I recently moved a client’s website running WordPress to a new domain that used GoDaddy’s hosting on a Windows server. The domain move caused the pretty permalinks to stop working.  When I tried setting Permalinks to Post Name I got a error message that said “You should update your web.config now.”

Googling the issue, I found many people with this same problem.  Most of the solutions offered were either outdated or involved having GoDaddy switch the WordPress site from a Windows to Linux server.

I was able to piece together a solution from various forums that actually worked.  I thought I’d post the steps I took to help others that run into the same issue.

How to Fix the Web.Config for WordPress Permalinks Error on GoDaddy

Resolving the Web.Config error is pretty easy: 1) create a web.config file 2) paste the code listed below inside the web.config file 3)upload it to the root directory of the WordPress site and 4) Change the Permalinks option to Post Name.   If you would like specific instructions on each step, scroll down for a full tutorial.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<rule name=”wordpress” patternSyntax=”Wildcard”>
<match url=”*”/>
<add input=”{REQUEST_FILENAME}” matchType=”IsFile” negate=”true”/>
<add input=”{REQUEST_FILENAME}” matchType=”IsDirectory” negate=”true”/>
<action type=”Rewrite” url=”index.php”/>



Step-by-step directions on how to fix the Web.Config Permalink Error in WordPress.

1) Create the Web.Config file

Open a new text file, paste the code listed above in the file.  In the text file go to File->Save As and name it Web.Config and set the Save As Type to All Files

2) Log-in to the GoDaddy Control Panel and access the root directory of the WordPress site

When logged in to the Control Panel, select the Hosting tab and click the File Manager icon.   You can also access the WordPress root directory using an FTP client.

3) Select the folder of the WordPress site in File Manager and upload the Web.Config file

fix web.config in WordPress for GoDaddy

4) Change the Permalinks option in the WordPress admin to Post Name

The Post Name Permalink option may still says “You should update your web.config now” but the issue is resolved.  The link URL’s are now SEO friendly and all the interior pages are available.


Alternate Fix for the Web.Config Error

If you want a quicker alternative you can do the following:

In the Permalinks section of the WordPress Admin select Custom Structure and enter: /index.php/%category%/%postname%/ 

(Select the structure tags you prefer for the URL and complete list of available tags can be found here)

The result makes for “Almost” pretty permalinks.   This solution isn’t as good as the one I described above because the URL’s contain “index.php” (Example: www.mysite.com/index.php/about-us)  but is better then Default Permalink structure.

Let me know if you have questions about the process.  I hope this tutorial is helpful to others with the same issue!