Permalinks refuse to change in WordPress

If you are a freelance web designer the chances are you use WordPress for a lot of your builds. Its lightweight and very flexible, making it an ideal platform to learn in order to please a wide range of clients.

One issue I recently had that messed with my head for longer than it should have, was when a page refused to allow me to change the permalink and kept defaulting back to what it was before I tried to change it.

The solution to this is a simple one, but its easy to overlook. You already have a page somewhere that has the permalink you are trying to use. Pro tip, its most likely in your Trash! Check your trash to see if there is a page in the there with the permalink you want to use.

You can either change the URL of the page in your trash to something like ‘example-trash’ to allow you to edit your existing page, or just permanently delete it. This will free up the URL you want to use in the database and now it should work.

I’m ashamed to say I had a good hour racking my brains over this one.