How do I make WordPress Permalinks work on goDaddy?

I’ve just set up a WordPress blog on GoDaddy and have tried enabling Permalinks but I still get GoDaddy’s 404 page. What am I doing wrong?

I got this question from Leo of who was setting up a new domain called for a client. He had gone through the usual steps of rolling out WordPress, however when he decided to use permalinks, these weren’t working. He checked all the usual things, his .htaccess file was in place, but instead of getting the pages he was after, he was getting the standard “Page Not Found” error message supplied by GoDaddy.

The problem here is that your web server is trapping the 404 before your .htaccess has a chance to get it’s hands on it, so no matter what you place in there, nothing different is going to happen. The answer is to turn of your hosting provider’s 404 handler which then lets your own handler kick in. Here’s how you do this:

Open your control panel and navigate to your Settings page.

Click on the 404 Error Behaviour icon.

Select Make my 404 Page my Home Page.

This last action actually turns off GoDaddy’s custom 404 Error Page and lets you handle permalinks in the way WordPress expects.

So Leo, hopefully this means you won’t be banging your head against that lovely teak outdoor furniture you have. Next time you get stuck on something, just ask!

10 thoughts on “How do I make WordPress Permalinks work on goDaddy?”

  1. Owen – Thanks for the detailed reply. I have dozens of clients using WordPress on GoDaddy servers without permalink problems because I was able to easily realize GoDaddy’s 404 error handling. Now my question is a bit more complicated than that…

    GoDaddy’s Deluxe hosting allows for multiple websites all under one account. The way they do this is by pointing the domains to subfolders within the root. But, this poses a problem when trying to activate the permalink structures for these new sites since the 404 handling is pointing to the main root folder instead of your domain’s root folder. Make sense? I’m searching for a way to rectify this issue since I have quite a few clients in this situation. Any ideas?

  2. Hey I was following your instructions and going MAD because it was going to the 404 error page ANYWAY (what?). Then I changed it to the index.php and it served the index.php page out as if it were a .txt page… what?

    The answer was: I had Java Servlets/JSP turned on on the account. That was screwing everything up.

    Don’t ask me, I know it makes no sense, but that was the problem. Your instructions now work perfectly.


  3. Hi,
    Is this hosted on a Windows plan/linux plan? Is there any way to get the permalinks to work on a windows plan?

  4. Also fixed the problem for me.

    If you are on GoDaddy:
    1. USE LINUX!
    Password emails, media uploads, and beautiful permalinks magically began working after I changed my account from Windows to Linux.
    2. Disable the GoDaddy 404.
    3. Google is your friend, you’re certain to come across some problems, but also bloggers who are happy to help you out.

  5. Thanks a ton. The tip that changing your 404 on GoDaddy to the homepage will allow your custom .htaccess was key! I was able to get my permalinks and custom error page working thanks to your info.

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