Recently, I modified the permalinks for my blog posts from:
http://nizarnoorani.com/index.php/archives/%postid% to just be:
This new permalink structure will now apply to any new posts that I create. Which of course begs the question:
Will the links to all my existing blog posts break??
And the answer sadly and obviously is: Yes, they will!
Can we fix this unfortunate issue? Sure, we can! And there are quite a few WordPress plugins that do exactly this. A search for “WordPress URL migration plugins” will serve up links to many such plugins. One that I particularly liked and recommend is Advanced Permalinks.
If installing/activating/configuring one of these plugins fixes your problem – great! Things for me, however, weren’t quite so easy.
For some reason, which I still haven’t been able to figure out, none of the migration plugins worked for me! Maybe its because my blog was originally hosted under Windows and then I later moved it to Linux. Or maybe I wasn’t configuring the plugins correctly. Or maybe something else. I don’t know.
Anyways, IF you are in the same boat then here is one hacky solution to get your existing permalinks working again. Once again – Only do this IF you can’t get the WP migration plugins to work!
Okay, here goes:
- Log in to your WordPress Dashboard: http://yourwebsite.com/wp-login
- Set up your new permalink structure by navigating to Settings -> Permalinks. After you set up your new permalink structure, you’ll notice that your existing permalinks will now be re-directed to a 404 Not Found page. Browse to one of your existing permalinks to verify that this is the the case.
- Okay, time to put in our little hack to get the existing permalinks working again. Open up the WordPress 404 template page inside the WordPress editor by navigating to Appearance -> Editor and clicking on the 404 Template link on the right-hand side bar.
- Insert the following code snippet just below the
Note: Be sure to modify the code snippet to match your specific new and old permalink structures!
- Save your changes. Your existing permalinks should start working again!
Basically, what we’ve done here is added some logic to extract the post_id from the old link, retrieve the post with that post_id from the database, construct the new URL and then re-direct the user to the new URL.