How to change permalink without affecting SEO and fix 404 errors for redirection

Why Would I Change Permalink Structure?

There are several reasons why you would consider changing your permalink structure, especially if you have been using the default setting. Changing your permalinks, whether on a new site or an established one, is relatively simple. However, making changes to the structure on an established site can have negative consequences, if you don’t plan ahead. You may need to fix 404 errors. Therefore, you should carefully consider whether or not it is necessary to alter your permalink structure.

However, there are several valid reasons for making the switch. Here are just a few:

If your current structure works for your content and brand, changing it could be an unnecessary headache. However, if you do decide that you need to update your link structure, you’ll be glad to know there are ways to implement this switch safely, and also being able to fix 404 errors.

This tutorial will show you how to redirect the old permalinks to the new ones, so that you don't get 404 errors. You'll maintain your search engine rankings, as well as keep users happy


Step #1. Document your current permalink settings and URLs

Here's my test site as an example:

Changing WordPress Permalinks

Step #2. Create the redirect code

change permalink and fix 404 errors

change permalink and fix 404 errors

Step #3. Switch the Permalinks setting

In your wp-admin:

change permalink and fix 404 errors

Step #4. Apply the code to fix 404 errors

Now let's fix 404 errors.

change permalink and fix 404 errors

Step #5. Test and test some more


fix 404 errors
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