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name Punditsdkoslkdosdkoskdo

WPML › Subcategory pages generates 404 ‹ WordPress

Short description of the problem

So the problem is basically that when I use subcategories in the translated version of the site with wpml it generates a 404 page. In the parent category I can still see the post and navigate to it without a problem. And ofc, it all works fine in the none translated version.

My question

So my question is if anybody else have had this problem and if so, how did you resolve it?

Hopefully helpful information


  • PHP - 5.2
  • WordPress - 3.3.2
  • WPML Multilingual CMS - 2.4.3
  • WPML String Translation - 1.3.0

Permalink settings


What I've tried

  • I tried deactivating all other plugins
  • Tried flushing the permalinks ‹ edit

Additional information

  • It seems that the url's to the subcategories is perceived as a "page" ‹ edit
  • If we instead manually go directly to the url but subtract the parent category from the url we get to the expected category archive page ‹ edit
    Example ->

My .htaccess -file:

# BEGIN Redirects
RedirectMatch 301 ^/okategoriserade/(.*)$ /webb/$1
RedirectMatch 301 ^/apache2/(.*)$ /apache/$1
RedirectMatch 301 ^/server/(.*)$ /linux/$1
RedirectMatch 301 ^/etiketter/(.*)$ /tag/$1
RedirectMatch 301 ^/kategorier/(.*)$ /$1
RedirectMatch 301 ^/en/php-en/zf2/(.*)$ /en/zf2/$1
RedirectMatch 301 ^/media/me-avatar-e1332014347355.png(.*)$ /media/erik-landvall.png$1
RedirectMatch 301 ^/jquery/(.*)$ /javascript/jquery/$1
# END Redirects

