go to the Updates area under your Dashboard section of your WordPress admin menu, which is the very first menu item. Make sure WordPress is backed up.

On the Updates page, you’ll see something about “You have the latest version of WordPress.”, and a Re-install button under it. Click on the re-install. You shouldn’t lose your site. This only gives you fresh WordPress core files.

Hopefully one of these methods have resolved your permalink issue.



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In Summary

So, you’ve learned about permalinks, some types of permalinks in WordPress, and even why sometimes you’ve got to refresh them. Hopefully this tutorial on how to regenerate permalinks in WordPress will help, in case you’ve been encountering 404 pages on your site. As a side note, make sure to choose the best permalink structure that will work for your website.

Frequently Asked Questions

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