Support » Fixing WordPress » Easier permalinks solution.

  • I’ve hit upon a simpler way to get simple permalinks using WP 1.5, without requiring the big, hairy .htaccess code that WP generates. For some reason I could never pin down, my web server never worked right with that code — I would always get a 404 error page instead of the index.php output that a properly rewritten URL should have generated.

    In my solution, you still need to edit your .htaccess file but the code is a lot cleaner. Here’s how to do it:

    1. In your WP directory, copy index.php to a file just called “archive” (no extension). Like this:

    cp index.php archive

    (this is assuming you don’t have a folder called “archive” — if you do, you’ll need to pick a different name

    2. Edit your .htaccess file to add these lines:

    # force archive file to be read as PHP
    <Files archive>
    ForceType application/x-httpd-php

    3. chmod 744 .htaccess — this will keep WP from overwriting your .htaccess file

    4. In the WP Permalink Options screen, set your URL structure like this:


    If you used a filename other than “archive,” change the first bit of that line above.

    Then hit “Update Permalink Structure.” WP will tell you to modify your .htaccess file now — ignore it. You’re already all done.

    Now what happens is that anytime someone enters an archive URL, it will get interpreted as the *file* “archive” — which is the same as index.php. Just remember, if you update index.php, to copy it over to the “archive” file again.

    WP designers: You might consider making future versions of WP work this way. Those rewrite rules are *gnarly*!

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