This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Permalink Finder Plugin


The Permalink Finder Plugin detects when WordPress cannot find a permalink. Before it generates the 404 error the plugin tries to locate any posts with similar words. It does this by searching through the database trying to find any of the word values from the bad link. It takes the best match and then, rather than issuing a 404 error, it sends back a redirect to the correct page.
Users will see the page that they are looking for, and search engine spiders will see the 301 redirect and update their databases so that the page appears correctly in searches.

This is especially useful where WordPress removes words like “the” and “a” from the permalink during conversions from accounts. It is also useful for migrations that formerly used extensions such as html and shtml, when WordPress does not.

The configuration panel allows a user to select how the plugin finds a missing page. The plugin counts the number of words that match to a post. By default, a two word match is sufficient to cause a redirect to the found page. False positives are possible, especially if the user selects a one word match. Increasing the number of words, however makes it unlikely that the plugin will ever find a match. You may eliminate numbers from the search. You may specify that a list of common English words like “the”, “and”, “who”, “you”, etc., not be considered in finding the correct permalink.

Optionally, the plugin will redirect hits on index.html, index.htm, and index.shtml to the blog home page. This is useful when a website previously used a non-php home page.

If WordPress detects a 404 error on robots.txt, sitemap.xml, crossdomain.xml, favicon.ico, or apple-touch-icon.png it will provide a default version.

The plugin will also optionally keep track of the last few 404’s or redirects. This is useful to find out what pages are missing or named badly that keep causing 404 errors or forcing redirects.


This plugin is free and I expect nothing in return. Please rate the plugin at:
If you wish to support my programming, You can donate or by my book:
Error Message Eyes: A Programmer’s Guide to the Digital Soul


  1. Download the plugin.
  2. Upload the plugin to your wp-content/plugins directory.
  3. Activate the plugin.
  4. Change any options in the Permalink Finder settings.
    The plugin can be tested by adding or deleting words from a working permalink in your browser address area. Even if you mangle the permalink it should find a valid link and almost always it will find the correct link.


Installation Instructions
  1. Download the plugin.
  2. Upload the plugin to your wp-content/plugins directory.
  3. Activate the plugin.
  4. Change any options in the Permalink Finder settings.
    The plugin can be tested by adding or deleting words from a working permalink in your browser address area. Even if you mangle the permalink it should find a valid link and almost always it will find the correct link.


No support for this plugin anymore

The vendor has stopped maintaining the plugin.

What he wrote in the comments section on his own site:

The simple solution is to uninstall permalink finder. I do not support it and haven’t for over three years. It is the first plugin that I ever wrote and it is not the easiest plugin to maintain.

Used on an old blog – I LOVE this!

I just decided to change the permalink structure from category/post to just the post name, after having had up since 2011.
I have a TON of posts.
This plugin is easy to use, and correctly redirects my old pages to the new ones.
I probably could have done this manually in the htaccess file, but this was a quick and easy fix.
5 stars!

Super 😉

Just installed it on
I switched the permalinks to /%post_id%/%postname%/ because I read that this will be faster.
So far this plugin works like a charm.
Thank you 😉

Read all 37 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Permalink Finder Plugin” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.




  • initial release


  • added ability select degree of matching on bad urls.
  • added the ability to redirect index.htm, index.html and index.shtml to blog home page.
  • fixed a stupid name in the install directory – should be “permalink-finder” no s.


  • 10/26/2009 Fixed index option to work on PHP4 on some servers.


  • 11/04/2009 Added a short log of fixed and unfixed permalinks.


  • 11/24/2009 Fixed a bug in recording the permalinks that caused a 500 error. Formatted the urls as links in the report.


  • 01/10/2010 added uninstall procedure. Add links to 404 area of report.


  • 02/23/2010 Fixed errors setting and unsetting variables.


  • 04/29/2010 Changed redirect method for to make the plugin compatible with future versions of WordPress.


  • 01/14/2011 Cleaned up code. Added support for MU. Used wordpress functions to sanitize urls and find alternate encodings.
  • This revision changed the way the plugin works, so please let me know if you experience any problems.


  • Due to many suggestions for features: Added code to strip GET parameters like UTM tags. Added code to optionally strip numbers, common words, and short words.


  • Rewrote entire plugin to be more compatible with new versions of WordPress. Simplified the code and added extra steps to sanitize data and increase security. Added support for default robots.txt, sitemap.xml, crossdomain.xml, favicon.ico, or apple-touch-icon.png files. Added metaphone search. Ignores 404 errors on wp-login and wp-signup from trolls. Sanitizes data so there is less chance of options and logs being reset.


  • 07/20/2012 Fixed issue with error logging. System now displays crash logs so that they can be checked. Changed the way certain Server variables are accessed. The REQUEST_URI was not being set on some hosts. Fixed an error with redirects that had only one token on the original URL. Remove /archive/ from links before checking. Added a reason to the reports in order to get a sense of how a permalink is redirected. Added options to control exactly how the plugin searches for a permalink. Ignores (but logs) many types of files that are normally not things that WordPress controls (images, js, css, pdf, etc). Removed the index/default redirect option, as the plugin now does this as side effect of cleaning the slug.


  • 10/2/2012 Fixed many small but annoying bugs.
  • search for exacts matches on categories
  • changed the way MU functions work so that MU options can only be set on the Network Admin Dashboard.
  • Under MU users cannot see the Permalink options unless the admin sets the MU switch in the permalink finder options.
  • Keeps a grand total of the permalinks fixed since the plugin was installed (or version 2.2).
  • converts underscores to hyphens.
  • added option to load the actual page and change the “404 not found” to a “200 found”. This would be useful in SEO when a redirect would not help. It essentially keeps the old permalink structure intact and makes no effort to inform requestors of the change. Creates the ability to type any keyword as a permalink and get a related page without a redirect.
  • thanks to siddkb1986 who posted at the WordPress plugin support page on about query strings being lost. I incorporated the changes suggested.
  • Delayed loading of 404 processing in order to conserve memory resources. Only loads the redirection functions after a 404 has been detected.


  • ignore search queries – s=search – as this is not a 404 and it caused looping.
  • Ignore feed requests as there is no permalink for things starting with /feed/
  • fixed load order and deleted an early an unecessary call to get_options
  • changed the way MU blog options are loaded.
  • fixed the links in the options page
  • Put in code to avoid recursive redirects. If redirect equals current page then let wordpress 404 it.