Fix Custom Post Type 404 Errors In WordPress

With the release of WordPress 3.0 came the ability to add “custom post types” to your WordPress theme which is a very valuable tool and used in many WordPress themes I have created. By now custom post types have become extremely popular and are used in almost every WordPress theme. But anyone who has worked with custom post types has probably received a d  r  eadful 404 Not Found Error when trying to access a post from a post type at one point or another   . Fortunately there is almost always a simple fix to fix these errors.

Below I have listed some of the more common issues that people have with custom post types and why they are receiving these errors. Hopefully they will help get at least some people out of there.

1. Check Your Permalink Settings

This is probably one of the most common reasons people are getting 404 errors on their custom post types and I have dealt with it many times. I have seen several fixes such as flushing rewrite rules (which I do not recommend) but personally I have had good luck with the following fixes:


  • Set your custom permalink structure (such as% postname%)
  • Click save
  • See if your single custom posts page returns a 404 error page
  • If they do, go back and change permalinks to return to the default
  • Now reset the custom permalink and try

Going back and forth has generally helped me correct my errors and I have had a lot of success with this method.

Now, on some servers if your permission is not set correctly, it may not work and you may have to manually update your .htaccess file. To do this you will need to log into your root WordPress directory (the same place where your wp-config.php file and wp-content folder are located) via FTP or SFTP and browser on your site. Here you should find a file named .htaccess that you can modify (if you don’t see it then make sure your FTP program has the option to display hidden files and create one if not just one ). Now make sure the file contains the core WordPress code mentioned in the WordPress docs, which looks like this:

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

Important  : If you are modifying an existing .htaccess file, make sure you do something wrong before backing up the file on your computer.

2. Check for slug conflict (slug page similar to your post type)

Another thing that may be the reason for the 404 error is that you have a main page to display your post type of post and it has the same slug as your actual post type eccentric slug. For example if you have a post type named “portfolio” and you also have a main “portfolio” page with slug “portfolio” (in other words to access the portfolio post you can visit site.com/portfolio/ will go to sample-. post) This causes 404 errors on your unique post type posts. So you often find that the portfolio post type uses “projects” or “portfolio-items” for singular slugs.


  1. You can change the page name so it’s different then the custom post type
  2. You can change your custom post type slug which is done by changing the rewrite parameter when registering your custom post type

3. Auto Flush Redistribution Rules (For Developers)

Another reason for 404 errors is that whenever a new post type is registered you will have to rewrite your rules in WordPress. This can be done by going to Settings> Permalink and clicking on the Save button.

If you are working on a custom theme or plugin with registered post types. You can automatically rewrite the rules for your end user upon activating your theme or plugin to prevent any 404 errors. May consider flushing. The following is an example code that you can use:

// Code for themes
add_action( 'after_switch_theme', 'flush_rewrite_rules' );

// Code for plugins
register_deactivation_hook( __FILE__, 'flush_rewrite_rules' );
register_activation_hook( __FILE__, 'myplugin_flush_rewrites' );
function myplugin_flush_rewrites() {
	// call your CPT registration function here (it should also be hooked into 'init')

Have another error or solution?

If you are having any other errors or you have a better solution, please comment below and let me know. Not only will it help me but it will probably help other people find a solution to their problem. Thank you!

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