How to fix the “WordPress links not working” error

How to fix the “WordPress links not working” error

If you are getting a 404 error when you try to visit pages and websites through links on your site, then this is likely the “WordPress links not working” error. This article will show you how to fix the broken links and enable them to work properly.

Permalinks within your site are very important so they should be made in such a way that when clicked on, they take the users to the desired destination. When these links malfunction, it can ruin the experience of your users, and prevent you from connecting with other websites.

Fixing the broken links is vital for improving the user experience on your site so you need to learn how to eliminate the“WordPress links not working” error.

Many WordPress users have encountered this error at some stage and the following guide created by our team at wpDataTables should help you fix it.

What are the Symptoms of the “WordPress links not working” error?

Broken links within your website will usually produce the 404 error. This error only shows when the link is trying to connect a user to a site that doesn’t exist, or the link itself is not correct. If one or more of your links do not connect to the desired destination, then your site might have the broken links, and it is crucial that you fix them as soon as possible.

Each browser shows this error in their own way; some browsers will just show the “404 Not Found” error, while Chrome, for example, will display: “404. That’s an error.” It appears when the browser is trying to reach a site from the link, but it can’t reach it due to a broken link or if the site doesn’t exist.

Broken internal permalink is a problem because you are not able to show your website in full. Usually when you get a WordPress 404 error the webpage will not display. In some cases, though, only parts of the page will be shown, like the sidebars and content at the top, while the rest of the contents won’t appear.

This case is also dealing with broken permalinks. This type of 404 error is sometimes seen with WordPress webpages, and they pop up when a site can’t be displayed, or when the link is broken.

The 404 error is a big indicator of broken links, and it is a good idea to permanently eradicate the error as quickly as possible.

Similarly, if the destination website doesn’t exist or you typed the incorrect URL in the browser’s address bar, you may encounter another type of most common WordPress error “DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN“.

Why do Permalinks not Work in WordPress?

Broken links within your website, especially internal broken links can cause your website to collapse onto itself, and create much damage. They will significantly inhibit the potential of your site. You can check your stats widgets for possible 404 errors on your site.

The problem is that you have some very important pieces of content on those pages, and you don’t remember removing the pages. There could be a number of reasons for the “WordPress links not working” error, and locating the cause is the first step towards eradicating it. Here are some common causes of the error.

New Plugins are Messing With the Links

Sometimes, plugins might be at the heart of the issue, especially those that deal with permalinks in some way or another. You should check the plugins to see if they are causing the error.


Unfortunately, new updates to WordPress or one of its themes can often be the cause of this error.

It is possible that the update causes incompatibility with some of the elements of your website, such as a plugin or themes, which breaks your permalinks. Try reversing the update to test this, but be careful not to lose data.

Migrating to a New Server

If you have recently moved your data to another server, or if you have restored backup recently, that might be the root of the problem. Sometimes, WordPress permalinks are not working or go missing during this process. Fortunately, you can remedy the issue with certain plugin or pieces of software.


Sometimes, the error might only pop up for you but it works perfectly for others. This is due to a caching problem with your browser..

Wrong DNS Settings

The DNS settings may have the problem, or maybe the domain hasn’t yet been propagated, so the error will also show up.

Wrong File Permissions in the .htaccess File

In some cases, the scenario above can also create the problem, especially if you have recently changed or updated the .htaccess file. Check for permissions in your .htaccess file.

How to fix the WordPress Links not Working error

To fix the problem, you will need access to the WP dashboard and FTP credentials. Hopefully, you will be able to fix the issue with one of these methods.

Method #1: Reset the Permalink Settings

The first thing you should try is resetting your permalink settings. If you do this, you will know whether it was a real issue or an occurrence. Here is how to reset the permalink settings.

  • Log in to the WP dashboard. Go to permalink settings; set the settings away from the standard settings (it can be numeric settings), and save it. Then, revert back to standard settings again, save and see if it works.
  • Try to access one of your broken links again. Do they work now, or is the 404 error still showing?
  • If they still don’t work, try one of the other solutions.

Method #2: Replace the .htaccess file

If the issue is more serious, and the links are still not working, there is something wrong internally. You will have to change the .htaccess file manually in such a way that it will show the links.

You will need some sort of file manager for this. You can use a plugin called File Manager. Here are the steps.

  • Open the main folder and find the .htaccess file
  • Right-click on it, and rename it (for example, to .htaccess-error)
  • Click on the New File icon at the top, and name it .htaccess.
  • Paste the below code into the new .htaccess file
BEGIN WordPress

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

# END WordPress

Once you have done this, save the file and close it. Try the links now. If they don’t work try the next solution.

Method #3: Disable WordPress Plugins and Themes

If the “WordPress links not working” error is still there, this solution might help.

