Break/Fix: WordPress Permalinks 404 Issue

I recently ran into an issue in which changing the permalinks setting in WordPress resulted in 404 pages across my site. I checked my WordPress root dir and the proper .htaccess file was there with the proper permissons, but permalinks refused to work. It turned out to be a quick fix and a case of “Doh! Stupid mistake on my part”.

By default, a vanilla Apache install does not allow overrides and thus any .htaccess files you have will do little more than occupy a few bytes on your hard drive. The fix is simple and does vary a bit depending on your particular setup, but the general gist is you need to change the following from:

AllowOverride None



AllowOverride All


in the correct <Directory> section of either your vhost’s configuration file or httpd.conf. In my case, that was under <Directory “/var/www/html”>.  You then need to do a graceful restart of Apache so the changes take effect:

# service httpd graceful


More information on permalinks is available on the WordPress Site.


    1. Hello Jason,

      Thanks for the feedback! I reviewed my configuration and I only made my change in the “Directory “/var/www/html” ” section, as that is where the wordpress install was located in my example. I updated my post to clarify that is where I made the change.

      Where I think your issue may have been was that if you set it in the “Directory /” section, any settings in /var/www/html will override that. By default, the /var/www/html directive is set to AllowOverride none, so no matter what you do for the parent directory “/”, the child “/var/www/html” will override that.


    2. Hi, thanks for this, first time insatlling CentOS (always been Ubuntu up til now, wanted to try something else). Ran into this problem. installed 3.6 as above via network. 30Mb line. Not too slow at all

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