Resolving 404 Errors and Pagination Issues: Effective .htaccess Redirects for WordPress

If you recently changed your WordPress theme and adjusted the “post per page” setting on the “Reading” page, you may have encountered a problem with pagination and subsequent 404 errors. This issue can arise when the changes made to display more posts on archive pages cause certain URLs, such as /author/max/page/150/, to result in 404 errors. To address this, an effective solution involves redirecting the 404 errors to a working page using an .htaccess rule. By implementing the provided solution, you can effectively resolve the pagination issue and ensure that search engines and visitors can access the correct pages without encountering errors.

To redirect the 404 errors to a working page using an .htaccess rule, you can add the following code to your .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /

# Redirect /page/xxx to /page/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/page/[0-9]+/$
RewriteRule ^page/[0-9]+/$ /page/ [R=301,L]

# Redirect other 404 errors to a specific page
ErrorDocument 404 /path/to/working/page

Make sure to replace “/path/to/working/page” with the actual URL or path of the working page where you want to redirect the 404 errors.

The first set of rules will redirect URLs that match the pattern “/page/xxx/” to “/page/” using a 301 redirect, which tells search engines that the page has permanently moved. This will help resolve the issue with the pagination URLs.

The second rule using the “ErrorDocument” directive specifies that any other 404 errors should be redirected to the specified page or URL.

After making the changes, save the .htaccess file and upload it to the root directory of your website using FTP or your web hosting control panel.

Please note that modifying the .htaccess file should be done with caution, as incorrect changes can lead to server errors. It’s always a good idea to make a backup of the original .htaccess file before making any modifications.

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