# BEGIN W3TC Browser Cache
<IfModule mod_mime.c>
    AddType text/css .css
    AddType application/x-javascript .js
    AddType text/x-component .htc
    AddType text/html .html .htm
    AddType text/richtext .rtf .rtx
    AddType image/svg+xml .svg .svgz
    AddType text/plain .txt
    AddType text/xsd .xsd
    AddType text/xsl .xsl
    AddType text/xml .xml
    AddType video/asf .asf .asx .wax .wmv .wmx
    AddType video/avi .avi
    AddType image/bmp .bmp
    AddType application/java .class
    AddType video/divx .divx
    AddType application/msword .doc .docx
    AddType application/ .eot
    AddType application/x-msdownload .exe
    AddType image/gif .gif
    AddType application/x-gzip .gz .gzip
    AddType image/x-icon .ico
    AddType image/jpeg .jpg .jpeg .jpe
    AddType application/ .mdb
    AddType audio/midi .mid .midi
    AddType video/quicktime .mov .qt
    AddType audio/mpeg .mp3 .m4a
    AddType video/mp4 .mp4 .m4v
    AddType video/mpeg .mpeg .mpg .mpe
    AddType application/ .mpp
    AddType application/x-font-otf .otf
    AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.database .odb
    AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.chart .odc
    AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.formula .odf
    AddType application/ .odg
    AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.presentation .odp
    AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.spreadsheet .ods
    AddType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text .odt
    AddType audio/ogg .ogg
    AddType application/pdf .pdf
    AddType image/png .png
    AddType application/ .pot .pps .ppt .pptx
    AddType audio/x-realaudio .ra .ram
    AddType application/x-shockwave-flash .swf
    AddType application/x-tar .tar
    AddType image/tiff .tif .tiff
    AddType application/x-font-ttf .ttf .ttc
    AddType audio/wav .wav
    AddType audio/wma .wma
    AddType application/ .wri
    AddType application/ .xla .xls .xlsx .xlt .xlw
    AddType application/zip .zip
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
    ExpiresActive On
    ExpiresByType text/css A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/x-javascript A31536000
    ExpiresByType text/x-component A31536000
    ExpiresByType text/html A3600
    ExpiresByType text/richtext A3600
    ExpiresByType image/svg+xml A3600
    ExpiresByType text/plain A3600
    ExpiresByType text/xsd A3600
    ExpiresByType text/xsl A3600
    ExpiresByType text/xml A3600
    ExpiresByType video/asf A31536000
    ExpiresByType video/avi A31536000
    ExpiresByType image/bmp A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/java A31536000
    ExpiresByType video/divx A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/msword A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/ A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/x-msdownload A31536000
    ExpiresByType image/gif A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/x-gzip A31536000
    ExpiresByType image/x-icon A31536000
    ExpiresByType image/jpeg A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/ A31536000
    ExpiresByType audio/midi A31536000
    ExpiresByType video/quicktime A31536000
    ExpiresByType audio/mpeg A31536000
    ExpiresByType video/mp4 A31536000
    ExpiresByType video/mpeg A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/ A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/x-font-otf A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.database A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.chart A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.formula A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/ A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.presentation A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.spreadsheet A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text A31536000
    ExpiresByType audio/ogg A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/pdf A31536000
    ExpiresByType image/png A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/ A31536000
    ExpiresByType audio/x-realaudio A31536000
    ExpiresByType image/svg+xml A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/x-tar A31536000
    ExpiresByType image/tiff A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/x-font-ttf A31536000
    ExpiresByType audio/wav A31536000
    ExpiresByType audio/wma A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/ A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/ A31536000
    ExpiresByType application/zip A31536000
<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
    <IfModule mod_setenvif.c>
        BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
        BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4.0[678] no-gzip
        BrowserMatch MSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
        BrowserMatch MSI[E] !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
    <IfModule mod_headers.c>
        Header append Vary User-Agent env=!dont-vary
    <IfModule mod_filter.c>
        AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css application/x-javascript text/x-component text/html text/richtext image/svg+xml text/plain text/xsd text/xsl text/xml image/x-icon
<FilesMatch ".(css|js|htc|CSS|JS|HTC)$">
    <IfModule mod_headers.c>
        Header set Pragma "public"
        Header append Cache-Control "public, must-revalidate, proxy-revalidate"
    FileETag MTime Size
    <IfModule mod_headers.c>
         Header set X-Powered-By "W3 Total Cache/"
<FilesMatch ".(html|htm|rtf|rtx|svg|svgz|txt|xsd|xsl|xml|HTML|HTM|RTF|RTX|SVG|SVGZ|TXT|XSD|XSL|XML)$">
    <IfModule mod_headers.c>
        Header set Pragma "public"
        Header append Cache-Control "public, must-revalidate, proxy-revalidate"
    FileETag MTime Size
    <IfModule mod_headers.c>
         Header set X-Powered-By "W3 Total Cache/"
<FilesMatch ".(asf|asx|wax|wmv|wmx|avi|bmp|class|divx|doc|docx|eot|exe|gif|gz|gzip|ico|jpg|jpeg|jpe|mdb|mid|midi|mov|qt|mp3|m4a|mp4|m4v|mpeg|mpg|mpe|mpp|otf|odb|odc|odf|odg|odp|ods|odt|ogg|pdf|png|pot|pps|ppt|pptx|ra|ram|svg|svgz|swf|tar|tif|tiff|ttf|ttc|wav|wma|wri|xla|xls|xlsx|xlt|xlw|zip|ASF|ASX|WAX|WMV|WMX|AVI|BMP|CLASS|DIVX|DOC|DOCX|EOT|EXE|GIF|GZ|GZIP|ICO|JPG|JPEG|JPE|MDB|MID|MIDI|MOV|QT|MP3|M4A|MP4|M4V|MPEG|MPG|MPE|MPP|OTF|ODB|ODC|ODF|ODG|ODP|ODS|ODT|OGG|PDF|PNG|POT|PPS|PPT|PPTX|RA|RAM|SVG|SVGZ|SWF|TAR|TIF|TIFF|TTF|TTC|WAV|WMA|WRI|XLA|XLS|XLSX|XLT|XLW|ZIP)$">
    <IfModule mod_headers.c>
        Header set Pragma "public"
        Header append Cache-Control "public, must-revalidate, proxy-revalidate"
    FileETag MTime Size
    <IfModule mod_headers.c>
         Header set X-Powered-By "W3 Total Cache/"
# END W3TC Browser Cache
# BEGIN W3TC Page Cache core
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^(.*/)?w3tc_rewrite_test$ $1?w3tc_rewrite_test=1 [L]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP:Accept-Encoding} gzip
    RewriteRule .* - [E=W3TC_ENC:_gzip]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} !=POST
    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} =""
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} /$ [OR]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (sitemap(_index)?.xml(.gz)?|[a-z0-9_-]+-sitemap([0-9]+)?.xml(.gz)?) [NC]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(/wp-admin/|/xmlrpc.php|/wp-(app|cron|login|register|mail).php|/feed/|wp-.*.php|index.php) [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (wp-comments-popup.php|wp-links-opml.php|wp-locations.php) [NC]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_COOKIE} !(comment_author|wp-postpass) [NC]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !(W3 Total Cache/ [NC]
    RewriteCond "%{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/wp-content/w3tc/pgcache/%{REQUEST_URI}/_index%{ENV:W3TC_UA}%{ENV:W3TC_REF}%{ENV:W3TC_SSL}.html%{ENV:W3TC_ENC}" -F
    RewriteRule .* "/wp-content/w3tc/pgcache/%{REQUEST_URI}/_index%{ENV:W3TC_UA}%{ENV:W3TC_REF}%{ENV:W3TC_SSL}.html%{ENV:W3TC_ENC}" [L]
    # END W3TC Page Cache core
    # BEGIN WordPress
    <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^index.php$ - [L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

# END WordPress
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.htm

External resources

Information related to the question on external sites.