Try to disable the plugins and themes to see if they are causing the problem. To fix the issue, you should have access to your WP dashboard. Here are the steps for disabling them.

  • Go to Plugins > All Plugins
  • For each of your plugin, try to Deactivate it one by one.
  • After you disable each plugin, go back if the error still occurs.
  • If the error still shows, reactivate the plugin, and go to the next one.
  • Repeat the process until the error stops.
  • If the error still shows after trying everything, move to the next method.

Method #4: Fix the Local Servers

Sometimes, the error might be caused by a server issue, which can be difficult to manage. Beginners need to contact an expert. You can try to enable the rewrite_module in the Apache configuration of your MAMP, WAMP, or XXAMP.

Ending thoughts on the WordPress links not working issue

WordPress links not working can be a significant error, but they can be eradicated with some trial and error, using one of the above-mentioned fixes.

Hey, did you know data can be beautiful too?

wpDataTables can make it that way. There’s a good reason why it’s the #1 WordPress plugin for creating responsive tables and charts.

An actual example of wpDataTables in the wild

And it’s really easy to do something like this:

  1. You provide the table data
  2. Configure and customize it
  3. Publish it in a post or page

And it’s not just pretty, but also practical. You can make large tables with up to millions of rows, or you can use advanced filters and search, or you can go wild and make it editable.

“Yeah, but I just like Excel too much and there’s nothing like that on websites”. Yeah, there is. You can use conditional formatting like in Excel or Google Sheets.

Did I tell you you can create charts too with your data? And that’s only a small part. There are lots of other features for you.

FAQs about the “WordPress links not working” error

1. Why are the links on my WordPress site not working?

Links on your WordPress website may not be working for a number of reasons. Inadequate URL settings, out-of-date plugins, corrupt theme files, and server problems are a few typical causes. You might begin by double-checking your permalink settings to make sure they are configured properly. If that doesn’t solve the problem, try turning off plugins or using an alternative theme to see whether the problem still exists.

2. How do I fix broken links in WordPress?

Use a plugin like Broken Link Checker or a website crawler like Screaming Frog to resolve broken links in WordPress. Once the broken links have been located, you can replace them by changing the URL or eliminating the link entirely. Broken links must be fixed immediately because they can harm both your site’s user experience and SEO.

3. Why do some of my links redirect to a 404 error page?

There are several possible causes for links that lead to a 404 error page. Inaccurate permalinks, missing or deleted material, and server problems are a few examples. You might begin by double-checking your permalink settings to make sure they are configured properly. Check the content that has been linked to see if it is still accessible on your website if the problem persists. To check for server problems, you can also get in touch with your hosting company.

4. Why are my external links not opening in a new tab in WordPress?

External links in WordPress do not by default open in a new tab. You can add a target=” blank” property to the HTML code of external links to make them open in a new tab. To automate the procedure, you can also use a plugin like Open external URLs in a new window.

5. How do I troubleshoot a broken link on my WordPress site?

You can start by manually checking the URL for mistakes or typos or using a plugin like Broken Link Checker to identify broken links on your WordPress website. If the link is not essential to the information on your site, you can also consider changing its destination or getting rid of it entirely.

6. Why are my links not clickable on mobile devices?

Your links’ size or a problem with the CSS code may be the cause of their inability to be clicked on mobile devices. Make sure the link is the right size, then change the CSS code so that it may be clicked. Furthermore, make sure that nothing else on the page is blocking the link.

7. How do I update the permalink structure in WordPress without breaking links?

Use a plugin like Permalink Manager Lite or set up 301 redirects from the old URLs to the new URLs to update the permalink structure in WordPress without destroying links. The new permalink structure must be optimized for search engines and contain pertinent keywords.

8. Why do some of my images not link properly in WordPress?

A broken link or an issue with the HTML code could be the cause of images that do not link properly in WordPress. Make that the HTML code contains the proper anchor tag and that the image’s URL is right. To make adding links to images easier to handle, you may also utilize a plugin like an Image Link.

9. How do I prevent WordPress from automatically adding links to certain words or phrases?

You can turn off the automatic linking feature in the visual editor’s settings or use a plugin like Stop Gutenberg’s Auto-Linking to stop WordPress from adding links to specific words or phrases. You must keep in mind that automated linking might be a helpful tool for SEO, so use it responsibly.

10. How do I make sure my WordPress links are search engine friendly?

You can make sure your WordPress links are optimized for search engines by using an SEO plugin like Yoast or All-in-One SEO. These plugins can assist with permalink optimization.

If you enjoyed reading this article on WordPress links not working, you should check out this one about WordPress plugin update failed.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like how to fix “your connection is not private”, how to fix installation failed, could not create a directory, how to fix the site is experiencing technical difficulties, how to fix sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons and the link you followed has expired.

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