My blog

The page where I have the problem and where you can view it until I've resolved the matterI have removed the sub categories from the translated version of the web page for UX and SEO reasons.

The translation isn't complete at this time witch is the reason for the content differ.

I found a topic on posted 2 years ago that describes my problem exactly. I read the ansers but the thread ended without being resolved, unfortunately.

Quoted from

there seems to be a problem with subcategories in wordpress. I'm using wordpress 2.92 and when I switch to a subcategory it shows me the 404 error page. But the posts do appear in the main category, when I switch back to it. This problems don't occur in the main language, only in the other languages. So when I'm in the main language, the posts appear under the subcategory and the main category, just not in the other languages, where they appear only in the main language.


The solution to this problem is in your Apache configuration. You need to alter the regular expression that turns paths into parameters for WordPress's index.php file.

WordPress is a very high-level system working on PHP which itself is a very high level system too. WordPress does not have access to urls as they reach to server. It only has its index.php file and it needs requests to come to this file so it can handle the request.

To make this possible, they use mod_rewrite, an Apache module which modifies requests before server decides what to do with the request.

Please check your server's error logs. You will see the real files the server tried to access. Also, please check .htaccess files WordPress created in folders. In these files, you will see regular expressions that mod_rewrite uses.

I have checked your blog and it looks like you have already solved this. I still wanted to write so others having the same issue can benefit. Especially after seeing your mention of another post at somewhere else from two years ago being unsolved.


I am glad that I had told that "I am almost sure..." :D (referring to comments to this answer) It looks like things are a little different than the situation I solved a few years ago.

I have checked WordPress code and made some trials. I had originally thought that WordPress cannot find the article because of /en/ however I was wrong. The default behavior of WordPress to find a post from a url covers the situation as a kind-of-positive side effect: Let's say I do not have any plugins, or any language so /en/ means nothing to WordPress.

When I want to browse to it returns 404 as expected. However, if we have a category structure as abc/cde/efg/ and an article as moowhich can be accessed at abc/cde/efg/moo; when I alter the category part of the link, WordPress automatically redirects me to abc/cde/efg/moo:

en/abc/cde/efg/moo abc/efg/moo cde/efg/moo ...

all redirects to abc/cde/efg/moo. At your blog, I have seen the same behavior except for en/ which brings your plugins into the scene. It is now obvious that plugin handles url structure in a different way than WordPress originally does or causes change in the original behavior in another way.

I wanted to check plugin source as I promised; but I saw that it is not possible for me now, because it is a product I have to purchase to be able to see the source and I am not willing to buy something which I will never use :)

Since you said "In the parent category I can still see the post and navigate to it without a problem." I thought removing subcategories from url. This is a pretty dirty hack; but better than editing the plugin.

We put this ugly php file, fix_lang_subcategory.php, to our root folder:


function fix_lang_subcategory() {
    $p = trim($_SERVER['REDIRECT_URL'], '/');
    if (substr_count($p, '/') > 2) {
        $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']='/'.substr($p, 0, strpos($p,'/',4)).'/'.substr($p, strrpos($p, '/')+1).'/'.($_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'] ? '?'.$_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'] : '');

After this, you should see WordPress's 404 file at /fix_lang_subcategory.php successfully. If it works, we can edit our .htaccess file.

At the end of your .htaccess file, after

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index.php$ - [L]

lines, we add this line:

RewriteRule ^en/ /fix_lang_subcategory.php [L]

What we do here is that we change the entry point with our silly php file from wordpress's index.php to be able to run a few lines of php without touching original sources. This works only for /en/ part of the site. Rest works as it does now. In our php file, we check if we are seeing a link with subcategories and if there is, we alter (this is not a nice thing!) REQUEST_URI as below:




then we leave WordPress to do its job normally.

If the plugin works differently when you enable subcategories, then this can cause redirection of subcategoried pages under /en/.

A Better Solution:

I had thought you did not want to use subdomains for alternative languages; but then I saw "Can you host a version of the translated blog in a subdirectory/subdomain?" on comments to your question and in your reply, it looks like mention of subdirectory caused a misunderstanding. As I saw it on the ML plugin's website, you can use a subdomain instead of a folder which will save you from all the trouble, probably:

Instead of you may use Maybe?

An Even Better Solution:

90% of chance that ML Plugin causes this and they have to fix it. Starting a support ticket might help them realize their problem and fix it for everybody else.

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